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Dream comes true for Fijian fashion designer

Fashion show

Dream comes true for Fijian fashion designer

When he started fashion designing in 2010, Samal Singh was worried whether his dreams of becoming one of the top fashion designers in Fiji, would ever come true.

Fast forward six years later, and at 25 years old, Samal has dressed Miss World Fiji 2013, Bollywood silver screen celebrity Suhasi Dhami, and US-based Fijian top model Phillipa Steele.

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Fifty Shades of Summer

Samal reached another milestone last month when he showcased his latest label at Fiji Fashion week in Suva. His new label was called “Fifty Shades of Summer”, and he also took the opportunity to launch his men’s fashion line called “Guilty.”

“Fifty Shades of Summer is something different to what I have been presenting in the past years. There are lots of colours and flows, as I am doing evening wear for men and women.”

Samal says his favourite part about being a fashion designer is meeting new people and getting to know them.

“I strongly believe that meeting people and knowing them, gives a designer a better understanding of what their clientele wants.”

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Most Promising Designer Winner

Samal won “Most Promising Designer” at Fiji Fashion Awards 2011, which gave him the opportunity to go to Melbourne, and complete an internship with Kookai Australia. Managing Director Rob Cromb, who sponsors the award, says “it’s a wonderful and valuable opportunity for our local designers to see what goes on behind the scenes, to bring fashion to the streets.”

Samal certainly cut his teeth at Kookai, which gave him hands-on experience cutting patterns and fabric, and learning how to construct a garment. With no formal fashion training, Samal soon realised how much more work was involved from concept design to shop floor. He had to learn about pattern making, selecting the right kind of fabric, understanding colour palettes and quality control.

Rather than being overwhelmed with the experience, Samal returned to Fiji with a lot more enthusiasm.

Experience expands vision and audience

Before his internship, Samal had focused his designs and style on Indian/Western fusion, but with this new experience on board, he has expanded his vision and target audience. Wanting to add more colour, Samal worked on his new line, and at the Fiji Fashion awards in 2012, he showcased his new style with “Sultry Siren.”

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Samal said his new line reflected a new willingness for fashion, which has given him more energy to innovate ideas and designs.”

“My Sultry Siren collection was very different to what I had done in previous years. The colour and design itself has the details in it. The fabric chosen for the collection is exclusive and gave a very classy look. I used the ‘simplicity is elegance’ formula in my design and made the fabric talk for itself.”

“My collection is glamorous and sophisticated, with a soul that is Indian. I don’t necessarily give a very arty kick to my designs. I love what I do. I’m always overwhelmed when I see people wearing my designs. I strive to make all the beautiful people in Fiji look glamorous and beautiful.”

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Samal warns fashion design is not as easy as everyone thinks.

 “You need dedication and hard-work to survive in the fashion industry,” he says, but still advises young people to go for it. “Do not hesitate or feel shy to try out new things in life. You never know, it might turn out to suit you well.”

For young fashion designers like Samal, Image Label Systems are there to help.

Working with local and global businesses

As a global business, we work with small local boutiques right through to major international brands. This “hands-on” approach gives small designers the personal touch they would normally only have with local suppliers, but we have a huge international network that delivers across the complexities of a global supply chain.

We can help you with the transition from an independent designer to a global business, guiding you every step of the way. With our infrastructure already in place, we are only a phone call away.

Contact us today if you would like to know more about how we can help.