Not Just a Model. The story behind Dui’s beautiful muse and inspiration of this years summer collection

Do you ever wonder where designers get their inspirations from? Is it nature, art, fashion, or could it be from a single person. For Dui, this summer collection took an absolute turn the day she met Demi.

“When I first met Demi I absolutely adored her. There was something about her energy… in fact everything about her.  She was the adopted daughter I wish I always had. She was beautiful and I think, it's not just about wearing clothes, it’s about letting your personality shine through.” ~ Dui 

When Dui was searching through models trying to find the face for the Summer 21 collection, she stumbled upon Demi and something really stood out. Demi’s easy going, gentle nature, and her cross cultural background, sparked something in Dui and all of a sudden everything just fell into place for the collection.

“Demi's personality glowed and there was something that made me think, there's a lot more to just making this. So let's make the story a lot more about Demi and her life, and and that's kind of where it started, and we turned a few corners and started going on a bit of a journey, which changed a little bit of the design as I got inspired by her… so I started making things for her.” ~ Dui

Demi was born into a very diverse cultural family, with a Samoan dad, born in New Zealand, and an Austrian/Scottish mum. Her grandmother, Vaega, was married to the first Prime Minister of Samoa and lived in a beautiful palace in Samoa. She was very well groomed and looked after, and had one child to him, Demi’s grandma. Regardless of the royal lifestyle she decided to break it off with him and marry someone else. She now lives in Melbourne and has 8 children in total, and many grandchildren, so it’s a big big family as you can imagine. 

“My partner and I went to Samoa a couple of years ago and it was just amazing. We went to amazing trench pools where you can see every fish in the water so clearly. There’s amazing vines everywhere, and the most vibrant greens and blues you could imagine. The heat was so hot, but I just love the tropical climates.” ~ Demi

With the Samoan influence so prevalent in her upbringing, I was keen to ask Demi a few questions so I could know more about the effect it has had on her life and the way she thinks…

What do you love most about Samoan culture?

I think what I love most about the Samoan culture is, the community, that they’re family orientated and the faith in the island!

How does your connection to Samoan culture show up in your daily life?

My connection to Samoan culture shows up when I’m surrounded by family, eating delicious & wholesome food and laughing!

Do you have a favourite Samoan saying?

My favourite Samoan saying is “taimu motu” meaning “island time”. It’s my favourite because we live in such a fast pace society these days we forget to just slow down and enjoy the moment by taking your time.

Do you have a favourite Samoan food?

The food in Samoa is insane. Palusami is a beautiful dish made with taro leaves. Taro is a very big staple in Samoa, and is like a sweet potato but it’s grey, and they use the leaves. They cook it up with garlic, onion and coconut cream, and the taro leaves are drenched in this beautiful deliciousness. When you bite into it, it’s so rich and delicious, and you’re so full afterwards, but it’s amazing.

If the world could adopt one aspect of Samoan culture, what would it be and why?

I believe the world can adopt my favourite quote “taimu motu" into their everyday lives, making us more relaxed and stress less. A lot of diseases come from a stressful environment including our bodies being in a stress response state, so take your time and slow down!

How do you think your connection to Samoan culture informs your creativity?

I think my connection with Samoan culture has formed my creativity in many ways but mostly through my love of plant medicine and natural remedies- I love aromatherapy and herbal remedies to help with any conditions I may have..I have extended to my aunty during this respiratory virus, I’ve helped her connect with the use of essential oils.

You mentioned how important cultural dancing was at school, what made it so special for you?  

Yes, it was very versatile and colourful, which is why I chose to go there from year 8 to graduation! We had many cultural dances which is seen as a celebration and positive effect to us all. It was so accepting to watch these performances, setting me up for a lifetime of respect for these cultures; this is where I think the world can benefit to put a burden on racism. We all come from different backgrounds and being able to embrace how people celebrate theirs is a true honour.

This summer we’re not just bringing you a collection of beautiful “Island Life” pieces to brighten up your summer wardrobe, but we’ll be introducing you to a bunch of amazing people, all with island heritage that we’d love you to meet. Plus there’ll be some fabulous tropical inspired recipes and traditional ones for you to try out. 

Our Boom community is diverse and inclusive, and our blogs are a platform to learn more about one another… So stay tuned!!!

BIG LOVE. BIG LIFE. xx