Designer Natasha Tamanabae’s collection, Baiwa, has recently caused a stir with items like her tapa heels selling worldwide.
She is one of the local designers showcasing her iconic tapa designs, a fifth generation tapa design passed on from her grandmother to her, at this week’s PNG Fashion Week event.
Speaking at the workshop yesterday, she said that the fifth generation tapa tells the story of a young girl reaching womanhood.
“The name Baiwa, from where I am from means the Oro dance that mothers do when welcoming young girls into women hood, while the tapa design tells the story of the transition,” she said.
She uses that piece of tapa that she is a custodian of as her signature mark, and she says that when she started off with the heels incorporated with tapa, she had no idea it would go off like this.
“I am really thankful for social media, when a posted the picture of the heels in no second I had 150 orders for it,” she said.
She then went from social media selling to now having an online shop for her items.
Tamanabae now sells to the Asia Pacific region, Europe and America. You can certainly say she’s one of the success stories for contemporary fashion for PNG.