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Kate's dress sparks global calls to NZ store

By Renee Girven

Published: 10:50AM Wednesday September 19, 2012 Source: ONE News

A Pacific clothing label says it will probably need to bring in more staff to cope with the huge demand for its garments after the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing one of its dresses while on tour in the Solomon Islands.

Everything Catherine wears flies off the shelf, and a pink floral dress from Tav Pacific is no different.

Vira Tavioni, who manages Tav Pacific in Mt Eden in Auckland, told onenews.co.nz she has received calls from Dubai, the United States and Europe, including Italy and Ireland, after Catherine was photographed wearing the Tav printed dress on Sunday.

The label is popular throughout the Pacific, with stores based in Rarotonga, where Tavioni's sister and head designer for Tav Pacific, Ellena Tavioni works, and in Honolulu.

ONE News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver was the first to reveal that the pink dress was designed by Ellena after speaking to the Duchess.

Catherine told Dreaver she thought the printed dress was "really lovely".

Tavioni said there had been more interest in all of the retailer's dresses, but Catherine's dress was the biggest seller after pictures were published around the world of her wearing it at a dinner with the Governor-General of the Solomon Islands.

She said more staff would most likely be needed in Rarotonga, where all Tav garments are locally hand-painted and hand-block printed, as it tries to keep up with the demand.

"We're making more of the dresses now. I don't know how many more people we will need to make them," she said.

Tav Pacific New Zealand posted on its Facebook page: "We have had a huge response in regards to the Kate Middleton Dress. The material is currently being printed in Rarotonga so orders should start arriving soon. We will keep you all posted (those of you that have ordered) when we have all the dresses in store and when we will start posting :)."

'We're over the moon'

Tavioni said she "got a shock" when she saw the Duchess in the dress and rang her sister Ellena straight away.

Ellena was "really excited" about it, Tavioni said.

"She had always wanted Kate to wear one of our dresses, but didn't know how to do it.

"It was just amazing. We are honoured. We're over the moon."

She said getting exposure for the local designer will also be good for the Pacific.

Tav gifted the dress to Catherine and a printed shirt to William.

The dress retails for $295. It comes in different colours, including red and orange, in a shorter version, and a haltered version.

Ellena also outfitted all the supporters and provided shirts for the leaders attending the event, and was commissioned by an organiser for the royal visit to make the dresses for the two children presenting flowers to the royal couple.

Tav exports to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and other Pacific Islands.

The Duchess wore her hair down and curly for the event and she paired the traditional dress with her Stuart Weitzman Minx Wedges, a gold Catherine Zoraida bracelet and a pair of gold and pink drop earrings.

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