Fiji Fashion Week joins the Executive of Commonwealth Fashion Council

Fiji Fashion Week joins the Board of Commonwealth Fashion Council
Tuesday February 20,  2018 (Fiji Time)

 Fiji Fashion Week (FJFW) became a Board Member of the Commonwealth Fashion Council (CFC) in London this week, during the annual London Fashion Week.   

FJFW Managing Director, Ellen Whippy-Knight was one of eight Commonwealth Fashion Council members to attend a private audience and be formally presented to Their Royal Highnesses, Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge; and Sophie, The Countess of Wessex (TRH), at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 20th of February, Fiji Time. The private audience took place prior to the main reception for Commonwealth Fashion Exchange (CFE) hosted by TRH on behalf of HRH Queen Elizabeth 11, to bring together designers, artisans, business leaders and others from 53 Commonwealth countries.

 “At Buckingham Palace last night, it was an honour to represent the Fiji Fashion industry as well as Fiji Fashion Designer, Mr Hupfeld Hoerder, who asked me to represent his extraordinary creation at the CFE launch, in his absence.  Hupfeld’s masterpiece, impressed everyone there.  The extraordinary garment was created in an exchange with Tousong Kalsong, Liza Garo and Marie Rorou, 3 talented artisanal women from Vanuatu.”

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be at Buckingham Palace one day promoting Fiji Fashion, conversing with HRH Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge (glowing in an Erdem dress that showed off her baby bump); chatting with Dame Anna Wintour - the queen of fashion; and being in the same room with Stella McCartney, Karen Walker, Naomi Campbell, Nadja Swarovski and many others.

“Being formally presented to Their Royal Highnesses was truly a moment I will treasure all my life and witnessing the reaction of the esteemed guests to the work of art created by Hupfeld and  Tousong Kalsong, Liza Garo and Marie Rorou of Vanuatu, was overwhelmingly rewarding.

About the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange
For the first time The Commonwealth comes together, culminating in a reception at Buckingham Palace on Monday, February 19 (UK) to showcase a wealth of design and artisan fashion talent from established and emerging designers across its 53 countries.  A key CFE focus is on partnership, as some established designers with artisanal craft.  Other Pacific nations represented at CFE launch were Samoa, PNG, Nauru, Cook Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands as well as our neighbors Australia and New Zealand. It was a true Commonwealth get-together to present the power and potential of artisan fashion skills to deliver new networks, trade links and highlight sustainability; objectives shared by FJFW and FDAF.

Other designers, selected by CFE, included 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."

About Commonwealth Fashion Council (CFC)
The CFC is a not for profit organisation uniting over 20 nations from across the Commonwealth Fashion Industries and aims to deliver programmes that focus on adding value to fashion industries through advocating business development, sustainability, education, trade, youth and gender empowerment (these are values shared by Fiji Fashion Week and Fiji Designers Alliance of Fiji, Chaired by Adi Koila Ganilau-Lee). 

FJFW linked with CFC in 2012, when CEO, Daniel Hatton, reached out to let FJFW know of his plan to develop a peak fashion council. In October 2017, Daniel recommended FJFW as the body to assist the CFE to identify Pacific Island Designers to participate in the event.

FJFW, recognised as a global ‘Fashion Week’ brand, joins similar international fashion events, promoting trade and business development segments of local fashion industries.

Fiji Fashion Week celebrates its 11th year in 2018, with an exciting collaboration with Fashion Designers Alliance of Fiji (FDAF), chaired by Adi Koila Ganilau-Lee. 
Friday 25th and Saturday 26th of May, at FMF Gymnasium, Suva.

Fiji Fashion Week:
Commonwealth Fashion Exchange:
Commonwealth Fashion Council: and

Diana Goulding, c/-  or Phone:  + 64 21 33 11 03