It is not unusual to hear about our sporting heroes making it big in the international arena and rightly so, considering the spectacular fashion in which Fiji has captured world attention by producing, I’m assuming, one of the highest per capita international level athletes. Often when watching the 7s people could be led to believe that Fiji is playing against Fiji! There are, however, many unsung superstars including members of our creative industries, in particular fashion and lifestyle professionals who are making it big in highly competitive global markets. They are out there where staying ahead of the trend is the only way to stay relevant and in business. Arrnott Salesi Olssen, who is proudly from Vanuabalavu in Lau (vasu Taveuni), has been living in Sydney since 1995 and making waves as a performer. He competed in the television singing competition Pop Stars (an early incarnation of the more recent Idol and The Voice phenomenons) and more recently as the mastermind behind leading Australian men’s fashion and lifestyle digital platform, Rogue Homme. Rogue Homme is a go to guide and lifestyle bible for modern everyday man, with a broad focus on fashion and lifestyle, food and drink, health and fitness, electronics and gadgets, travel and events. With a total social media following upwards of 104,000 people, Arrnott, as its creator and editor, has steadily established a reputation as a taste maker within the Australian fashion and lifestyle market. I caught up with Arrnott in Sydney recently to talk about his life since 1995 and what the future could hold. He said making it onto the Pop Stars show was scary, exciting and eye opening and gave him a platform and a voice. The transition to digital media came through his understanding and love of fashion and food combined with an insatiable hunger for knowledge – which meant friends gravitated to him for advice or info on what was hot or new in Sydney. “When people first begun to hear about blogging I launched my own called Arrnott The Collector which grew rapidly. I stopped it a year after starting as it fast became more then just a personal way of me sharing info with friends. “About five years ago I lost 79kgs working out with a friend and trainer Shaun Button who now owns popular recovery space, Koa Recovery. My publicist encouraged me to restart my blog to offer up something else to the media we were speaking to. So I thought it through very carefully what I wanted the site to say and the branding and came up with Rogue Homme. “It was to be a voice for the multi-cultured Australia I lived in and platform for everyone, not just the select few I kept seeing. When we launched i just took it one step at a time, and last year celebrated five years of growth. “I launched it as a platform for the everyday guy, someone who wanted to know about fashion, food and life but didn’t necessarily buy Men’s Style or GQ. It’s still the same but we’ve now evolved and provide content creation for brands and businesses, run social media and train people in the art of social media and soon hope to add products to the platform. “In future I’d love to do a quarterly print magazine, something collectable and selective. Also a television show or platform, to bring a wider voice to the island and multicultural community in Australia. What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?: Hopefully inspiring a younger generation of Fijian and Pacific Islanders to be empowered to be creative and strive for excellence in everything they do.
Faraz and Arrnott in Sydney.