Amidst the world renowned waters and the five-star resorts of Fiji lies a hidden gem that is awaiting its time in the spotlight in the world of fashion. That hidden gem is none other than fashion designer, Adi Koila Ganilau (pronounced Ahn-dee Kway-la Gah-nee-la-oo). With a sneak preview of her Resort Ready-to-Wear 2011 collection debuting just a couple of weeks ago in Santa Rosa, CA, Adi Koila is energetically introducing her clothing lines to the U.S. market in the hopes of gaining more exposure, expanding her client base, and building a solid presence in the U.S. The WhatItDo is excited to feature and introduce this international designer and share a little more insight into her vision and creative design.
Growing up in Fiji proved to be a natural source of inspiration for Adi Koila with its vast contrasts of blues in the surrounding ocean, lush greens in the hills, and vibrant hues in its sandy beaches and coral reefs. It is no wonder that such a tropical landscape could make an impression in Adi Koila’s custom print designs, which live up to traditional Fijian art style that is often large and bold in nature. You can also see influences from many countries in Adi Koila’s designs, but her most influential inspiration is her grandmother, Adi Lady Litia Cakobau Lalabalavu Mara. “She”, Adi Koila says speaking of her grandmother, “was head and shoulders above the rest”, and was truly the noblest of her time.
With such a poised and graceful example to direct her vision, Adi Koila centers her womenswear line, Marama Dina, to the very woman who represents all that her grandmother embodied – class and style. Marama Dina literally translates to mean “true lady” or “real woman” and Adi Koila proudly states that her clothing is for every woman of every size, shape, color, and ethnicity and for every occasion. With dresses, jumpsuits, tops and more and many pieces easily transitioning from day to night, Marama Dina is well on its way to winning over loyal clients here in the west coast and abroad.
Momo (which means “uncle”) is Adi Koila’s menswear line, Rattoo (a play on the word “ratu” which refers to men of dignified stature) is her men’s streetwear line that caters to teenage to young adult males and Marama Lailai is her junior girls line. Four clothing lines may seem over-zealous, but Adi Koila is quite the over-achiever and will not limit herself or her designs to one market.
All of Adi Koila’s prints are custom drawn by herself as she has been drawing and painting since childhood and every print design is hand-printed onto various fabrics by her team. Her prints live up to the traditional Fijian art style that is often large and bold in nature. Every item of clothing in all of Adi Koila’s lines are exclusively produced in Fiji in order to maintain the authenticity of their origin as well as ensure that each item of clothing can stand alone as a keepsake or piece of Fiji that every customer can obtain.
Venturing across the South Pacific to win over U.S. customers is a huge leap in the expansion of Adi Koila’s brand and she is undoubtedly up to the task and ready and able to take on the U.S. market. Adi Koila is a true lady in her own right and her clothing lines are sure to please and comfort all who wear them. The casual and carefree nature of her designs will work their way into everyone’s closets soon enough. It’s only a matter of time.
You can view all of Adi Koila’s collections and make orders on Facebook. Her Summer 2012 collection will debut this November (by invitation only) and her official website will launch soon!
-Article Written By: Juliet Uata
*photos courtesy of Adi Koila Ganilau