ZUBER to make its debut

 Published in The Fiji Times

By Talebula Kate 

Saturday May 16th, 2015 


ZUBER is a label making its debut at the Fiji Fashion Week 2015 (FJFW15) Trendsetters Show.

Meaning strong or powerful in Arabic, ZUBER will show their first collection "Hard" for Spring/Summer 15 thanks to the creative mind of Ilai Jikoiono.

An artist all his life with natural and raw talent, Jikoiono had honed his skills while attending the International School Suva where he undertook a vigorous visual arts program from Year 7 to Year 12.

"I have been emotionally and psychologically building this brand for seven years, and now feel ready to share it. It has been a process of experimentation, which has led to the creation of something that I can now confidently say is representative of me as a designer.

"I feel my maturity, coupled with the fact that I am artistically seasoned, has led to this confidence, and my willingness to present myself through what I have created" he said in an interview.

The Lau lad has been awarded numerous awards for his contributions to the schools cultural life, including the prestigious Matiniciva Award.

He also travelled to New York as a representative of Fiji for an art project titled Pieces for Peace — an initiative to start dialogue around the issue of domestic and international peace through art.

The year after high school, the budding artist began sketching garments imagining a career as a fashion designer. He was accepted into the prestigious University of Technology Sydney Fashion Design program in Australia but deferred studies indefinitely because of family commitments.

Jikoiono then began working as a fashion photographer, spending time between Fiji and Australia, while also being contracted to a design business based in PNG, eventually becoming creative director of Mai Life STYLE magazine, Fiji and the Pacific's first luxury fashion and lifestyle publication.

Jikoiono had initially thought the FJFW was too big a stage for him but confidence had changed his mind. He is dreaming big and the talented artist plans to take ZUBER international within five years.

ZUBER is set to show on May 29 at the Vodafone Arena.

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