Cairns Fashion Week Designer Interview: Funoas

In the lead-up to Cairns Fashion Week this June, we have chatted with some of the creative minds behind the upcoming runway shows, which are set to be at the forefront of Australian and international fashion, all set against the breathtaking backdrop of tropical Far North Queensland.

Label: Funoas

Funoas 1

Tell us a bit about your label.

FUNOAS is a slow fashion clothing brand focusing on sustainably made, good quality and unique swimwear and accessories. Our fabric designs are inspired and derived from the patterns found in the coral reefs of our island home, the Maldives.

All of our products are made to order because it reduces the amount of textile waste ending up in landfills. Our swimwear is made from recycled polyester fabrics.
We see our designs as a platform to spur discourse on the growing climate crisis in low lying coral islands like the Maldives and other coral reef systems like the Great Barrier Reef.

What has your journey in fashion been like?

I grew up in a matriarchal Maldivian household where my aunties and grandmother were skilled embroiderers and dressmakers who taught me how to sew.

I taught myself how to design textiles and eventually started my label Funoas in 2016. So it was quite challenging to get recognised in the fashion industry, having no real “industry experience”.

I started off at the beach markets in Perth, WA and have since opened an online store where our swimwear is made to order (print on demand) and delivered worldwide. We have since done a runway show for RAW Artists in Perth and we stock in a couple of resorts and a local surf shop in the Maldives.

I think we are still quite fresh and at the beginning of our true journey in our fashion career and we are very excited and feel optimistic for our future.

How did you come to be involved in the inaugural Cairns Fashion Week?

We have always wanted to showcase our swimwear in Cairns. Our designs truly align with the tropical Cairns culture and our brand ethos also centre around creating awareness about beautiful coral reefs such as the great barrier reef that is threatened by the climate crisis.

So I applied and was accepted to showcase our collection at the Cairns Fashion Week, Neo Showcase at Crystalbrook Riley on 22 June 2023.

Which Cairns Fashion Week events can fashion lovers attend to see your designs?

We will be showcasing 12 vibrant and colourful pieces with accessories at the Neo Resort Wear and Swimwear Showcase at Crystalbrook Riley on 22nd June at 5pm.

We will also be a part of Shop the Runway, so drop by the shop to check out our collection and have a chat and get to know Funoas and what we are all about.

What excites you most about Cairns Fashion Week?

People don’t know this about me but I work as an anaesthetic technician in an operating theatre in a small hospital as my day job. So being a part of Cairns Fashion Week is so incredibly exciting and worthwhile for us, because we get to be creative and collaborate with make-up artists, models, and photographers, and meet other creatives and stylists and also network with fashion industry professionals. We are also really excited to see so many talented designers’ work up close on the runway.


Get your tickets here to see Funoas and other talented designers at Cairns Fashion Week.

Can't wait? Check out Funoas here.

Fashion Weekly is proud to partner with Cairns Fashion Week to bring you these exclusive designer spotlights.