In September 2015, between earning my Bachelor of Business degree and recommencing Bachelor of Laws from 2016, I seized the opportunity to launch my own fashion house.
The House of Ratu was created to raise awareness for the cause against domestic violence on women and against abuse on children.
Additionally, I saw an opportunity in the marketplace to design elegant wear for the sophisticated islander-city woman.
We launched successfully at the ‘Pacific Fashion Festival’ in October, 2015.
The House of Ratu showcases the beauty of Fiji through cocktail wear, with our target market being the islander-city lady and non-islander woman who loves vibrant Pacific prints.
Our style embodies elegance, sophistication and cosmopolitan chic in its cut; with colours, fabric and ease of movement representing an island breeze.
Eight pieces were launched at Brisbane’s Pacific Fashion Festival. The texture was predominantly cotton, created to accomodate for our humid Queensland climate.
The recurring theme amongst the garments is that they have pockets. I have a fetish for pockets in dresses.
I think they make a woman stand that little bit taller when one walks with their hands nestled in pockets.
These pieces serve dual functionality as they can be easily worn to an event in Australia as well as out on the islands of Fiji.
The enterprise will grow from specialising in women’s wear to other categories internationally within the next 5 years.
We will disclose our products when they are launched at its milestone stages.
The brand’s logo is clean-cut and the “tabua” [whale’s tooth], is used to represent the chiefly status of the name Ratu in Fijian society.
Tabua is an important cultural item in Fiji and were significant in negotiations between rival chiefs.
The shape of the strand attached to the tabua spells “M”, which represents my first name; Miriam.
I am incredibly excited about utilising a tool that will give back to the community. Specifically, about using fashion for the cause of empowering women and aiding in children’s welfare through upcoming fundraising events.
One of our missions is to continue supporting, as we have for years, the eradication of gender-based violence.
Also, to keep contributing to children’s welfare, such as education and well-run orphanages.
“Opportunity looks a lot like hard-work,” Ashton Kutcher.