PIR 2017 Fashion Designers Spotlight: Lepou, Tauariki Wear, And Cecilia’s Fashion House


The Pacific International Runway show boasts the finest designers from across the Pacific Region, along with local and interstate designers who will be releasing their latest collection. This annual event is a first of its kind in Australia. It’s going to be a red carpet affair at the most elaborate and elegant venue none other than the Star Event Centre – a $100 million multi-purpose venue. Here are three talented designers who will be showcasing their designs on October 21:




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Lepou is a boutique with luxurious collections of the trendiest resort wear; it was founded in 2001 by Failepou Peni. The invaluable experience gained from working within this environment and community inspired Failepou to fulfill her lifelong dream and launch her eponymous line alongside her co-workers/daughters Maisyann and Judy-May.

When Failepou is designing, she is inspired by shape, nature, and color. Every design focuses on how she can flatter a real woman’s body and thoughtfully design clothing that every body type can wear. Failepou’s technical knowledge of a garment’s proper fit and design, combined with her innate creative abilities, results in an effortless and wearable line that reflects the kind of woman she is herself; strong, sassy, fun, and fearless.

Failepou believes in the importance of community involvement, inspiring others and giving back. When she is not designing, she is an ambassador for speaking and encouraging many young adults, in getting in touch with their ability to create and find their placing in this day and age.

Failepou has a strong Christian foundation and gives all Glory to Our Heavenly Father in Christ Jesus, for her inspiration and where she was yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Tauariki Wear

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As a child, Fiona Matutu has always loved the buzz surrounding dressing up. Art and Fashion were amongst her first passions and hobbies, so it’s no surprise that her love for fashion seems to come naturally. She believes that her fashion sense is something that comes from within. Fiona finds that designing and creating new pieces is her happy place.

Tauariki Wear offers a range of Polynesian inspired designs. It’s about bringing vibrancy to the wardrobe, wearing clothes with confidence and enhancing a Pacific woman’s natural beauty. Fiona admires her homeland and culture which has led her inspiration behind each collection reflecting pride in her heritage and captures the beauty and lush environment of her homeland. A big part of their identity is expressed through their cultural attire. Woman of the Pacific particularly Cook Island women love to dress in island prints and styles. It’s what sets them apart from the rest of the world. Tauariki Wear is modest, but at the same time, very versatile in that it caters for individuals from all walks of life. Each piece is hand-painted/printed with love from Rarotonga.

Fiona thanks, God every day for the talent that he has given her, as her dream is to one day fulfill her vision to successfully market her work all over the Pacific and give back to the community.

Cecilia’s Fashion House

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Cecilia’s Fashion House is well known for its prints and unique signature styles that are inspired by the Samoan culture. The inspiration for her designs can range from the Samoan bark cloth, tattooing, and architecture. “In the Pacific, we each have a story behind our prints or art. I designed some of the artwork… just mixing those together, so the stories are all different, the patterns each have a name or meaning.”

Cecilia’s Fashion House was founded in 1996 by Samoan born and based established designer Cecilia Keil. Cecilia is one of Samoa’s elite fashion designers and has extensive knowledge in the Pacific fashion world.

In 2016 Ms. Keil’s work wowed the international fashion world when Opetia Foai, songwriter, and front-man of the Te Vaka band attended the world premiere of the Disney film ‘Moana,’ wearing a custom-made jacket designed by Ms. Keil. Cecilia also designs wardrobes for most of the winning contestants for the Miss Samoa and Miss South Pacific beauty pageants.

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