Florence Jaukae Kamel

New executives for bilum association

Florence Jaukae Kamel is the chairperson, Barbra Pagasa the treasurer, Joyce Moiwo as the BEPA business officer and Andrew Iyau as the secretary.

The new executives were appointed during the annual general meeting last Thursday.

They addressed the media on Friday afternoon to formally announce their roles and prove their commitment to transparency in the association.

BEPA has been in place since 2015, specifically to help bilum weavers in the country find markets both locally and internationally.

PNG’s signature design

And bilum meri herself, Florence Jaukae Kamel, says interest has rapidly grown since her first ever international runway in New York.

“I’ve got huge orders which I attend to all the time,” she said.

It was a step of faith, turning PNG’s traditional concept of string bag into clothing and changing designs with the fashion trend, while holding on to the basis of string bilum itself.

Last weekend, Kamel showcased the bilum on her second international runway – the Pacific International Runway in Sydney.

PNG fashion team returns from runway

The fashion body introduced PNG's bilum meri, Florence Jaukae Kamel, to the Pacific Fashion International Runway last Saturday.

The JFK collection was the winner from the PNG Fashion and Design Week 2017 early this month.

In true PNG fashion, JFK showcased the bilum dresses on this platform.

"While everyone came with printed fabric and other styles, I brought PNG bilum, hand twisted and woven. This is another opportunity I'm proud of," she said.

CPL apologises for ‘no bilum’ notice

Stop N Shop at Central Waigani, Port Moresby, had a notice showing a red ‘X’ on the image of a bilum and a green tick on a handbag.

A picture of this sign was circulated on social media during the weekend and has received numerous negative reactions from the public.

One of them was Florence Jaukae Kamel, also known as the ‘bilum meri’.

Kamel said this was very disappointing and described it as discriminatory, being that bilums are an identity.

CPL, in a statement, has apologised for the manner in which the message was undertaken.

‘Bilum Meri’ continues to promote PNG bilums overseas

This two week exhibition is one that introduces a wide range of contemporary and traditional Pacific Island works of art to an Australian audience of consumers, designers, retailers and importers.

Florence is a long time participant, who started since the establishment of the exhibition in 2011 by Pacific Islands Trade and Invest (PTI).

The exhibition has been held yearly for the last six years, giving Florence the opportunity to feature her contemporary bilum work.

This year is no different and has been a very busy two weeks for the bilum meri.