INSPIRED by a plethora of cultures and traditions across Fiji and the Pacific, fashion designer Robert Kennedy has built a solid foundation with exotic clothing line.
Having established a solid footing within the Fijian fashion industry, Kennedy is now hoping to soar to even greater heights in the coming years.
One of the most exciting phases of his journey so far has been the opening of his own boutique at the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club, something which has been a cause of excitement for fashion enthusiasts in the country.
Kennedy, of Scottish and Swedish descent, returned to Fiji after pursuing studies in Australia for a few years.
"My return to Fiji in 2002 resulted in me creating silk screen prints on to masi (tapa cloth) and digital photography, drawing inspiration from Fiji's flora, fauna and people," the Sigatoka resident says.
"My interior design skills have been put to great use with several prominent Fiji clients including Castaway Island Resort, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, Myola Plantation Villa, Pure Fiji and Tappoo Ltd."
He is also responsible for the design and buying of the Fiji market brand in Tappoo Fiji Ltd.
Kennedy has also showcased his collection at the Fiji Fashion Week, where he won Established Designer of the Year and Best Resort Collection in 2011.
"This year I won Excellence in Textile Design at Fiji Fashion Week. I am also actively looking for overseas markets to sell my uniquely Fijian brand."
His interest in fashion designing sparked from a young age and encouraged by his parents.
"The biggest challenge that any designer faces is self-belief. I am my own worst critic so I go through a lot of self-doubt and really work on what I'm doing to ensure that whatever I design or create is the best that I can do.
"It's a tough business as even after all the self-analysis, you will still be judged by other people's opinions. Ultimately though, it's the consumer who will judge you by buying or not buying your product.
"I have been very fortunate to have a huge amount of support from my loyal customers and I truly value their feedback and views."
With an extensive knowledge of the industry, Kennedy says more needs to be done to grow the industry in Fiji.
"We have to have art in the curriculums of schools in Fiji. It's a travesty that art as a subject is not given any relevance in our school system.
"I hear a lot of talk in Fiji about how we are losing our culture and my answer is if kids are taught art in school, their culture will survive and flourish. If our Fiji children are taught art, there would be a whole new world of opportunities for them, from reviving and reinvigorating traditional arts and crafts (including the performing arts), to digital graphics and fashion."Read more at:red prom dresses | blue prom dresses