Samson Lee’s journey from working out of a humble home studio to becoming one of the most sought-after bridal designers in Fiji is nothing short of inspiring.
“I lost my sister to cancer and this made me reevaluate my direction in life,” he shares. As a lover of fashion and art, I decided to take the leap and start my label from my little garage studio at home in 2015.”
What truly sets Samson apart is his dedication to preserving Fijian culture and heritage through his creations. His designs are love letters to Fiji’s breathtaking landscapes and rich heritage. “Fiji’s lush environment is rooted in Fijian culture and I tell those stories through my prints,” Samson explains. Each collection is an ode to his beautiful home country, drawing inspiration from its captivating beauty.
In the world of bridal fashion, Samson stands as a beacon of culture, creativity, and sustainability. His designs tell stories, celebrate love, and honor Fiji’s rich heritage. As brides embark on their journey to “I do,” they have the opportunity to not just wear a gown, but to embrace a piece of Fijian culture crafted with love and passion by Samson Lee.
What Makes Samson Lee Different?
In contemporary Fijian culture, celebrations are marked by the selection of a particular fabric to denote a family, tribe, or couple – known as kalavata. Renowned for his kalavata designs, Samson aims to tell Fijian stories through the vibrant prints. Inviting your guests to embrace kalavata attire on your wedding day adds a unique touch of Fijian culture to your celebration.
One of the standout features of Samson’s brand is his commitment to local artisans. He sources materials within Fiji, collaborating with other small businesses in the fashion industry. “Collaboration is key in our small fashion industry,” he emphasizes. His creative process involves selecting fabrics, working closely with graphic designers and artists and meticulously swatching colors. It’s a collaborative journey that brings his designs to life.
Embracing Fijian Culture
Many international brides opt for Fijian masi gowns with a modern twist. Samson and his team take pride in creating bespoke masi gowns that cater to each bride’s preferred style. They collaborate with local artisans for both the masi itself and handcrafted accessories, adding a special Fijian touch to these destination weddings.
The Bridal Design Process
For brides-to-be, the process begins with a consultation where they share their style preferences. Samson and his team then embark on a mission to source materials locally, considering the limited options available in Fiji. Traditional masi or tapa gowns, in particular, involve a longer process, as they are specific to the bride’s maternal or paternal links. Local artisans from different provinces are involved in crafting these unique pieces. The result is a gown that embodies both tradition and contemporary elegance, requiring several fittings to ensure perfection.
For international brides looking to infuse their weddings with local flavor, Samson offers valuable advice. “Only a few local designers specialize in wedding dresses,” he notes, urging brides to plan ahead and give these designers ample time. He also recommends exploring local handicraft markets for wedding favors, suggesting items like small tanoas, fans, or Fijian chocolates – all handcrafted by Fijian women, supporting the local industry.
Wedded Wonderland is delighted to introduce the Get Wedded in Fiji 2023 digital magazine, showcasing the unparalleled beauty and allure of destination weddings in Fiji. This annual magazine is accessible to everyone at no cost, and it’s designed to inspire couples to bring their dream wedding to life in this tropical paradise.