top of page


Flying Fox Clothing - Tatau
Tatau Collection

I explore the essence of the Tatau, part of my heritage & inspiration. 


The Tatau process is a very special journey for a young man; one of respect & reconnection to his roots. It is transformational where the young man becomes the guardian of his family just like the Pe’a is the guardian of the forest.


Unwrapped from the body the Tatau represents the Pe’a, the Samoan flying fox or bat.

At the close of the Tatau ceremony legend tells us of the male letting the Pe’a fly free , this is represented through the fluid shapes produced from the use of innovative drape, especially while in motion.  

Reconnection to my roots is explored through the use of some recycled natural fabrics in the form of old blankets and antique flour bags to enhance the style of Tatau and help give it a grounded down to earth feel - one that is relaxed, comfortable and slightly disheveled projecting a wise and worn look.

Tatau Winter – iD Dunedin 2010 video ‘Emerging Designers Show’

Flying Fox Clothing
Afi vao Collection

Afi vao – Bush Fire (Samoan)


Inspired by the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in Feb 2009.

From the ashes of devastation comes a frenzy of new life.

Exploration into the vulnerable yet resilient aftermath of an Australian bushfire. 

I visited the Kinglake area one year on, 2010, and was astonished at some of the regeneration of the bush area.  Out of such a disaster there seemed real hope and such a vibrant amount of new growth after such a short time.

Researching the history of the cycle of fire upon this beautiful old country & fascinated by Indigenous belief & story about the ‘Living Body’ of Australia and their tradition of fire has spurred me to create a small capsule range driven by shape, nature & hope. 

Afi vao encapsulates a feeling of connection with nature - focussing on eco-prints and natural fibres. It is textural, soft & voluminous projecting a timeless look.

"How can we live alongside nature in a more respectful way"

Photos by Sandra Tupu           

King Lake , Victoria Australia 2010

 Afi Vao

NZ Fashion Week - Kahuria   2023    'Viva Next Gen Show '

Getty Photos NZFW- Kahuria Viva Next Gen show.  'Afi vao'


Models : Thomas Oh, Ollie Gooch, Lyndon Foley, Obosa UIame, Lovre Pavlinovic

Elton Mudzingwa, Sonni Manning, Michael Roberts, Tuakana Tuira, Taki Fahrensohn.