In an interview with fibre2fashion, chairman of Fiji Fashion Council, Mr. Mark Halabe said, “Fiji will become a regional centre for garment manufacturing within 10 years and employment will be quadrupled in the country and exports from apparel making sector will be the country’s major foreign exchange earner.”
“The major support for the country's clothing industry is the Fiji Fashion Week which has sparked the concept that apparel manufacturing is very much possible in the country," he adds.
According to Ms. Ellen Whippy-Knight, managing director of Fashion Week Ltd-the organizer of Fiji Fashion Week, the Fiji Fashion Week is extremely successful in terms of providing a platform for local designers and driving the garment industry for Fiji.
“In last five years, we have attracted more than 100 emerging designers and many new businesses have now developed in Fiji, especially through Internet and social media,” she informs.
According to her, Fiji fashion week is responsible for developing the awareness of how the country can benefit from the fashion industry, since there is already a very strong garment manufacturing sector in Fiji.
Talking about challenges facing Fiji apparel industry, Mr. Halabe says, “Our greatest challenge is the lack of professionally trained personnel and we will overcome this by starting a fashion college next year.”
The Fiji Fashion Week has contributed to the introduction of fashion and design education at the local university of the south pacific. The course is scheduled to begin in 2014.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India
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