Archive for September, 2012

DBEDT looking for Japan exhibitors

September 25th, 2012

The State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) will be participating in the Japan International Fashion Fair in January and wanted to make sure that all Hawaii apparel manufacturers are aware of the opportunity. This is the second of such trips to promote the Hawaii fashion industry in Japan, and here's a link to my story earlier this year if you want to learn more:

Or, you can read the letter straight from Dennis Ling of DBEDT's Strategic Marketing and Support Division for all the details. Tomorrow is the deadline to apply:


The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) is planning to participate in the JFW International Fashion Fair that will be held from January 23-25, 2013 at Tokyo Big Sight. The JFW-International Fashion Fair is the largest fashion trade show in Japan strictly for the trade. It attracts over 25,000 buyers, wholesalers, distributors and agents from throughout the Asia-Pacific. The January show is particularly tailored for the "summer" buying season and is especially appropriate for Hawaii apparel and accessories. As a result of the government mandate for office workers to wear "cool biz" apparel, the strong  yen, and Japan's affinity for all things Hawaii, this is the perfect time to market Hawaii products to the Japan market.

This opportunity is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and funding from the State of Hawaii. Although funds have yet to be awarded, we have received provisional approval to move forward on this project, providing that we ascertain your interest in participating in the January show (not to be confused with a July show that DBEDT participated in earlier this year), and in accordance with the following parameters:

1)  The Hawaii Pavilion will be designed as an open space (no walls or cubicled booths) that will be the equivalent to 9mX15m (approximately 27'X45' or 1,215 sq.ft.) or 15 standard booths. Space allocated to each exhibitor will not be a booth with walls, it will be part of a custom designed, open-space pavilion with designated space closely approximating 81 sq.ft. in various configurations. Design elements will provide adequate opportunity for signage and product displays. Participation in the Pavilion will be limited to 12 exhibitors.

2)  The layout was determined with the show producer to provide the best exposure for the Pavilion, attractiveness to prospective buyers and room for interaction with customers. As a result of this layout concept, the show producer has agreed to provide raw space for 15 booths, but only charging us for 12.

3)  A professional tradeshow pavilion designer will be contracted to design the Hawaii Pavilion.

4)  There will be a registration fee of $750 per exhibitor for one space, which will closely approximate 81 sq.ft. Note: The actual cost for raw (unfurnished) 3x3m floor space is $4,600 and the cost of a basic booth set-up (walls, lighting, signage, etc.) is another $1,500 for a total of $6,100 per booth, so each space is heavily subsidized.

5) For exhibitors interested in signing up for two spaces, the total fee will be $4,500.   Likewise, this is heavily subsidized  given the real cost for two spaces is $12,200.  Priority and choice of location and design flexibility will be given to those companies purchasing two booth spaces.

6)  Exhibitors must be registered and in good standing with the Business Registration Division of the State Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs and have a current General Excise Tax License with the State Department of Taxation.

7)  Exhibitors must be export ready and  have products that can be imported into Japan.

8)  Exhibitors must provide to DBEDT information on export sales and contacts made at the show, or anticipated to be made as a result of participating in the show. This is a requirement of the SBA and the results will be used to determine the continuation of this project.

9)  Exhibitors must meet the size requirements for a small business (SBA definition), be in business for not less that one year, be operating profitably, and not be prohibited from receiving federal funds.

We would appreciate knowing your level of interest by reserving a space in the January 2013 trade show by Sept. 26, 2012. Please respond by e-mail with the following information:

Please reserve a space for me at the JFW-Japan International Fashion Fair, Jan. 23-25, 2013.

Name of Company:
Contact Person:
Contact phone number and e-mail address:
Number of spaces interested in:
Check space here ______    to confirm agreement  with the above parameters:

Should have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Marlene Hiraoka at 587-2758.

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!

Dennis T. Ling
State of Hawaii
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
Strategic Marketing and Support Division

Red carpet: 'Hawaii Five-0' Season 3

September 23rd, 2012

h50alex1Nadine Kam photos
"Hawaii Five-0" star Alex O'Loughlin interviewed by Mexican television Claro TV on the red carpet.

The mutual love fest between "Hawaii Five-0" and its fans was on display during the Sunset on the Beach showcase of the series' season 3 premiere episode tonight, Sept. 23.

Six members of the Alex O'Loughlin fan club, Long Legs O'Loughlin were first on the beach at 7:30 p.m. last night, braving the rain for their place in front of the line closest to the spot where the stars step off the red carpet and onto the sand.

Audrey Manasterski and Mary Enriquez said executive producers Peter Lenkov and Robert Orci stopped by last night, promising them a treat in the morning, and true to their word, they showed up with boxes of Liliha Bakery Coco Puffs for all the fans.

By then they were joined by Beth Arritt and her friends, back for another close encounter with their heartthrob, Alex.

This time around, a couple of the main stars were missing. Male reporters were especially disappointed that Grace Park wasn't there, and Scott Caan also wasn't there due to a loss in his family.

But Alex's fans were happy. After the media interviews, I checked back with them, and they were enthralled to pick up more autographs and photos with the stars. Enriquez was especially elated to get Alex's autograph for her friend Elsie, who recently lost her husband.

About 8,000 fans showed up to watch the episode and catch a glimpse of the stars, and it seemed as if the press gallery doubled in size as well, with Claro TV and Miami-based Investigation Discovery broadcasting to the international Hispanic market, which reporters said is a huge supporter of the series as well.

There were some fans who also were ready to play fashion police, telling reporters they were appropriately dressed in beachy casual dresses, while critiquing L.A. types covered up in leather looks and leggings, saying, "Didn't they get the memo?"

For more information, visit

h50legsAudrey Manasterski, left, and Mary Enriquez of Long Legs O'Loughlin, a vast social network for fans of Alex O'Loughlin were first to arrive for Sunset on the Beach, one night prior to the event. They came prepared with items to sign, and Alex was happy to oblige. Mary said she's starting on her scrapbook for the new season, her fourth paying tribute to Alex.

h50fansSisters Claira and Erin Parsons were joined on the beach by Beth Arritt and Mary Beth Nielsen, who changed her vacation dates to indulge her friend's passion for "Five-0" and Alex. The series is very good for Hawaii tourism.

h50signBeth had already picked up executive producers Peter Lenkov and Robert Orci's signatures earlier in the morning, when they dropped off Coco Puffs for the fans. She was anticipating picking up the stars' signatures as well.

h50michelleMichelle Borth arrived in a dress by Alice + Olivia and footwear, below, by Tabitha Simmons. She plays Steve McGarett's love interest in "Five-0," and when asked if she was lucky to be kissing Alex in the series, she said he's the lucky one, before sharing that he hates it when she smokes and she hates it when he eats tuna, so that's exactly what they do before their scenes to lighten the mood.


h50masi2Masi Oka (Dr. Max Bergman), dressed in a Hugo Boss suit, waves to fans from the red carpet.

h50daniel2Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly), in a Theory suit, talks to reporters on the red carpet.

h50alex4Alex wore a Prada suit, though he didn't know the brand of his wingtips. (more…)

Beauty spot: DFS asks 'How do I Look?'

September 20th, 2012

howwindow2Nadine Kam photos
Past and present University of Hawaii at Manoa APDM students created ensembles inspired by luxury handbags for the DFS Galleria Waikiki fall window displays.

DFS Galleria Waikiki launched its “How Do I Look?” event Monday with a beauty event upstairs in DFS Beauty World, ground-floor luxury fashion show and appearance by Japanese celebrity model Jessica Michibata.

The galleria has gone all-out to dress for the event, with world-class floor-to-ceiling displays, with illustrations done by French artist Jean-Pierre Busson, and also incorporating the talent of homegrown designers, students and graduates of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Apparel, Product Design and Merchandising program.

It's about time retailers showcased local talent. In New York, stores like Berdorf Goodman, Saks and Barney's often showcase the work of F.I.T. and Parsons students. In this case, the local students were charged with creating garments inspired by specific luxury bags.

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The free event started in the morning with free makeup services offered on the first floor, with stations set up for lip color, eyes and mascara, nails and hands, face makeup and a fragrance, highlighting Guerlain’s Le Petit Robe Noir.

The event will continue daily during galleria hours through Sept. 30, with beauty experts sharing the latest in fall cosmetics tips and trends.

A "Beauty After Dark" party with DJ music and champagne will take place from
8 to 10 p.m. Sept. 22 and 29.

Those who purchase $500 or more at DFS Beauty World during the event will receive a gift of a cosmetic case.

howwindowHead-to-toe, floor-to-ceiling showcase featuring illustrations by French artist Jean-Pierre Busson, luxury accessories and handbags, and garments by UHM students.

howloveInteresting choice of Spongebob Squarepants for a display of handbags by Marc Jacobs.

howInterior dressing at DFS Galleria Waikiki for the "How Do I Look?" event.


lvWhile you're in Waikiki, stop by the nearby Louis Vuitton store for a look at the incredible window installations, above and below, in collaboration with artist Yayoi Kusama.


Now open: Andy South Atelier

September 19th, 2012

asNadine Kam photos
Andy South Atelier is now open at 12 S. King St. This is a peek into the showroom, which looks like a New York loft. The building's second story houses her corporate headquarters, workspace and showroom.

Andy South hosted "An Afternoon of Good Taste" Sept. 15, inviting industry professionals for a first look at Andy South Atelier, which encompasses the second-story at 12 S. King St., and is now the home of her corporate headquarters, workspace and showroom.

Guests were invited to mingle in the ground-floor courtyard for Andy South-inspired cocktails by St. Germain’s Maria Burke, as well as light fare by Brassiere Du Vin's executive chef Marco Elder, before a blessing. Guests then climbed the stairs and took off their shoes before entering the Atelier's grand showroom. It is so stunning! I know I wanted to move in immediately. The light pouring through the loft windows is too beautiful to resist. If I worked here, I would never feel like leaving, which works out well for the tireless Andy, who's been known to pull all-nighters in transforming concepts into reality.

as2Andy South and bestie Jill Misawa in the heart of the Atelier.

A workspace in a side wing of the space reminded me of the workroom of "Project Runway," where was introduced to Andy South two years ago. She could have easily taken her business to China, but created the workspace to make the bigger commitment of keeping her line "made in Hawaii."

In addition to the ready-to-wear being showcased at the Atelier, Andy’s plans include a small collection of ready-to-wear bridal gowns, as well as offering Hawaii and destination brides the opportunity to have a gown designed especially for them. A flagship retail space is also in the works.

For now, visits to Andy South Atelier are by appointment only. Call (808) 744-1167 or visit Or shop at

Congratulations Andy!

asentrySerenity at the entryway.

asworkspaceThe workspace is bright and airy.

aspatternsThe patterns.

asskirtThis ensemble is so chic in balancing the simplicity of a plain cotton blouse and the theatricality of a floor-length trumpet skirt.

asredA fiery creation.

astobyFrom left, Jena Kissinger, Amanda Morris and Hifi's Toby Portner.

asmomAndy South's mother Nora Sisounthone, left, and Pacific Gateway Center executive director Dr. Tin Myaing Thein, who gave Andy her first workspace at the center. (more…)

A new look at Reyn Spooner

September 13th, 2012

reynmodelsNadine Kam photos
Kris Tanahara with models Hunter Wyndham, left, and Brad Kryzykowski, in Reyn Spooner ensembles.

Reyn’s Ala Moana has undergone a serious makeover, reopening in the Macy's wing of Ala Moana Center as the Reyn Spooner store. A grand opening celebration took place Sept. 12 to mark a new look for both the brand and its retail environment, with open spaces a clear views that make it easy to shop on sight.

Tim McCullough, retired CEO and president of the company founded by his father said he loves the look of the new store and direction of current CEO Kirk Hubbard, saying, "It showcases the products beautifully and has an understated elegance, which is what the brand is all about."

Tim's sister Colleen McAluney, who was also brought up working for the company, also said she liked the store's "beautiful, modern clean lines that are close to the line itself."

Reyn's is one of the few remaining original tenants of Ala Moana Center, who shares its anniversary with Statehood, and I had a blast talking to Jackie Harris, one of the store's original employees, who was hired as a gift wrapper in 1959 at age 16.

She said she practically forced Reyn to hire her because she was there everyday bugging him.

I was like, "Why did you want to work there? You could have gone to Sears or Watumull's."

She said, "Oh, you should have seen all the good-looking young  guys applying here!"

Of course the next question was whether she ended up hooking up with any of them.

"No, but we remained good friends. Working here was always like being with family. It's such a good place to work," she said.

reynKooksie and Tim McCullough, longtime CEO and president of the company his father established.

reynsoulMost people attending the event didn't know it, but they were also getting a sneak peek at a Reyn Spooner-Leather Soul collaboration shirt with a print in Leather Soul colors of brown and orange, worn by Shane Matsuda, at left. It will be one of the garments available when Leather Soul, coming full circle, reopens a downtown store in December. Growing beyond shoes, Leather Soul owner Tom Park, center, said it will be a full haberdashery. Justin Cariaga, right, will manage the Merchant Street shop.

reyn1Reyn Spooner CEO Kirk Hubbard, in lei, with, from left, Barron Guss, Malia Chung and Joey Lee.

reyn3Tim McCullough's sister Colleen McAluney, left, who also spent many years as a buyer for the company. She's with Brian Holt, who built the new store, and his wife Marsha and daughter Hannah.

reyn5Kirk Hubbard with Alice Galloway and Jackie Harris.

reynorigIn case you forgot what the original store looked like, the new store features a photo of Reyn's founder Reyn McCullough at the original Ala Moana Center shop with brick exterior.

reynadAnother in-store photo: Reyn McCullough, far right, posed for his own circa-1970s advertisement in a Jams jumpsuit by Surf Line Hawaii. Facing him is the Territorial and state's first governor's son, Billy Quinn. (more…)

Topshop and Topman have arrived

September 13th, 2012

topwomenNadine Kam photos
Topshop and Topman have moved into Nordstrom Ala Moana! The Sensationalist collection is all about the rocker girl.

Topshop and Topman launched this week at Nordstrom Ala Moana, and to celebrate, the store will host a fashion party from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

There will be an exclusive gift of nail polish and lipgloss, or leather belt, with purchase of $100 or more (while supply lasts), in Topshop or Topman products, a sneak peek of the cosmetics line with beauty appointments and personal styling appointments throughout the day.

A full selection of the British brands’ merchandise for both men (first floor) and women (third floor) will be featured, as well as limited-edition pieces exclusive to Nordstrom.

I didn't know how much to expect, but a peek at the new sections Tuesday offered a good selection, probably a fifth the size of the full-size boutique in SoHo, but enough variation to give a good representation of what Topshop is all about.

Topshop and Topman are known for an individualistic, eclectic approach to fashion. Fall women’s collections are themed “Sensationalist” for rock-chick style, “Pennsylvania” for Southern belle style-meets-boyish charm, and the classic 1960s “Factory Girl” style.

toplookThe Factory Girl collection is edgy femme, built on classic pieces with contemporary twists.

topgiftA pairing of Topshop lipstick and nail enamel is one of the gifts with purchase that will be offered during Saturday's launch party. It'll be offered while supplies last, so it's recommended you come early.

topmenA trio of men's looks in the Topman section on the ground floor.

topmancaveA comfy man cave is connected to the dressing rooms.

topensembleThis herringbone jacket is priced at $220.

topjacketThis polyester-wool skinny suit jacket is $300.

topaccessEverything from caps and socks to undies.

topmanMore casual pieces from Topman. Printed sweatshirts are $60.

Nicole Richie for Impulse collection debuts

September 12th, 2012

nicole richieMacy's photos
The Nicole Richie for Impulse" collection debuted today at Macy's.

The new "Nicole Richie for Impulse" collection debuted today at Macy's stores and macy', but fans can also shop online at

The new 25-piece collection features limited-edition items in the designer's classic style, including 1960s- and 1970s-influenced bohemian silhouettes, prints and fabrications.


Like the Olsen twins, Nicole has been one of my style icons for a long time. Us petites have to stick together. Plus, during the period she was besties with Paris Hilton, I spotted her wearing one of the Dior tops I own, so naturally I figured she has good taste, though due to her lifestyle, she's more boho than I am.

If I didn't have to sit at a desk, I'd be more boho and romantic too!

Naturally, as a woman who writes her own rules, her free-spirited collection is the definition of uninhibited individualism, which takes the form of flowing maxi dresses, studded jackets, faux leather pants, lace trimmed printed dresses for the ultra-femmes, as well as peacock and feather motifs, a jewel palette and retro prints.

nr2A long-sleeve, high-neck feather-print dress with lace inserts at the waist, $69.

nr3A 1970s-style sleeveless ladylike V-neck printed bow-tie blouse to wear with a pencil skirt or high-waisted trousers, $59.

Bobbie Thomas's tips for fall dressing

September 12th, 2012

bobbie3Nadine Kam photos
Stylist Bobbie Thomas, second from left, backstage with KITV's Jill Kuramoto, Andrea Abraham, Robyn Gee and Neazel Calaro, after her Fall Trend Workshop on Ala Moana Center's Centerstage, on Sept. 8.

NBC "Today" show style editor Bobbie Thomas made her way to Honolulu for two events that were part of Ala Moana Center's Fall Fashion Event that took place Sept. 6 through 9.

First, the style expert shared the latest trends and tips for wearing them during a Fall Trend Workshop that took place Sept. 7 on Centerstage. I had a scare that night when, while photographing models from the Reyn Spooner fashion show earlier in the day, I put down my video camera in the planters fronting the stage, and forgot to pick it up when I left.

When I remembered I'd left it there, I rushed back and it was gone. So staffers contacted security, and I had a look back stage, just in case. When I came out, a woman came up to me and pulled my camera from her bag. She said she was going to turn it in to security after the show, but in the moment didn't want to give up her seat for Bobbie's show. I was so grateful. The camera had two days of unedited video on it, and I got it back in time for Bobbie's presentation, a part of which is below:

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Among the fall trends she cited were menswear suiting, mixed prints, florals, brocade and baroque, military, jumpsuits, pleather, peplums and winter whites.

It was great to meet the stylist, who is warm, energetic and down to earth, the same characteristics that made her a good counselor prior to her entering the world of fashion. Not exactly your usual trajectory, but she made it work.

She calls herself a "professional girlfriend" and that's the quality that allows women to warm up to her advice, which is different from others who might come across as scolds or dominatrixes of fashion, forcing their rules on people. That only causes people to rebel, even from good advice, and with her background in psychology, Bobbie understands that doesn't work when all you really want to do is encourage people to do something that will benefit themselves in the long run.

I would have loved to check out her Girl's Night Out party the next night, but was committed to attending the biggest event of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, which overlapped the Fall Fashion Event. So, HFWF may push its 2013 event later next year.

bobbie2Fans of Bobbie Thomas chased her backstage after her Fall Trend Workshop. Here, she gives a young fashionista lessons in posing for the camera.

bobbieThis woman just wanted to find out where to buy a winter white cardigan in Bobbie's show. It was from Nordstrom.

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