Now Kate's clothes are causing a stir

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Store manager Vira Tavioni was excited to see the royal couple in a Tav Pacific pink dress (pictured) and blue shirt (as modelled by grandson Taputu). Photos / AP, Sarah Ivey
Store manager Vira Tavioni was excited to see the royal couple in a Tav Pacific pink dress (pictured) and blue shirt (as modelled by grandson Taputu). Photos / AP, Sarah Ivey

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has added some island flavour to her wardrobe and gained a small Pacific label international recognition overnight.

Tav Pacific, which has a store in Auckland, has been fielding calls from as far as the United States, Hong Kong, Spain, Britain and India after Kate was pictured wearing one of its floral dresses at the weekend.

She and her husband, Prince William, are on a tour of the Pacific to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

On Sunday they attended a dinner in the Solomon Islands wearing traditionally inspired clothing - Prince William in a blue-patterned island shirt and Kate in a floral dress in various shades of pink.

It was designed by Tav Pacific, more commonly known as "Tavs". The label is well known throughout the Pacific - there are stores in Rarotonga, Honolulu and Auckland.

At the Auckland store in Mt Eden Rd yesterday, manager Vira Tavioni was busy taking inquiries from all over the world after Kate's appearance in the dress, which retails for $295.

"We're making a whole new bunch of those dresses now because everyone wants a dress like hers."

The label is primarily based in Rarotonga, where Ms Tavioni's sister Ellena is the head designer and where all the label's pieces are made and hand-printed.

A few weeks ago a Solomon Islands official called into the Rarotongan store to purchase specially made dresses for children who would greet the Duke and Duchess on their arrival in the Solomon Islands this week.

When the official mentioned they also wanted to buy traditional dress for the royal couple, Ellena Tavioni declined payment and insisted they were to be a gift.

Vira Tavioni said staff were excited and humbled to see the Duchess in their gear.

"She is so beautiful and the dress suits her.

"It's unbelievable. We're a small Pacific label and suddenly Kate wears one of our dresses and this happens."

- NZ Herald

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