Tell us a bit about you, your story and why you’re excited to be an ambassador for NZFW:
My name is Sammy Salsa, I was born Sam Cowley-Lupo to immigrant parents of Samoan and Niuean heritage. I’m a freelance fashion stylist/director, working for NZ’s top fashion publications, celebrities & much more in my 6 years in the industry – On a wider spectrum I see myself as a storyteller and the dialogue I voice with is clothing. I create fashion aesthetics which challenges the norm and leaves room for opinions from the observer. I feel honoured to be a 2019 NZFW ambassador, representing not only the wider pool of pacific creatives within the fashion sector but the diverse industry that exists today.
What is your favourite NZFW memory?
One of my most recent and memorable moments was Kiri Nathan’s first solo show in 2018. Kiri is a veteran designer and the connection between traditional Maori design and contemporary fashion. The show encapsulated everything fashion in NZ stands for – Culture, the people and the future
Who are you most excited to see show this year, including any New Gen talent?
I’m excited to see Maggie Marilyn showcase at her first ever NZFW and also one of my favourite new gen talents The Starving Artist fund, founded by the incredible Natasha Ovely.
Sustainability, inclusivity & business success are at the heart of the event this year. Do these themes resonate with you and why?
I’m huge on inclusivity and diversity when it comes to my line of work – so having it as one of the themes this year is important to me. It also challenges the industry to be more conscious, inclusive in their fields as an editor, designer, stylist or model agent etc. The face of NZ has evolved and so should the fashion industry.
What inspires you about the New Zealand fashion industry?
The up & coming, diverse new designers that are making a name for themselves today is what inspires me. These new generation designers see the world with different eyes, from political to sustainability views – their brand/clothing has an important message behind it.
What does ethical fashion mean to you?
NZ as a country prides itself on its clean, green, natural image, so it’s important that the fashion industry also reflects an ethical umbrella maintaining and ensuring that our own impact on the industry is socially and environmentally mindful and fair.
What key fashion trends are you anticipating seeing on the catwalk this year?
To be honest I’m expecting everything and anything – This is NZ – expect everything from Zambesi’s dark monochrome tones to Kate Sylvester’s technicolour landscapes.
What are your thoughts on the new event location?
I’m all for change – I feel like this new location is bringing it back to the people – back to its roots – fashion without community is just clothes.
During the week on social media what are you wanting to spotlight on your personal platforms?
I want the viewer to feel included, their own personal pass to experience a day In the life of what NZFW is all about – social media is so personal now with a reaction to everything – engagement is key and I want the viewer to see and feel a genuine experience. With my own personal followers, they can spot pretentious bullshit when they see it – and I’m not about that – I’m a geek most times on my social and that’s why they follow me I guess? lol
What inspires you?
Family, music and culture
What are the go-to items that get you through the hectic week that is NZFW (your survival kit)?
Comfortable shoes & breath mints! lol