Fiji Fashion is at Buckingham Palace

Ellen Whippy-Knight, MD of Fiji Fashion Week (FJFW), is in the UK for London Fashion Week and The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange (CFE).   A garment by Fiji designer Hupfeld Hoerder will represent Fiji at CFE.  The 'looks' created through the inaugural Fashion Exchange will be showcased at a special reception at Buckingham Palace next Monday February 19 UK time, where Mrs. Whippy-Knight will attend as a guest, with Commonwealth Fashion Council, as well as represent Mr. Hoerder at his request.  The ‘Looks’ are under wraps until the reception.

“As we announce FJFW’s 11th year of events today at home, it’s also a privilege to attend this auspicious occasion in London.  FJFW, as a whole entity, has always aspired to “Think Globally – Act Locally’, working hard to achieve this over the past ten years with many milestones and business relationships, still evident today.  Attending CFE really is one of the “jewels in the crown”, said Mrs. Whippy- Knight,  “In 2017, I signaled my swan-song during FJFW’s 10th anniversary with the vision of FJFW continuing without me, it didn’t quite work out, so here I am back in the drua announcing FJFW 2018, this time in an exciting new collaboration with Fashion Designers Alliance of Fiji (FDAF), chaired by Adi Koila Ganilau-Lee .  It feels like it was ‘meant to be’.  I’m so proud for Hupfeld Hoerder, one of Fiji’s most esteemed, established designers and FJFW Alumni.  We’ve come a long way but ‘watch this space – we haven’t finished yet.

For the first time The Commonwealth comes together to showcase a wealth of design and artisan fashion talent from established and emerging designers across its 52 countries.  A key CFE focus is on partnership as some established designers such as Mr. Hoerder, are partnering creatively. Hupfeld Hoerder Designs partnered with three artisanal women from Vanuatu, being Tousong Kalsong, Liza Garo and Marie Rorou.  Other Pacific nations at CFE are Samoa, PNG, Nauru, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands as well as our neighbor Australia.  A get-together that presents power and potential of artisan fashion skills to deliver new networks, trade links and highlight sustainability; objectives shared by FJFW and FDAF.

The designers have been selected by CFE and include Karen Walker representing New Zealand, Bibi Russell for Bangladesh and international label Burberry plus Stella McCartney representing the UK.

The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange is an ambitious project with long term aims, is being developed in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM (, who will launch an edited collection in September this year.

The Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, says: “The modern Commonwealth is young and creative. It represents a third of the world's population, 60% of whom are under the age of 30. So fashion, alongside music and sport, represents a powerful common language and platform through which to influence young people around key issues. The Fashion Exchange has collaboration and partnership at its heart, forging new networks and making the Commonwealth Summit themes of prosperity, sustainability and fairness very real and tangible."



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