Contemporary Rotuman Artists

Michael Mausio

From Fijitimes Online (6 July 2011)

Making big waves

by Frederica Elbourne


Aspiring fashion designer Michael Mausio

Picture: Elike Nukutabu

IN the name of climate change, a fashion designer is working around the clock to ensure his label reflects just that.

More so for 20-year-old Michael Mausio is the fact that he wants his range of clothes worn as part of the Pacific daily wear.

"All my labels will always have a connection to climate change, so much so that my next range is called Val, which means ocean or wave in Rotuman," he said.

In pursuit of an award at the upcoming Crest Fashion Show, Michael has prepared three garments which took him four months to put together.

The lack of material had forced him to change the designs in his strive for perfection.

"I will not let a garment out on the catwalk if the threading is wrong or the colour combination is not to what I want," he said.

And while he dreams big, he is prepared to accept that it all begins with the small things as he works his way up the ladder of the fashion industry.

"It's a slow but sure step. Planning to me is very important and this industry requires a lot of capital which is something hard to come by these days," he said.

"And so good planning and management is required to be somewhere in this industry because the best designers are the worst business people, it's a proven fact among international designers," Michael said.

Communicating the significance of climate change through fashion and art is a matter that will generate a lot of interest, he said.

"I don't think the fashion industry has the recognition it deserves," he said.

"It needs more energy and cash flow to boost it as there are so many young and talented people in the Pacific that have raw talent to be on par with international designers."

He says the local fashion industry needs international support from fashion houses in New Zealand and Australia.

"We need government grants and support from the local business community.

"We need people to come out and support us and our local talents. We need all these to bring out the masters of fashion that we are, that we have."

From Fijitimes Online (12 July 2011)

Designer thinks climate

by Frederica Elbourne

A YOUNG designer is using fashion as an avenue to deliver a message close to his heart the impact of climate change.

Michael Mausio, one of 25 designers to showcase his range of costumes at this year's Crest Fashion Show, which is organised by the Agriculture Ministry, took time out of his busy schedule yesterday to share his story with our readers.

The 20-year old Rotuman-Tuvaluan descendant, whose mother is Polish, said he travelled a lot as a child as his grandparents with whom he spent most of his childhood years, worked for an oil company. The opportunity opened his eyes to the beauty of the Pacific and sparked his creativity.

He attended Saint Thomas Aquinas Primary in Navesi and later Kiribati International before he joined and completed his high school at Marist Brothers' High School in Suva. "I have always had a sense of wanting to dress up and make others around me look good. I think watching too many movies had just kept that idea in my head.

"As I was exposed to many things in the Pacific at a very young age, it had also impacted my understanding of things around me and made me aware of other issues that we faced in the islands รน mainly climate change and how it would impact on my grandmother who hailed from Tuvalu.

"That's why I called my first fashion range Gole Motu which means lost islands," Mr Mausio said.

"We notice things we wear, so if there was meaning to things we wear then maybe people will be more aware of climate change and its effects on our islands."


Contemporary Rotuman Artists