Tongan flag bearer strips off on catwalk at Pacific Fashion show


Tongan Olympian Pita Taufatofua, more popularly known as the oiled up Tongan flag bearer, has wowed viewers again - this time on the catwalk.

At the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show in east Auckland on Saturday night, Taufatofua wore fashion pieces inspired by Pacific motifs with Western trends.

There were squeals from the crowd as he stripped off to show his rock hard abs and chiselled pecs - already beloved around the world thanks to his appearance during the Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony.

The 32-year-old Taekwondo competitor sent social media into a frenzy after his oiled-up, shirtless walk as flag bearer wowed crowds.

At the fashion event, hosted by stylist Nora Swann, Taufatofua said the message of the show was about telling the world what the Pacific has to offer.

"We have the best to offer the world and it's really important that we become leaders and not just followers. I believe, honestly, we have the best to give and I want that to come across, I want to inspire the next generation to be proud of that and to chase those things down."

Tongan flag bearer strips off on catwalk at Pacific Fashion show

Pasifika patterns featured in the garments shown at the event (Lydia Paxie)

He says he has been kept very busy since Rio.

"We're receiving hundreds and hundreds of messages a day; so many weird and wonderful things - I've had marriage proposals!"

He says he didn't have time for modelling before - one of the many opportunities that have come up since he became a viral hit.

"I'm feeling excited. One thing I did want to get across is it's not just the oily flag bearer guy, it's not just me, it's us - us in the Pacific," says Taufatofua.

"I want everyone to maintain this excitement and be proud of who they are, be proud of our new Zealand roots, Tongan roots, Australian roots, Maori roots, Samoan roots - we are the Pacific."