FEMATA Couture is a designer label driven by virtuous women who speak boldly of faith.
Designer Louise Taualii Cawa who has paternal links to Noco in Rewa has bought along her Executive Business Manager Lakena Taualii Cawa, Executive Stylist and niece Dinah Taualii and her 71-year-old father and mentor who is the Chief Executive Officer Peni Taualii Cawa.
The fact that her family have a mixture of Tongan, Fijian and Samoan blood and are people who wear plus size clothes, Louise felt inspired to design clothes that people of any size and shape could wear.
“Through my designs I want people to wear it and feel good about themselves and if I can achieve that, I am serving my purpose,” Louise said.
Being a first timer showcasing her collection at Fiji Fashion Week, Louise said she met Ellen Whippy-Knight by chance in Sydney, Australia during one of her recent trips there. It was during this meeting that she informed Ellen she is a designer and she found herself heading to Fiji.
“This is a very emotional trip for me as well because my paternal grandfather is from Noco in Rewa and at one stage my father was brought back here to Fiji where he grew up because there was so many of them in the family,” she said.
“I am forever grateful to my father’s family for raising a strong and wonderful man because my father travelled to Australia from Fiji, had ten children and despite the financial challenges he and my late mother faced we were raised to be God fearing children.”
Louise’s father Peni said while many islander parents could not handle their childrens’ delinquent behavior, he pushed his 10 children to church as he knew that is the best place for them.
Lakena who is Louise’s sister-in-law and a size 26 said working with Louise really motivates her to love and feel good about herself.
“Before I used to feel broken thinking of my size but with Louise’s motivation, I don’t care and all I know is that I am beautiful,” Lakena said.
“It is not the outlook of a person that matters, it is what is in their hearts that counts the most,” she said.
REPORT BY Mela Katonivualiku & Photos by Iva Rokovesa