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Luncheon features local fashion

By
July 25th, 2015



BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

"Project Runway" alumnus Kini Zamora will join Manuheali'i designer Danene Lunn and Allison Izu for a special fashion showcase during the 46th annual Hui Makaala Scholarship Luncheon on Sunday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Zamora will show a range of day-to-night looks spanning his varied collections, from the casual Hawaiian spirit of his KZ Hawai'i designs to evening gowns and bridal wear; Lunn will share the latest Manuheali'i designs and Izu will present a lineup of mix-and-match separates.

23-D1-KZ-Bridal-2015-05_ne-1919443

46TH HUI MAKAALA SCHOLARSHIP LUNCHEON

Featuring Allison Izu, Danene Lunn and Kini Zamora

» Where: Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Ballroom

» When: Noon Sunday (fashion show at 1:30 p.m.)

» Cost: $75

» Info: Call (808) 551-7868

For Zamora, a designer with a taste for the avant garde, the market reality of life after "Runway" has meant being pulled into every design direction under the sun. A people pleaser at heart, he's not immune to the demand of customers who all have different ideas about what they would like to see from him.

"The range of different customers in Hawaii is so wide. My day wear is for the customer who wants to wear my brand but wants affordable," he said. "I could put out all these couture dresses but the reality is, no one can afford couture and no one is going to wear it every day. No matter what the price point, I still put myself into it."

He entered the bridal world after hearing from women who said they wanted to be more comfortable on their wedding day but couldn't find dresses to fill the bill. So he introduced dresses with the stretch of Lycra.

And, in an economy where practicality reigns, he said, "They want the option of cutting it short and wearing it again." He obliged with looks that can easily be hemmed and look intentional both long and short.

"I see a lot of gowns that are heavily embellished with layers of lace that look so heavy and don't fit in with the beach weddings and simple ceremonies here. I wanted to create gowns with simple silhouettes that are elegant but also sexy."

Career demands have pulled the designer away from home for months, and Zamora admits he's finding it hard to find balance in life.

"As much as I like to do everything myself, I'm lucky to have Dean (Satta) helping me. I have a brand ambassador now, an accountant and sales team that are really helping me bring my vision to life. Mostly, they're family, because that's who I can trust, who can support me in a great way.

"I see my business slowly growing, which is what I want. I don't want go from zero to 2,000 because I've seen that happen to other brands that have failed."

The designer's long absences from home, during which he's been mysteriously incommunicado, raise the question: Is there a "Project Runway: All Stars" or other TV program in his future?

He laughed, offering only that fans will find out in October.

The new season of "Project Runway" premieres Aug. 6 on Lifetime. Season 5 of "All Stars" starts early next year.

KZ Hawai'i designs are available online at www.kinizamora.com. Zamora's bridal dresses are available exclusively for $900 to $2,500 at WhiteHot Hawaii, 3457 Waialae Ave., Suite 201, in Kaimuki.

———

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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Black Friday deals loom

By
November 27th, 2014



I don’t have to warn you to be careful out there when it comes to holiday spending. According to WalletHub, Hawaii is one of the more frugal states, coming in at 44 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in a 2014 study of “States With the Biggest Spenders.”

(It’s likely because there’s little discretionary income left after paying for our homes, cars, utilities, health care and food.)

To help you along with holiday shopping, stores are rolling out discounts for Black Friday, which starts as early as Thursday at many stores. Here are a few places to start:

ALA MOANA CENTER

27 D2 black friday pixBlack Friday is ThanksGetting Day at the center, where some stores will open the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day and stay open through Friday night.

Pick up a free shopping guide for information on specials and store sales or visit AlaMoanaCenter.com for a list of early store openings. Free valet parking will be offered at three locations: for drivers who enter from Piikoi Street, on Level 4 of the parking structure near Longs Drugs; for those who enter from Ala Moana Boulevard, on Mall Level 2 near Morton’s the Steakhouse and Lon­ghi’s; and on Mall Level 2 near Nordstrom.

A limited-edition Big Santa stocking holder is the center’s gift with purchase, celebrating the mall’s iconic Santa sculpture. Spend $500 to receive the gift while supplies last, with a limit of one per person. Receipts dated Nov. 7 through Dec. 24, with no more than three individual receipts per store, will be accepted (gift card purchases do not count). Must be 13 or older to participate.

EDEN IN LOVE

This Black Friday sale is so big, it’s moved out of the boutique and into two conference rooms on the second floor at Ward Warehouse, where there will be tiered savings from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Get in line by 8 a.m. to get your hand stamped to receive 50 percent off all items all day. Otherwise, discounts are as follows:

» 50 percent off between 6 and 8 a.m.

» 40 percent off from 8 to 10 a.m.

» 30 percent off from 10 a.m. to noon

» 20 percent off from noon to closing

Enjoy 20 percent off Saturday and Sunday as well. Call (808) 591-1005 for more information.

THEFACESHOP

Early birds will get the best of tiered savings on all items in the store. Be in line at specified hours to receive the following:

» 30 percent off between 9 and 11 a.m.

» 25 percent off from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

» 20 percent off between 1 and 9 p.m.

Savings continue Saturday and Sunday, when merchandise will be 10 percent off all day. On top of discounts, there will be gifts with purchase. Stores are at McCully Shopping Center (941-3223) Ward Warehouse (589-3223) and Wai­malu Plaza, 98-1277 Kaahumanu St. (483-3223).

GINGER13

The downtown boutique will be hosting a Black Friday trunk show of petite women’s designs by Alison Izu, as well as the designer’s family collection Love & Aloha.

Also shop for designs by Ten Tomorrow, Rumi Mura­kami and Ginger13 jewelry, and gifts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The boutique is at 22 S. Pau­ahi St.

KAHALA MALL

The official opening is at 7 a.m. Friday, although some stores will open as early as 5 a.m. Others will open on Thanksgiving Day.

Shoppers who purchase $200 or more in same-day receipts (maximum of two receipts per store) between 6 and 11 a.m. Friday will receive a $10 Kahala Mall gift certificate and a selection of breakfast items from Whole Foods Market accompanied by a free cup of coffee from Starbucks, in the Center Court area of the mall. (The gift-with-purchase redemption runs from 7 to 11 a.m.)

A gift wrap center will be open between Macy’s and Champs Sports Dec. 6-7, 13-14 and 18-24 during mall hours. Show your same-day receipts from Kahala Mall to get the first gift wrap free, with a minimal charge for each additional wrapping service.

MUUMUU HEAVEN

The annual Green Friday sale will feature a 25 percent discount on all MH merchandise, with discounts of 10 to 25 percent on merchandise by Estrela, MI Nei and Pirate Crush jewelry, Aloha Friday sunglasses and Jenn Johnson art from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 767 Kai­lua Road. Call (808) 263-3366.

PEARLRIDGE CENTER

The mall will officially open at midnight Friday, although some merchants, including Toys R Us (5 p.m. Thursday), Macy’s and Sears (6 p.m. Thursday), will open earlier.

Keep the kids entertained with a ride on the Pearlridge Express train in Uptown Center Court. The train runs daily through Jan. 4, with tickets priced at $3.50.

ROYAL HAWAIIAN CENTER

The 25-foot-tall holiday tree in the Royal Grove sets the mood for holiday cheer, with stores open during regular hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily throughout the holiday season.

The center offers an hour of free parking with validation of a $10 minimum purchase, then $2 per hour for the next two hours for a maximum of three hours. After three hours, standard parking is $2 per 20 minutes.

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

From Friday through Sunday, shop for 50 percent off select men’s and women’s apparel, and 30 to 50 percent off handbags and accessories from the famed London designer.

The boutique is in the Wes­tin Moana Surfrider at 2365 Kala­kaua Ave. Call (808) 744-5402.

WINDWARD MALL

The mall will officially open at 6 a.m. Friday, although select retailers will open on Thanksgiving Day. Visit WindwardMall.com for details. Share your experience on social media with the hashtag #WINDWARDJOY to be eligible to win prizes from the mall.

Also get into the holiday spirit at a “Dear Santa” letter-writing station, open through Dec. 24 in the Sears wing.

WINDWARD MEDISPA & VEIN CENTER

Get tiered savings on products and beauty packages between 9 a.m. and noon Friday. Save on everything from facial packages to laser hair removal, liposuction and injectable treatments.

Receive 30 percent off between 9 and 10 a.m., 25 percent off from 10 to 11 a.m. and 20 percent off from 11 a.m. to noon. Products such as Environ, Yonique 3D fiber lashes and Dr. Spiller’s Organics will be offered at 20 percent off from 9 to 10 a.m. and 15 percent off from 10 a.m. to noon.

Or, buy a $100 gift card and receive four $25 gift cards (must be given to different people).

The medi­spa is at 25 Malu­niu Ave., Suite 202. You can also shop via phone at (808) 261-8346.

———

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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Zamora preps 2015 collection

By
October 30th, 2014



BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Sean Kelly may have won “Project Runway” Season 13, but Hawaii designer Kini Zamora set himself up to be a winner over the long haul. The spring/summer 2015 collection he will show Nov. 7 builds on the black-and-white collection he showed during the TV design competition’s finale.

20141021-1790 FTR KINI FASHION  Kini Zamora (right), Project Runway designer and his partner, Dean “Dinko” Satta (left), are are with one of their KINIandDINKO fashion pieces in their collection that will be unveiled for Hawaii Fashion Month at the Ha

KINIandDINKO COLLECTION

Inaugural fashion show with KD Hawaii pop-up shop

» Where: Hawai‘i Convention Center

» When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7

» Cost: Free

Full-Circle: A Dining and Fashion Experience

Featuring dinner, silent auction, and fashion by Kini Zamora, Ari South and Manuheali‘i

» Where: Stage restaurant, Honolulu Design Center, 1250 Kapiolani Blvd.

» When: 5:30 p.m. Nov. 19

» Cost: $100, $150, $200

» Info: hccrsvp@hawaii.edu

Living in Hawaii, Zamora is well aware of the struggle most people have in making ends meet, so he is sensitive to the plight of those who want to look stylish while still making the rent and putting food on the table. Thus a black-and-white wardrobe also made sense to him from an economical perspective.

“They are timeless colors, and these are timeless pieces that people can wear for a long time,” Zamora said. “I’m not just thinking of one season, but pieces that can be carried over multiple collections and mixed and matched with future collections.”

He’s been working 15-hour days — that start at 3 a.m. alongside design partner Dean “Dinko” Satta — and the collection will be their first for their contemporary women’s ready-to-wear brand KINIandDINKO. During the Nov. 7 showcase they will also offer a pop-up shop offering Hawaiian-print apparel from their KD Hawaii line.

The two still cut and sew every garment themselves and dream of one day being able to afford having a retail store, workspace and extra hands.

Satta brings a valued second opinion, and Zamora now admits he should have listened to his partner more while working on his “Project Runway” finale collection.

“He kept saying I didn’t have enough sexiness,” Zamora said.

Of course, considering all the feedback he’s received in New York as well, he’s listening now, saying, “Sex sells, but for us it’s in a classy way.”

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIMEKini Zamora is warned to change up the styling on his finale collection.

COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora was warned to change up the styling on his finale collection.

Being able to keep his eye on the big picture is what propelled Zamora to keep trying out for “Project Runway” over the course of five rejections. Season 13 marked his sixth audition, and he said that even if he hadn’t made it on this time, he would have kept trying or forever been left with the regret of “what if.”

“I wanted people to see what I could do, and to see that there is talent in Hawaii and that talent can come out of a garage. It’s not about where you are or how lavish your studio is. Talent can come from anywhere, and I’m glad the world got to see that,” Zamora said.

“I went in thinking this will help me in the future, and now people all around the world know who I am. I’m getting requests for wedding gowns all over the world. The support from everyone has been really positive, and it’s been rewarding to know people have been rooting for me.”

Zamora’s showing is the second time a Hawaii designer has made it into the top three. Ari (then competing as Andy) South reached the top three in Season 8, finishing behind winner Gretchen Jones and Mondo Guerra.

Another Hawaii designer and HCC alumnus, Jay Sario, made it into the top four in Season 7. Sario is on television again, competing in “Project Runway All-Stars” Season 4, premiering Thursday.

Zamora credited his performance to maturity.

“The first couple of times I auditioned, I wasn’t ready. This time, I knew I was ready,” he said.

PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COMKini Zamora, foreground,

PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Kini Zamora, foreground, with his cousin Anuhea Patoc, who serves as his business and communication executive.

Zamora had been sewing since the age of 10, taught by his aunt Delilah Patoc, and made the commitment to fashion when he realized “I didn’t want to work for anyone anymore. Now I wake up wanting to do this.”

He honed his skills at HCC, learning draping and pattern making. While his fellow classmates put a required six garments on the runway during their 2005 senior show, Zamora created a 60-piece collection.

His prowess became a running commentary on “Project Runway” as Zamora often finished his pieces while most of the other designers will still puzzling over their designs.

“The reason I finished fast was because I wanted to get Tim’s (Gunn) opinion,” he said, referring to the show’s resident mentor.

Zamora left HCC to study at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology but stayed only a year after finding the Hawaii college had already given him all the technical skills he needed.

PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COMKini Zamora, right, works with his design partner, Dean "Dinko" Satta, in the garage of Zamora's parents' house in Kapolei.

PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Kini Zamora, right, works with his design partner, Dean "Dinko" Satta, in the garage of Zamora's parents' house in Kapolei.

Despite his speed at sewing, Zamora was slow to get noticed on the show, ending early challenges safely in the middle of the pack before forcing the judges to take notice with Episode 4’s suit challenge.

During Kini Zamora Day at HCC on Oct. 16, he told fans “I was tired of just being safe. I really wanted to push myself. I didn’t care whether I was on the top or bottom; I just wanted to get feedback from the judges.”

Converting a men’s suit into a structured dress with cutouts, judges Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and Heidi Klum were impressed. But they were torn between his structured look and Valentine’s boho maxi. In the end, Valentine, a repeat contestant from Season 11, was deemed the winner.

Fans of the show thought Zamora should have been the victor. In the “Rate the Runway” section on the show’s website, Valentine’s look won a low 2.7 rating versus Zamora’s 4.32. That set up another of the season’s threads, that Zamora — whose humility and affable manner quickly made him a fan favorite — was robbed.

Viewers appreciated his integrity in taking each slight and critique in stride, seeing each as constructive advice, rather than an insult.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME / nkam@staradvertiser.comKini Zamora's final collection.

COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora's final collection.

That audience sentiment continued building over subsequent weeks as Zamora continued to make the top two and three, never to hit the top spot. In Episode 6 he was robbed for real when, teamed with Kelly, who was working slowly on a pair of pants, Zamora felt compelled to create a top for Kelly’s look. The top is what clinched the win — for Kelly, who did not tell the judges that Zamora created it.

As with other incidents, Zamora took it in stride, harboring no anger or resentment.

“I don’t feel bad about it at all. He apologized right away. The thing is, we were partners so we were going to be judged together, and he had immunity, so if we lost, I would have been the one going home.”

Zamora’s first of three wins came with Episode 8’s rainway challenge for which he came up with an umbrella dress.

Like Hawaii’s contestants before him, Zamora didn’t seem to talk much on the show, but he said that wasn’t the case in reality.

“I actually talked a lot,” he said of being on set 18 hours a day and being pulled aside for hourlong interviews several times during the workday. “It’s just that if you’re not talking trash, they don’t want that.”

———

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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Zamora stayed true

By
October 24th, 2014



fashion tribe header

“Project Runway” designer Kini Zamora watched the final episode of Season 13 with friends, family and fans at the Safehouse at the Republik in Honolulu on Thursday.  KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / kmarcellus@staradvertiser.com

“Project Runway” designer Kini Zamora watched the final episode of Season 13 with friends, family and fans at the Safehouse at the Republik in Honolulu on Thursday. KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / kmarcellus@staradvertiser.com

Click here for photos of Kini Zamora's collection.

I have parrots that engage in a behavior called displacement biting. As wild birds, they are smart but have small reactive brains, so when frightened by something in the distance will respond by biting the closest thing, which could be a branch, or your arm or finger.

And so it was that while watching the finale of "Project Runway" with Kini Zamora, his friends and family, I was hit on the arm a couple of times by the person sitting next to me out of displacement anger caused by his third-place finish.

New Zealand designer Sean Kelly was named the winner of "Project Runway" Season 13, and Hawaii designer Kini Zamora placed third in the TV design competition, behind Amanda Valentine.

"I have no regrets about my designs. I stayed true to who I am as a designer," Zamora said. "I had to please the judges, but I did what I wanted to do."

Friends and family packed the Safe House at The Republik Thursday night where Zamora was watching the episode.

Kini Zamora introduces his New York Fashion Week collection on Thursday's finale of "Project Runway." (Photo courtesy Lifetime)

Kini Zamora introduces his New York Fashion Week collection on Thursday's finale of "Project Runway." (Photo courtesy Lifetime)

At the end of the evening he thanked everyone who attended and said, "I made it to where I wanted to be in this competition and did all that I could do.

"I'm kind of happy to see it's over. I don't have to keep secrets anymore."

Zamora's showing is the second time a Hawaii designer has made it into the top three. Ari (then competing as Andy) South reached the top three in Season 8, finishing behind winner Gretchen Jones and Mondo Guerra.

Another Hawaii designer and Honolulu Community College alumnus, Jay Sario, made it into the top four in Season 7.

This season marked the sixth time Zamora auditioned for the TV design competition. He has been an inspiration to current design students at HCC. At the Safe House last night, fashion technology student Matt Batutayan said he's been studying in fashion part-time for six years, but said Zamora's aesthetic and work resonated with him and has pushed him to be more disciplined in his own pursuit.

One of Zamora's teachers, Joy Nagaue, said, "I truly thought that Kini would be HCC's first winner on

'Project Runway.' Although he was not, we are still very proud of him, his impeccable work, his perseverance and how far he has gone. But as I talked to his mother, I realize that we are really proud of the person that he is, the person he always was ... genuine and good.

"We are proud of the way he represented, not only HCC, but Hawaii as well. My present students have been inspired by Kini and have noted his ability to take criticism and rebound back with a better product each time."

Zamora's mother Valerie said she's known all along her son is a winner, and Zamora's father Duke said he's glad "all the headaches are pau now."

The 2005 HCC alumnus most recently partnered with photographer and fellow designer Dean "Dinko" Satta to create the Kini and Dinko brand. Their inaugural collection will launch during a free fashion show 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Hawai'i Convention Center as part of Hawaii Fashion Month.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME / nkam@staradvertiser.comKini Zamora's final collection.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora's final collection.

Zamora will appear on the last reunion episode of the series airing next Thursday. I asked whether Char Glover and Korina Emmerich ever make up. Being one really good at keeping secrets, Zamora said, "You'll have to watch."

Hawaii will continue to be represented on Lifetime as Sario returns to "Project Runway All-Stars" Season 4, that begins airing next Thursday.

Sean Kelly's winning collection.

Sean Kelly's winning collection.

Namba scores 'Wheel' exposure

By
September 19th, 2014



Hawaii designer Anne Namba will get some sweet screen time when "Wheel of Fortune" episodes recently shot on the Big Island air in November and February.

COURTESY SONY PICTURESVanna White wore an Anne Namba gown on “Wheel of Fortune” shows taped on the Big Island.

COURTESY SONY PICTURES

Vanna White wore an Anne Namba gown on “Wheel of Fortune” shows taped on the Big Island.

Co-hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White were in Waikoloa with 195 staff and crew from Los Angeles through Wednesday for tapings of the long-running game show.

This trip marks the fifth time "Wheel of Fortune" has been on location in Hawaii, and the third time taping at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

The episodes will air between Nov. 3 to 14 and Feb. 9 to 20.

White, who is known for the dazzling gowns she wears on the show, will be wearing three outfits by the local designer, as well as other fitting looks by Tommy Bahama.

It's a process that started in June, when White's stylist, Kathi Nishimoto, contacted Namba, who shipped designs for fittings in L.A. in August.

In a phone interview Sunday from the Big Island, White, 57, said the fittings are necessary because she's a petite 5-foot-6 and most designer samples are intended for 6-foot-tall models.

"Most of the time the dresses need to be hemmed, and I need to make sure the outfits allow me to lift my arms to reach the top row of the puzzle board," she said.

"Wheel of Fortune" began airing in 1975 and is now ranked as the longest-running syndicated game show in the United States.

White joined "Wheel" in 1982 and quickly set off Vanna mania with her glamorous and ever-changing wardrobe. The show's website includes a Vanna's Links section under the Backstage menu with photos of recent dresses.

"I don't know how that happened, but after 32 years and 6,000 gowns, I've worn a little bit of everything and never repeated a dress," she said.

That makes the extra attention she received from crew members over Namba's designs all the more remarkable.

"Everyone's been really impressed by Anne Namba's clothing. They're so beautiful but they're also comfortable, and for me that's great," White said.

"I'm a very simple girl. When I'm not working, I like to wear sweats and blue jeans."

———

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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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