Hawaiian May! returns
BY NADINE KAM / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hawaii Tourism Japan, JTB and Hawaiian May! presented the second annual Hawaiian May! 2014, a three-day celebration of Hawaii food, fashion and culture in Honolulu.
Events started with the Hawaiian May! Food Summit Thursday at Jefferson Elementary School. A gathering of food trucks was paired with shopping the original vendors of Art+Flea.
The highlight of the event was the Hawaiian May! Collection 2014 Fashion Show on Friday at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Hawaii brands featured in the showcase were Aloha Aina Boutique, Gillia, Angels By The Sea Hawaii, Fighting Eel, MB by Matt Bruening, MUSE by RIMO, Mu'umu'u Heaven, Issa De' Mar, Pualani, San Lorenzo, and 88 Tees.
The event was created to promote new Hawaii fashion brands in Japan, so tickets are available only to visitors from that country, but the show was visible to all who wanted a peek at the outdoor runway stage from the beach, where photographers and videographers captured the proceedings from scaffolding on the sand.
Local models walked with some of Japan's top models in showcasing Hawaii designers' apparel. Japan models drawing cheers from their fans were Jessica Michibata, Hinano Yoshikawa, Nicole Ishida, Hana Imai, Yuri Ebihara, Moe Oshikiri, Miwako Kakei, Natsuki Kato, Mie, Angelica Michibata, and TOMMY.
Most interesting to me was how press is managed in Japan, where organizers keep a tight rein on the media.
We were given lengthy lists of how and where to set up and who we could and could not photograph or videotape, whose images we could use on Facebook and Twitter, and how many. It was a little funny, because while the models may be big in Japan, here they're pretty much the equivalent of any girl off the street.
Our instructions read: "Please note that each model, each talent have specific guideline on exposing on SNS such as Facebook and Twitter."
I got a little taste of that when I was approached months ago to write a story about a Japan model, but we would not be allowed to dress and photograph her in local designs because the model's Japanese management wanted to control every aspect of her image and get compensated for the exposure given to local designers.
In a way, it’s to their advantage because they do have control and do get paid for every little thing they do. A lot of us naturally tend to want to help others and collaborate, which means a lot of working free for experience and exposure, or at reduced rates to accommodate people.
But, from my point of view, they needed me more than I needed them, so I turned down the story.
Even more interesting, while I was in Shanghai I learned that in China, journalists get paid to attend events! After events, they're just handed envelopes containing wads of cash. Now there's a concept! Imagine how rich I would be if that were the case in America!
Check out the videos below from the first half of the show (I had to leave for another event), plus Takami Bridal footage from Saturday's afterparty at 53 by the Sea.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.