Plus size Tongan American model for Bottega fashion festival

The first Polynesian plus size Tongan American Model for Sports Illustrated Veronica Pome’e will be gracing the Bottega Fijian Fashion festival runway which will be held on June 8 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva. Picture: VILIMAINA NAQELEVUKI

THE first Polynesian plus size Tongan American model for Sports Illustrated, Veronica Pome’e is currently in the country and will be part of the 2019 Bottega Fijian Fashion Festival this week.

In an interview with the Fiji Times today she said she is not only a representative of Tonga but of the whole Pacific region.

“I am a plus size Tongan American model, notice that I didn’t say American in the beginning because I am Tongan first,” she said.

“A lot of people don’t know that my mother Nitatua Pome’e is actually part Fijian and Samoan which is why I feel like I represent the South Pacific.”

She said she was heavily involved in community work because she wanted to create safe space for young people to be able to express themselves.

“I organized a charity fashion show and we were raising money to feed the homeless and I was also modelling in the show and a designer in the crowd approached me afterwards and asked me if I could walk for her for L A Fashion week,” she said.

“So that’s how modelling began for me and now I am the first Polynesian model for sports illustrated and also the face of sea-level rise in the South Pacific.”

She said climate change was a huge issue in the Pacific and it was important for her to raise awareness for young people.

She said she was excited and honoured to be in Fiji and to  be part of the festival.

“My parents used to live in Fiji before they moved to the states so this is cool for me to explore the side of me that I don’t know and I am expecting to see our people shine you know it’s time,” she said.

The Bottega Fijian Festival will be held on June 8 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.

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