Polynation Digital Fashion Show: Tongan mother and daughter take on fashion world

Vai & Co – a new fashion label created by Tongan designer Vai Tu’akalau and her daughter Chesta Fa’otusia, will make its debut appearance tomorrow at the much anticipated Polynation Digital Fashion Show, an event part sponsored by Pasifika Futures.

The business started in June and gave Chesta, a recent law graduate, the opportunity to work alongside her mother.

The pair belong to three generations of seamstresses, as Vai worked alongside her own mother in the family sewing business in Tonga.

“I love working with my mum,” says Chesta.  “The best part of it is seeing mum working in an area that she loves.”

Their business has a made-to-order model, providing custom pieces for their loyal customers. Their designs are vibrant, inspirational and cutting edge.

“Our customers bring their own ideas, and we add to them to bring out their own personal style and unique beauty.”

Chesta says that understanding Pacific woman gives them an edge.

“We do try to incorporate those unique things that come with being from the Pacific, not only through the design, patterns and texture of the clothes, but also with the service we provide.

Mum works extremely hard and she often works really late. The service she gives to her customers is very much about creating lasting relationships to build customer loyalty and make people feel comfortable.

Pacific women have a certain way of viewing themselves, which incorporates modesty and a modern style of expressing themselves.”

Vai & Co will be one of thirteen Pacific fashion houses that will showcase their new line during this annual fashion event.

The fashion show usually hosted at various South Auckland venues has adapted to a virtual platform and will premiere online, due to the impacts of Covid-19. Formerly known as Pacific Fusion Fashion, the new name Polynation Digital Fashion Show reflects the agile nature of the event.

“We are excited to be doing something with our Pacific community through our first fashion show.”

Chesta and her mother plan to expand Vai & Co and says the fashion show is a great opportunity for more people within the community to see their work.  

“We always wanted to create something that was for Pacific woman, a custom-made business dedicated to giving them confidence through their personal style.”

The Polynation Digital Fashion Show premieres on Saturday 5 December at 7pm. You can watch online www.thecoconet.tv or www.fashionz.co.nz

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Date: Friday 04 December 2020