Fashion designer Tiana Vono. Picture: SUPPLIED
(Photo:formal dress shops)

A LOT of dedication, hard work and sacrifice is needed to survive in the fierce world of fashion.

This somewhat harsh industry will either make you or break you, but it all depends on what you bring to the table, whether you're designing or modelling.

Keeping this in mind, a 22-year-old Fijian emerging designer, who resides in Sydney, Australia, is hoping to make it big in fashion.

Tiana Vono, originally from Naivakacau in Tailevu, is launching her first collection under her label "Vono" at the premier Pacific Runway fashion show in Australia later this month.

With much tenacity, Australian-born Ms Vono is focused on her career as a fashion designer, a dream she has had since she was young.

"This has been an ultimate dream and goal of mine, is to be a fashion designer.

"With my new collection, I am trying to do something different and unique with my label," she told this newspaper in an interview.

"At first I was a bit confused as to whether I should be a stylist or designer, but then as time went on, I kind of reaffirmed by passion for fashion."

With the support of her parents, Ms Vono has had to juggle work and studies around completing her new collection titled "Carolyn" in time for the Pacific Runway fashion show come October 27.

She currently works as a wardrobe stylist for Myers, a leading department store in Australia.

"When I left high school, I went into Billyblue College of Design in Sydney, Australia where I am currently completing my Bachelors Degree in Branded Fashion and Design," she said.

"I also recently completed my three-month internship with Vogue Australia — one of the biggest names in fashion.

"The experience was amazing and I learned a lot about how really intense and fast paced the industry was.

"My new collection is inspired by my late aunt, Carolyn, who passed away in 2015.

"She had schizophrenia and had a lot of different personalities suffering from mental illness.

"So my collection sort of reflects her personality and fearless out there she really was. It's also more of '80s theme as that's what she really liked."

Taking part in the Pacific Runway — a platform for Pacific designs in Australia, Ms Vono said she hoped to boost the trend of women suits.

"The concept of my line is not really much of women suits for corporate wear, it is more of high fashion wear you could wear to events," she said.

"I am taking that path and hopefully it goes according to plan. I hope people, especially women, take on board this trend as they don't usually wear this nowadays.

"I also feel like in the Australian fashion industry, they kind of really don't embrace ethnic and different cultures so taking part in the Pacific Runway sort of lets us embrace our Pacific culture and heritage."

While she is self-funding this new collection investing an estimated $A6000 ($F9582) into establishing her fashion career, Ms Vono has also made sure that her pieces had a Fijian touch to it.

The aspiring designer is in the country to get her collection pieces sewn in Fiji, proudly promoting her wear as Fijian Made.

"Hopefully it takes off as planned and that I can keep doing what I am doing, designing," she said.Read more at:cocktail dresses