The organization came into existence with the establishment of Nagsun Apparel in 1981 by four friends to supply garments to the local Fiji market. The company had eight machines and initially only manufactured woven shirts. By 1984, however, Nagsun was the largest supplier in Fiji with a staff complement of 150. Growth spurred the company to begin exporting to both New Zealand and Australia under the SPARTECA agreement, and by 1989 Fashion Biz had been established in Auckland, New Zealand, to supply the local apparel market. By 2008 Nagsun was 100% focused on export markets in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA and UK.
Two of the directors still play an active role within the organization, each having over 40 years’ experience in the apparel industry, specifically within manufacturing, retail and wholesale. Based in Nadi, Fiji, Nagsun Apparel currently operates out of a 2,600m2 facility and employs over 250 workers. It has a production capacity of approximately 1000 woven pieces and 2000 knitted pieces per day.
The Auckland office was opened in 1989 with 2 employees, initially operating out of a small rented property. By 1990 the number of employees had grown to 7 and the business was moved to larger premises. By 1996 there were 17 employees, and once again the business had outgrown the available space and was relocated. By 1998 the New Zealand business had quadrupled, the staff complement had doubled, and Fashion Biz was expanded into Australia. At this point, a decision was made to purchase land in Auckland and purpose-build a facility including a warehouse, showroom and offices which would future-proof growth for at least 20 years.
Building work was completed in 2004 and Fashion Biz moved into its current premises at 11 Hautu Drive in Wiri which then boasted modern showrooms, 800m² of office space and a 7000m² warehouse which holds around 5 million garments at any one time.
In 2013 a renovation project added 1000m2 of additional office space, increased the warehouse to 10,000m2 and added 1000m2 of showroom space. The New Zealand operation has around 90 employees, and includes a small but vital facility in Christchurch and a satellite office in Wellington.
The Australian operation kicked off in 1998 with 2 employees working out of a small warehouse in Botany. By 2003 there were 29 employees, and the business moved to a 3400m2 facility in Moorebank. By 2005 the business had grown considerably, with staff numbers approaching 60, and the directors made a decision to purchase a 19,000m2 plot of land in Altona, Melbourne. The construction of a custom-built 6,550m2 facility was completed in November 2005, becoming fully operational in January 2006. By this time there were 96 staff members and annual sales had climbed dramatically. At the peak of its growth the Melbourne office employed 111 people and 2008 sales exceeded all expectations.
In January 2008, a fully integrated state-of-the-art WMS (Warehouse Management System) was installed and rolled out across the various facilities. The Melbourne warehouse was subsequently expanded by 4,000m2, effectively doubling the storage capacity. In November 2007 Fashion Biz acquired 20,000m2 of land in Sydney, constructing 3 warehouses on the site … one for immediate use by Fashion Biz Sydney and the other 2 leased out until required by the business. This is one of the ways in which Fashion Biz is catering for future growth.
In 2016 construction began on a large 7,500m2 facility in Perth, Western Australia, with offices, a showroom and a warehouse. This was completed at the end of 2016 and the facility was opened, fully operational, in January 2017.
In 2008 the directors made a decision to expand Fashion Biz beyond Australasia and the Pacific, and to create a more global presence leveraging the effects of the global financial crisis on world markets against the strength and stability of the company. This decision was followed by 2 years of intensive market research which culminated in the official opening of the Canadian headquarters of Fashion Biz in Vancouver, BC in 2010.
By 2012 Fashion Biz Canada had agents representing it across the breadth of the country, and in 2013 a showroom and samples distribution centre was opened in Toronto to facilitate customers on the east coast and central regions. There are currently 20 employees in Canada.