Need to develop fashion industry
IT’S time to develop the country’s fashion industry and support fashion producers.
That’s the message the president of the Association of Solomon Islanders in Creative Fashion Justina Radclyffe delivered this week while welcoming guests at the opening of Solomons Fashion Week 2015.
Mrs Radclyffe said that it was the nature of fashion that people focus on the end product and not see the work involved in creating the products.
“With fashion quite often we see the beautiful clothes, models, shows, and media while we forget that this is an industry made up of more than just fashion designers,” Mrs Radclyffe said.
“In Solomon Islands it is made up of home-based tailors, women’s groups, young men creating stencils, printers, hairdressers, jewellery makers, artists to name a few,” she added
“So every beautiful item of clothing or accessory displayed at the Art Gallery for SFW2015 is the result of hard work, commitment and passion by individuals and groups that want to excel in the field of fashion as well as earn an honest living,” Mrs Radclyffe stated.
She explained that it is for this reason that Solomons Fashion Week (SFW) is aimed at:
– nurturing the development and growth of the clothes making industry; local fashion designers, tailors, fabric printers, jewellery makers, hairdressers
– providing an outlet for them to exhibit, promote and sell their products to generate income for their small businesses and their families
– fostering creative development for both established designers and those aspiring to become one, so that we continue to improve and grow.
Mrs Radclyffe reiterated that it is her association’s aim to make SFW the pinnacle fashion event for Solomon Islands – an event that should provide the basis for our designers to be able to make the step into regional and international fashion shows.
She said while Solomon Islands cannot yet be compared toPacific neighbours Fiji, PNG and the likes of Samoa in fashion, it is the association’s belief that over time with the right support (from partners) the right development approach, and through providing an environment that will foster creativity and business development, Solomon Islands too can establish a strong and competitive fashion industry.
“To get there takes time and consistent commitment by all who have a shared interest and passion to see those in this industry attain sustained benefits in the future” she said.
Solomons Fashion Week 2015 is proudly supported by Hyundai/Kosol, GPPOL, Transol Shipping and Future Dynasty.
Mrs Radclyffe said like with most non-profit events SFW is heavily reliant on corporate sponsorship to be staged year on year and positive responses from the sponsors is something the Association doesn’t take for granted.
“It is a challenge every year to seek sponsors, it is not easy which is why we are so appreciative to the businesses, our networks, friends and family that have chosen to support us again or for the first time” she said.
“We are particularly thankful to our gold sponsors Hyundai/Kosol Group Ltd, Transol Shipping Co., GPPOL and Future Dynasty.”
Mrs Radclyffe said that it is ASIICF’s hope that through strong partnerships with the business sector and key stakeholders, they can develop the Solomon Islands fashion industry into becoming a meaningful, but quality-driven contributor to the local economy.
“Wear Local” SFW2015
A SFW committee rep expressed what better way for people to show that they support local producers than wear something local this week.
That says you have made an effort to buy something locally made and contributing to that producer’s livelihood.
This call t was reiterated by Mrs Radclyffe during her remarks at the opening of SFW2015.
“A special request from us to those of you here today, please throughout this week wear something locally made, a shirt, jewellery, handbag, as a show of support for Solomons Fashion Week and of course for the local designers, tailors, producers,” she said.
In the meantime, models have been practising tirelessly in preparation for the Grand Finale Fashion Show at the Heritage Park Hotel this evening