Model Fili Tapa Talks To Us Ahead of his Return to Pacific Runway

Photo Credit: Pati Tyrell

Pacific Runway is returning to Sydney this week to showcase the creme de la creme of the Pacific Fashion industry, not only for their designers but also their hair and make-up artists, stylists, those working behind the scenes and so much more.

Pacific Runway is a fashion show platform for established and emerging fashion designers from all over the Pacific origin, with an invitation to showcase their Resort ’18/19 collections worn by the hottest Pacific origin and multicultural models, another highlight of the show.

Returning to the runway this year is New Zealand model Fili Tapa and we had the chance to chat to him about his start, his style and his favourite donut.

How were you discovered and what got you interested in pursuing modelling?

I was asked by a friend last year to help model for the first time in a runway show for a designer from Hawaii. Little did I know one of the outfits was to wear a malu. Google “Hawaiian Malu” lol I was already nervous walking on the runway let alone wearing a malu but this experience helped build my confidence which sparked a new interest in runway modelling.

Photo Credit: Pati Tyrell

What has been your favourite aspect of modelling so far in your career?

I really enjoy meeting and being around creative people passionate about their art.

How does it feel representing the Pacific Islander community in the fashion world globally?

I love it! There’s not enough Pacific Island Models, especially Male Pacific models in the industry and we need to be recognized globally we are here.

Photo Credit: Fili Tapa Instagram

What keeps you motivated daily to pursue this career?

A short-term goal of mine is to be recognised globally as the male model face of the Pacific.

What has been your favourite photoshoot/campaign so far?

By far outdoor photo shoots are my jam but a shoot I did with up-coming photographer Pati Tyrell has been an absolute delight. Remember his name.

Tell us about your personal style and where do you draw inspiration from?

I’m a Summer body so a lot of my fashion inspo comes from a fusion of Tropical Pacific and European Summer sailing with everything in between.

Photo Credit: Pati Tyrell

What has been your favourite city to visit so far during your career?

London is currently my fave.

If you weren’t modelling, what career would you be pursuing?

I’d be acting.

Photo Credit: Tim Copsey

What’s the best thing about being a model?

Getting to show the energy of fashion and bringing to life the designers vision.

What’s a fact that someone would be surprised to know about you?

I love anime.

Photo Credit: Pati Tyrell

Do you have any advice for Pacific Islanders who are interested in pursuing careers in the fashion industry?

Just do it. Just try and keep trying.
Pacific islanders are unique and underrepresented despite being global citizens and travellers.

Since you’re a donut enthusiast on your Instagram, what’s your favourite donut flavour of all time and what’s the best donut you’ve had before?

I’m a huge believer about the quality and of the dough. The easy part is the topping but if you get the dough right it doesn’t matter how you decorate it the taste of the dough will speak for itself. I love the traditional glazed donut and lately I’ve been dining a lot at Doornuts in Auckland, New Zealand to please my donut cravings.

Photo Credit: Dusk Devi