So­cial Me­dia and Fash­ion

and fash­ion

mailife - - Contents - By JONE KALOUNIVITI Pho­tos by FEROZ KHALIL & ANDY PAUL

This world-wide phe­nom­e­non has not spared even a small coun­try like Fiji due to our de­pen­dence on mod­ern tech­nol­ogy. “Whether you like it or not, we have to ac­cept that so­cial me­dia is the fastest way to get in­for­ma­tion around,’’ says Fiji’s lead­ing fash­ion de­signer Hupfeld Ho­erder. Gone are the early days of strug­gling to ad­ver­tise your prod­ucts the old fash­ion way through paid ad­ver­tis­ing or fash­ion ed­i­tors. Or even hav­ing to pay for spa­ces in bou­tique stores to sell your fash­ion lines. So­cial Me­dia has boosted the fash­ion in­dus­try in Fiji and given strug­gling mod­els and de­sign­ers a plat­form to help mar­ket them­selves. “Over 10 years ago, we used to strug­gle to find af­ford­able space to show­case our items or to even af­ford ad­ver­tis­ing or get ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion which be­fore we had to pay for,’’ says Hupfeld. “To­day we don’t need of that, the tra­di­tional meth­ods of try­ing to set up our busi­ness which usu­ally costs money is some­thing we can go with­out now.” Hupfeld once op­er­ated out of bou­tique stores and even hired spa­ces to help sell his prod­ucts, “but the over­heads were a bit too much and peo­ple back in those days would like turn their heads in ad­mi­ra­tion for our de­signs but never spend or buy.” “To­day we do most of our mar­ket­ing on­line for free via face­book, twit­ter and we have some rally tal­ented blog­gers who help us mar­ket our lines and events and its all for free. To­day Hupfeld op­er­ates from his home in Lami and only at­tends ma­jor events to show­case his work. “But my cus­tomers come to me on­line so I re­ally don’t need an of­fice or shop to op­er­ate from un­less I go out on a big­ger scale.” So­cial me­dia has to­tally changed how things op­er­ate be­yond the cat walk says Hupfeld. “Through so­cial me­dia now we can cre­ate fol­low­ings for brands and prod­ucts and even get peo­ple ex­cited enough to fol­low you just be­cause other peo­ple are fol­low­ing you – that’s how it op­er­ates. “And its quite funny be­cause be­ing on so­cial me­dia it­self is fash­ion­able.” Hupfeld said whats also changed in the last 10 years is peo­ple’s sense of fash­ion in Fiji. “Peo­ple in Fiji have al­ways had a unique sense of fash­ion, its be­cause we try to mix it with our cul­tural her­itage which of­ten de­ter­mines how we the lo­cal de­sign­ers cre­ate our own line. Hupfeld is con­fi­dent that with the kind of fash­ion land­scape Fiji Fash­ion op­er­ates in, so­cial me­dia would be the best av­enue to drive their busi­ness for­ward. “Ev­ery­one in Fiji now is de­pen­dent on tech­nol­ogy es­pe­cially phones, in a way this has changed how we dress, talk and act be­cause of what we see on So­cial me­dia – that is fash­ion. Hupfeld says the last 10-years since Fiji Fash­ion Week was es­tab­lished was an in­spir­ing jour­ney. “I thank peo­ple like Ellen Whippy-Knight and Donna Whippy who had the vi­sion and were will­ing to work hard to get this plat­form set up.”

Hupfeld with his win­ning de­sign last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.