By FARAZ ALI
Michael Mausio is a veteran of the Fiji Fashion Week circuit. In a short time, this young designer has gone from showing a collection, to setting up a legitimate fashion business, to becoming a member of the Fiji Fashion Council. He has achieved all this after coming onto the scene only 6 years ago in 2009 with his label Essence of the Pacific, showing a collection every year since.
He has indicated his inspiration this year as being the location of Fashion Week, the glamorous and revived Grand Pacific Hotel. We can expect a generally vintage inspired aesthetic, not honing in on any particular era, giving the designer plenty room to play around with styles and composition.
Whilst his previous lines have been dominated by mens fashion, this year we will see Mausio return to his roots as a womenswear designer showing no mens clothing. The reason for this is simple; women pay more money, so you have to go where the money is at. The designer does not, at this time, see a major market for menswear in Fiji, despite global trends to the contrary.
His commercial decision is part of a long journey for the young designer who admits that he is a living testament that artists are bad with money. In order to gain business knowledge, he attended workshops held by Fiji Fashion Week, Westpac and the National Centre for Small to Medium Enterprise Development (NCSMED). This has allowed him the opportunity to build a successful enterprise around his passion.
It is clear, that where there are many one-time designers at Fashion Week (those who design purely for the event and do not pursue it as a career), Mausio has managed to find success subsequent to it. His philosophy is clear, follow your passion and the money will follow suit. Wise words for others wanting to do what he has managed to do.
Sadly, this will be Michaels final year showing at Fiji Fashion Week, exclaiming that, in his specific case, whilst the event has managed to bring him notoriety and exposure, the costs of putting together a collection for the event do not match the returns. After this show, he will be focused on further establishing his brand and making money to grow his business.
We wish him all the best.
Michael will be showing his 2014 collection on Saturday night.