PNG designer launches fashion on international stage

An emerging Papua New Guinean designer has taken her collection to the international stage, showcasing her designs at Pacific Runway 2016 in Sydney, Australia.

Winner of the inaugural Stella Runway 2016 Designer of the Year Award, Genevieve Igara-Falevai, the designer and founder of Wantok Clothing, showcased her label’s unique on 21 October.

An accidental fashion designer, Genevieve passed on a career in economics to follow her passion to create beautiful garments with a Papua New Guinean twist.

Starting her label in 2015, Genevieve has been awarded Miss Pacific Islands Pageant Project Runway 2015 and 2016; Stella Runway 2016 Designer of the Year; and dresser for Miss Papua New Guinea 2015 and 2016.

The Australian High Commission is pleased to partner with Stella Magazine and Sydney-based Raffles College of Design and Commerce for the Stella Runway 2016 Designer of the Year Award, supporting Genevieve to participate in training in Sydney, as well as Pacific Runway 2016.

Genevieve undertook a five-day business and fashion mentoring program with Raffles College of Design and Commerce in Sydney in October.

She will also benefit from a 12-month mentorship with the college on brand development.

Stella Magazine photographed Genevieve’s collection in iconic Sydney locations, which will be published in a future edition of the magazine.

Australia supports economic empowerment of women through the fashion industry, including initiatives such as the Pacific Project-Papua New Guinea, which aims to develop the bilum sector, working with bilum producer groups in Goroka and Mount Hagen in the Highlands Region.

(Amanda Donigi, founder/ editor-Stella Magazine; Bronte Moules, Deputy Australian High Commissioner to PNG; Jannike Seiuli, founder/creative director, Sydney Fashion Show/Pacific Runway; Betsabeh Sohrabi, assistant program director fashion marketing - Raffles College of Design and Commerce; Genevieve Igara-Falevai, Stella Runway 2016 Designer of the Year and Genevieve’s business partner, Henry Iyaro, at Stella Runway 2016 in September)

Press release