Growth of Fashion Industry in PNG

Amanda Donigi never thought Stella Runway would gain such popularity in Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific when staging the inaugural runway in 2014.

“Of course as a business owner, you do want to grow and you do want to improve and expand and I don’t think I really thought that this was going to be as popular as it is.”

The runway was staged on the anniversary of the Stella Magazine, celebrating its second birthday.

The idea behind was to bring to life the magazine, especially when a lot of the magazine content covered fashion and the modelling aspect.

But basically, the runway really was aimed at capturing different ways that people can be creative.

It started with only five local designers during the first event at Lamana Hotel and increased to 8 local designers for the second runway in 2014.

Stella Editor Amanda says the runway also presented the opportunity for models to get some training exposure to working with photographers, even also walking in front of audiences.

“We train the models, we want the models to be wearing the clothes the designers have created in the best way possible and we also put on a show that’s going to wow the audiences draw their attention to the work that all of these people are coming together to create.”

She says this year, at least 25 PNG designers have expressed interest but none have applied yet.

“So far, only one of last year’s designers has come on board and registered. We’ve got 4 registrations so far and three of them are new, so that’s really exciting for us. That’s a really good sign I think.”

Early bird application for designers is due today, June 30. Late applications due in July 30 but will be penalised with a higher fee.

Last year’s runway accommodated 2 male designers and Amanda said a good number have expressed interest this year.

“We’re praying for a few more because we have so much interest from male models, we want to make sure that we’re giving them plenty of opportunity to walk on the catwalk.”

Stella Runway 2016 will be hosted over a two night period, September 1 – 2 at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby.

“This year I think we’re going to get lots more designers so we’ve already booked for two nights. I’m pretty positive that we’ll be able to have two shows out of the registrations.

(Picture: Stella Magazine)

Gloria Bauai