One of Samoa’s best emerging designers, Dane Mulinu’u Fabricius (D.M.F), is back in the country with renewed vigour to take his work to the next level.
The 30-year-old who hails from the village of Lotopa represented Samoa and showcased his work at the International Pacific Runway Fashion Show in Sydney Australia recently. He was among 20 different designers from the region to be given the opportunity, having secured his spot during the Inaugural Samoa Fashion Week.
Reflecting on his experience in Sydney, Mr. Fabricius said it was a massive learning curve.
“It was an experience which not only helped me but also opened doors for Samoa as well to be exposed overseas especially in Sydney,” he said.
D.M.F accompanied two other established Samoan fashion designers, Cecilia Fashion House and Sofa’i Creation.
“We were all different designers, we all have our different touches to the Art work and fashion in Samoa. And you know, Sydney probably didn’t expect it, but we did a really good job.
“And we supported each other throughout the whole trip with a lot of help from our local friends who flew over just to witness everything.
“The experience alone for me was just wonderful. You know a lot of people look at me as an emerging designer and it was a big step for me.”
It was definitely an educational experience.
“It was a lesson for me, to be prepared for what’s ahead.
“Fashion has to stay in time and you always have to think ahead of time as well. Because you don’t know what’s going to happen next and maybe people will not like the work you do.
“But it’s all about improving your work and putting a smile on people’s faces. And that makes the design alive.”
Being part of the International Pacific Runway Fashion Show is something Mr. Fabricius will always remember.
“No words can express how grateful and happy I felt to be part of something big like that,” he said. “Even up to now, I still can’t get over the feeling I got from participating in the Fashion show. I can’t explain it…the excitement of everything.
“I felt the excitement the time I got on the plane. But the whole time I was like nervous because I didn’t know what to expect and it’s natural to feel that way because it was my first time.
“I was also scared of how people will react if they see my designs, and what the other designers will say about me. But now that it is all over, I am just overwhelmed and excited at the same time.”
So what was the key to his success?
“My support system,” said Mr. Fabricius. “The number of supporters we had was massive and amazing. My family and my close friends, they are the ones who motivated me and kept me going, to do better and to do the things that I love to do.
“Because they always tell me to do what I love in order to make me happy.
“And I prefer happiness over everything. Over money and anything else. And to see someone wearing your piece makes me happy and it keeps me going.
“A lot of people supported me all throughout the show and I owe it all to them. To my cousin Fa’ava, and my friend Pattie who flew all the way to Sydney just to help me out, my friend Kim who flew from New Zealand as well.
“My family, sisters and brothers and everyone. And also to my sponsors, like Taula, I am just grateful.
“There are so many companies I want to thank, but for now I think the main ones are Taula and Tanoa Hotel for jumping in and supporting me.
“I am so grateful to them for believing in a product that they barely know but believed in what they’ve seen so far. And like I said, I am blessed and grateful to all of them for making it happen for me.
“And to everyone out there, they know who they are; I can’t say names because I might miss out. But to everyone who supported me through everything, thank you very much.”
So what’s next for D.M.F?
“I am now working on my new fashion line,” said Mr. Fabricius. “Hopefully Samoa will support this new emerging designer and they will wear my pieces.
“But that’s what excites me the most is when I see the smiles on people’s faces when they see or wear my designs. And to me, if I can move one person by designing an outfit for them, then that’s really fulfilling.
“I don’t know what to say I can still feel the excitement up to now and I am blessed to even have a talent that other people look at and admire.
“The next thing for me, I am going to do more wearable ready-to-wear or what they call R.T.W in the fashion industry. My one will be more subtle, plain, sophisticated and pieces that will make a woman feel beautiful and that you will keep in your closet.
“And something that you can wear with anything. So it will be a little different from my previous fashion line, but I will still be making them upon request. But I hope that Samoa is ready for my next line coming up. And hopefully we will be able to release it before Christmas or after Christmas and it will be the 2017 line.
“So right now it’s all planning and hopefully, financially and mentally. So hopefully everything will fall into place.”