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Celebrating five years in a ‘completely different’ style

The annual Pacific fusion fashion show is celebrating its fifth birthday, but with a big difference this year.

“We’re a digital fashion show this year, completely different from what we’ve done every other year,​” says the show’s director Nora Swann.

Despite Covid-19 presenting “many obstacles”,​ Swann says: “It was really important to go ahead and have our event because we’re celebrating five years.​”

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing when she decided in March to continue the event.

“We lost some partners, we had model casting sorted and booked then we had to cancel them, and designers were quite slow putting through their application forms this year.”

Throughout these challenges, Swann’s show-must-go-on ​attitude remained the same, and it has paid off.  

Swann and her team gained new partners, a major one being the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, sealed a collaboration with FashioNZ and wrapped up filming the Polynation PFFS over the weekend.

“We’re really happy and excited for the collaboration. We’d like mainstream to see what Pacific fashion designers are up to, we are contributing successfully to the fashion industry in New Zealand, that’s why it’s really important to have the support of FashioNZ.”

FashioNZ co-owner and editor Evelyn Ebrey describes the collaboration as a “perfect fit”.

“We have such a wide diverse audience spread throughout the country and our ethos is based around supporting emerging talent,” says Ebrey.

“I think there is not as much coverage of Pacific designers or indigenous designers as there should be so if we can offer our platform in support and share some of these amazing, creative people that’s the least we can do.”

She says many are “self-taught grassroots designers who have set up in their garage”.

“Expect the calibre of designs that will be broadcast to be fantastic,” says Swann, when the show is released on FashioNZ and Coconet TV on Saturday 5th December.