When he started fashion
designing in 2010, Samal Singh was worried whether his dreams of
becoming one of the top fashion designers in Fiji, would ever come
Fast forward six years
later, and at 25 years old, Samal has dressed Miss World Fiji
2013, Bollywood silver
screen celebrity Suhasi
Dhami, and US-based Fijian
model Phillipa Steele.
Fifty Shades of Summer
Samal reached another milestone last month when he showcased his
latest label at Fiji Fashion week in
Suva. His new label was called "Fifty Shades of Summer", and he
also took the opportunity to launch his men's fashion line called
"Fifty Shades of Summer is
something different to what I have been presenting in the past
years. There are lots of colours and flows, as I am doing evening
wear for men and women."
Samal says his favourite part about being a fashion
designer is meeting new people and getting to know them.
"I strongly believe that meeting
people and knowing them, gives a designer a better understanding of
what their clientele wants."
Most Promising Designer Winner
Samal won "Most Promising Designer" at Fiji Fashion Awards 2011,
which gave him the opportunity to go to Melbourne, and complete an
internship with Kookai
Australia. Managing Director Rob Cromb, who sponsors the award,
says "it's a wonderful and valuable opportunity for our local
designers to see what goes on behind the scenes, to bring fashion
to the streets."
Samal certainly cut his teeth at Kookai, which gave him hands-on
experience cutting patterns and fabric, and learning how to
construct a garment. With no formal fashion training, Samal soon
realised how much more work was involved from concept design to
shop floor. He had to learn about pattern making, selecting the
right kind of fabric, understanding colour palettes and quality
Rather than being overwhelmed with the experience, Samal
returned to Fiji with a lot more enthusiasm.
Experience expands vision and audience
Before his internship, Samal had focused his designs and style
on Indian/Western fusion, but with this new experience on board, he
has expanded his vision and target audience. Wanting to add more
colour, Samal worked on his new line, and at the Fiji Fashion
awards in 2012, he showcased his new style with "Sultry
Samal said his new line reflected a new willingness for fashion,
which has given him more energy to innovate ideas and designs."
"My Sultry Siren collection was
very different to what I had done in previous years. The colour and
design itself has the details in it. The fabric chosen for the
collection is exclusive and gave a very classy look. I used the
'simplicity is elegance' formula in my design and made the fabric
talk for itself."
"My collection is glamorous and
sophisticated, with a soul that is Indian. I don't necessarily give
a very arty kick to my designs. I love what I do. I'm always
overwhelmed when I see people wearing my designs. I strive to make
all the beautiful people in Fiji look glamorous and
Samal warns fashion design is not as easy as everyone
"You need dedication and
hard-work to survive in the fashion industry," he says, but still
advises young people to go for it. "Do not hesitate or feel shy to
try out new things in life. You never know, it might turn out to
suit you well."
For young fashion designers like Samal, Image Label Systems are
there to help.
Working with local and global businesses
As a global business, we work with small local boutiques right
through to major international brands. This "hands-on" approach
gives small designers the personal touch they would normally only
have with local suppliers, but we have a huge international network
that delivers across the complexities of a global supply chain.
We can help you with the transition from an independent designer
to a global business, guiding you every step of the way. With our
infrastructure already in place, we are only a phone call away.
Contact us today if you would
like to know more about how we can help.