Samoan model turned fashion designer Annmarie Williams will be showcasing new skills at the Pacific Fusion Fashion show next month. After treading the PFFS runway as a model last year, she’s now set to release her first collection of clothing. “Modelling was a nod towards the right direction, it created internal movement within me that has now become MOTFAW,” says Annmarie.  “I want to explore and expose my ideas to the world and see what happens.”

MOTFAW is a reference to Annmarie’s full Samoan name and a nod to her cultural heritage. The 29-year old has spent the last two years studying at NZ Fashion Tech in Auckland, honing her design skills from sewing to grading and pattern making.

“I have learned how rich and complex the world of fashion is and I’m looking forward to my third year of studies with the goal of finishing my diploma,”
says Annemarie.

Although she enjoyed modelling, Annmarie is finding new purpose as a designer and an important way to express herself. “I love the problem-solving part of fashion,” says Annmarie.  “Taking the original idea and then trying to make sense in how to transfer that into concrete fashion.  I love the process of collecting ideas and being inspired by everything. There is so much freedom in this stage.  I can draw inspiration from anything – my own thoughts, art, blogs or street style.”

Annmarie’s first foray into fashion will focus on menswear, inspired by many creative sources including her Samoan culture and artists Gauguin and Magritte.  

“The style, colours and how they portrayed masculinity spoke to me. Men are modest, but there is so much in the unspoken details, especially in Gauguin’s paintings,” says Annmarie. “The peace and stillness, the colours and how Gauguin portrayed Pacific people.” 

The new designer admits she’s nervous but excited about being on the other end of the runway this year and getting out of her comfort zone. “It will be a proud moment for me,” says Annmarie. “I’m looking forward to seeing the other designers’ hard work and creations on the runway. PFFS always has a great vibe and energy, I enjoy seeing people dress up for the theme. It’s a special night.”