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A model’s nightmare: Elbow in the eye doesn’t hold back Fashion Week model

Alualumoana Luaitalo

A black eye didn’t stop model Susnation Seta from walking down a Fashion Week runway and he is already looking ahead to the next show.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Seta, who is of Cook Island Māori (Manihiki) descent, was selected to model in the Pacific Fusion Fashion category in the NZ Fashion Show, showcasing Pasifika designers.

The night before, however, Seta was still recovering from a black eye after copping an elbow during a netball training session the week before.

On the night of the show, makeup artist Hannah Forster was watching the models arrive.

“I was, like, to my teammate, ‘oh no, I hope we don’t get the model with the black eye’.

“However, he (Seta) was so lovely to work with and the black eye actually turned out to help the makeup look, as it was a blue eyeshadow look.”

Seta made it to Fashion Week after going through a casting process, which also means he will model at the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show in December.

"You know, when it comes to fashion, I believe that Pasifika designers are trendsetters and a lot of our materials have been used but not acknowledged," Seta says.

“To be able to see our material being on display and the people who actually created that, gets acknowledgement for their piece ... I think it’s incredible.”

Representation is important to Seta as a model.

“Basically it’s being able to represent the original designs from the original beings. And then to be able to be a Pacifika model doing that.

“I think it’s great because as a model, as a Pacifika model showcasing a Pacifika design, I can connect to that piece, I can understand what that piece is about.

“So then I try my best to bring that out when I do walk, whatever emotion they want us to portray.

Seta is also proud of being a gender neutral model.

“I am able to do both feminine and masculine at the same time, which is great because a lot of our Pacifika designs are both feminine and masculine.”

Designer and Ohn Clothing founder John Tanuvasa, of Samoan heritage, says Pacific Fusion Fashion at NZ Fashion Week was a “historic moment that celebrated the beauty of diversity”.

“As we eagerly await the December event, we can only imagine the incredible impact it will have on fashion.”

Tanuvasa says the event will make a bold statement about the future of fashion, showcasing not only Pasifika designs but the power of inclusivity and representation in the industry.

  • Pacific Fusion Fashion Show will launch on Dec 1- 2 in Auckland.

Hero image: NZ Fashion Week model Susnation Seta picked up an accidental black eye days before taking to the catwalk.

Image 2: Model Susnation Seta's black eye raised the eyebrow of NZ Fashion Week makeup artists, but it vanished with some clever makeup application.

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