Fashion designer Sabra Andre from Taitung County created a stir at the 2017 Vancouver Fashion Week last month with his black-and-white themed collection that featured Taiwanese indigenous totems and cross stitch patterns.
Andre's success at the show also attracted media attention at home for the first time, even though his designs have been popular among local celebrities and buyers from the Middle East for a while.
With an innate skill for combining colors, he began to learn how to make movie posters for billboards from his uncle and by the age of 17 was earning enough to help support himself and his siblings.
"Entering the world of fashion design was totally accidental" he said.
In 2009, he won the government-sponsored Taiwan Fashion Design Award with his bold and unique designs inspired by Paiwan images.
"I was lucky" said Andre, who is one of only a handful of Taiwanese fashion designers who incorporate aboriginal symbols and totems, such as the Hundred-pace Snake totem of the Paiwan people into clothing designs.
n 2017, one of his designs, inspired by the Paiwan myth "Born in a Ceramic Pot" was showcased by the lead actor in the Taiwan film "Alifu, the Prince/ss" about a modern-day Paiwan Prince who yearns to be a woman.
"My designs do not have to be worn by celebrities, but those who wear them will become celebrities" he said.