After launching her very first clothing line overseas, Ana Lavekau is now interested in launching her clothing line here in Fiji under her very own label, Reload Tribal.
Originally from Nasilai Village in Rewa, the British Army soldier’s artistic roots finally came to the fore when she launched the Reload Tribal underwear in England last month.
“I have only launched my line on May 11 at the Walkabout Beach Club in London during the London 7s weekend. I am in the process of planning my first out of London Fashion Show in Brighton.
She said the new underwear line from her Reload Tribal label had been well received.
She is currently liaising with a distributing company in Australia, ‘DealbyEthan’, to take her merchandise globally.
“(I want to) participate in a London Pacific Collective as an off schedule fashion show during the London Fashion Week. I will be launching Reload Tribal in Fiji soon,” Lavekau said.
Together with her brother Rusiate Lali, the duo created traditional Fijian artistic designs which tells stories from Fijian legends and folklore.
This is then printed on the Reload Tribal underwear line which makes it a unique artistic expression on a very functional piece of clothing.
“This is a family business and we are both promoting the art of Fijian legendary story telling, designed on textiles allowing the designer underwear to be seen as a wearable art.”
An avid advocate for safe sex, Lavekau is also using her label and clothing line to carry messages to members of the public.
“Reload Tribal is designed with a condom pocket to promote safe sex.
“I am a HIV/AIDS advocate, therefore I am on a one—year partnership with Fiji Network Plus, to support their Hardship Grant Program for people living with HIV/AIDS in Fiji,” she said.
The Reload Tribal label will soon launch a Reload Tribal bikini line as well as a Summer Collection.
For Lavekau, this marks the beginning of a journey that began at the village of Nasilai, and which has gone as far as London in England.
She is really proud of her artistic heritage which she inherited from her village in the Rewa Province, well known for its potters and potteries.
“We are renown potters, meke choreographers, musicians and painters. From a young age I have always been passionate about the arts from meke, storytelling, pottery, costume design to drama,” she said.
Lavekau’s grandmothers, the late Taraivini Wati and Makereta Lavekau Vakaloloma were both her inspiration and her clothing label was done in collaboration with another family member, Lali.
Lavekau will be contributing a £1.00 to the Hardship Grant for Fiji Network Plus, for every pair of Reload Tribal underwear sold.
Her company, London Pacific Fashion Limited, recently sponsored a community project in the United Kingdom called the Vosa Vaka Viti workshop which is geared towards promoting the Fijian language, culture and arts with children in Hampshire.
“I co-ordinated our first workshop for our Fijian children in Hampshire and we had the opportunity to be taught by Fiji’s very best, Mrs Tarisi Sorovi Vunidilo, author of the book Nai Talanoa ni Lapita.
“I have taken on this initiative to co-ordinate this workshop for our Fijian Children in Hampshire as part of my ongoing programme for the Fijian Art Project Exhibition at Cambridge University which is soon to be opened,” Lavekau said.
BY FIJI TIMES