There’s never been a better time to be a local Pacific Islander in the fashion industry.
Macarthur locals make up the vast majority of people taking part in the annual Pacific Runway show, held at Carriageworks in Eveleigh.
The show was created several years ago by Campbelltown’s Jannike Seiuli and has grown from humble beginnings at the Casula Powerhouse to sell-out crowds at the home of the Sydney Fashion Week.
“We’ve done pretty well for a few people from Campbelltown,” Ms Seiuli said.
“This year Carriageworks added us to their official list of events and we’re featured on their website.
“They’ve never done a Pacific show like this so it’s such an achievement for us.
“This whole thing is such a blessing.”
For the first time this year, the show will included pop-up stalls so guests can buy products or learn more about the designers, make-up artists and and other professionals at the event.
Ms Seiuli said the Pacific Runway was a great stepping stone for locals chasing a career in fashion.
“We’ve just had a couple of our models walking in New York Fashion Week,” she said.
“And next week we’ll have someone in Los Angeles.
“It’s awesome to see we’re creating opportunities.”
“It is a bit of a springboard.”
Ms Seiuli said she was proud the Pacific Runway provided pathways for people of Pacific descent.
“This year we’ve got designers from New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States and of course Australia,” she said.
“The Pacific Runway is all about forging relationships and building a big family.
“We don’t want people to come in, do the show and leave – we want them to keep being a part of our family.
“Pacific people are very family-orientated and that’s what this show is all about.”
Ms Seiuli said the family nature of the show was event more evident this year with the introduction of kids’ ambassadors.
Local swimwear designers – and mother and daughter duo – Paulina and Mariah Alone will become the first designers to introduce children to the runway.
“We wanted to show these kids that it was okay to dream big,” she said.
“You can be Pacific and successful in this industry.
“We’ve spent a lot of time working with the kids to make sure they’re comfortable with everyone and being in front of large crowds.”
More than 50 people are involved in the Pacific Runway.