Archive for the ‘Hawai'i Fashion Month’ Category

Fashion week event promises international scope

February 4th, 2014

tokyofashGov. Neil Abercrombie at right with Akiko Shinoda, international director of Tokyo Fashion Week and some of the Japan-based artists and designers who will be helping to stage Honolulu Fashion Week, one of the Hawai'i Fashion Month events coming up in November.  — Photo courtesy Paul Leo Klink-Harada

In an event within an event, Hawai'i Fashion Month will be getting a boost from counterparts in Tokyo, Milan and New York.

The announcement was made at the Pagoda Hotel on Friday, where Akiko Shinoda, international director of Tokyo Fashion Week was introduced to talk about collaborations between visiting guest designers Saturdays Surf NYC, Maison Kitsune, Mr.Gentleman, and Corto Moltedo, and local designers/artists Sig Zane, Kaypee Soh and Heather Brown. Their collaboration lines will be unveiled Nov. 7 and 8, now that Hawai'i Fashion Month has been pushed back a month.

The partnership with Tokyo Fashion Week and the international designers is intended to be a catalyst for introducing Hawaii fashion to the world.

Shinoda helped to raise points as to why fashion is important for the entire community's economic well-being. She said fashion is important for any country. "They all invest a lot in the industry," she said, because fashion helps lead a country's prosperity, and influences other industries. As an example, where would Apple be today without great design? And all indicators suggest Apple will soon be among the tech companies entering the fashion fray. (more…)

Governor's Fashion Awards honors Hawaii talent

November 1st, 2013


David “Pua” Rochlen of Surf Line Hawaii/Jams World was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the reinstated Governors Fashion Awards ceremony that took place Oct. 30 at The MODERN Honolulu. Longtime fashion veteran Dale Hope, in a vintage 1965 Sandwich Isles tapa-print jacket presented the award with Gov. Neil Abercrombie.Nadine Kam photos

It was one of the best-dressed events of the year as the Hawaii's fashion industry gathered to honor their own during the reinstated Governor's Fashion Awards ceremony that took place Oct. 30 at The MODERN Honolulu, the dazzling finale to the inaugural Hawai'i Fashion Month.

Before announcing the award winners, Gov. Abercrombie, self-conscious about his age, chuckled as he spoke of having known Surf Line Hawaii founder David Rochlen, and Hilo Hattie inspiration Clarissa "Clara" "Hilo Hattie" Haili.

While it's easy for many of us have grown up with a certain amount of entitlement to bellyache about how hard it is to get ahead these days, he reminded the audience that we can look at behemoths like Hilo Hattie and Surf Line/Jams World today and imagine they were fully formed from the beginning, but he said that was not the case, and in reference to Rochlen, said he had a strong belief in the industry and the confidence to make things happen back in the 1960s when no one was listening.

For the governor, it was an eye-opening experience to watch how a few key people in the business and fashion communities could come together to make a big difference in a few years, such as launching Aloha Fridays to boost sales of aloha wear.


From left, Hilo Hattie's Terri Funakoshi, CEO/President Don Kang and Felix Calvo. The company was named Major Retailer of the Year, and Kang also picked up the award for Outstanding Professional of the Year for his part in rescuing the company following Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Otherwise, the company would likely not have survived to see its 50th anniversary this year.

In their remarks, Hawaii Fashion Incubator co-founders Toby Portner and Melissa White, co-chairs of Hawai'i Fashion Month along with Sen. Will Espero, said it is still their aim to see where the needs and goals of the fashion community intersect, and to bring competitors together to work for the common good of the entire industry.

Industry veteran Dale Hope reiterated that point in his tribute to 'Iolani Sportswear, saying how he was afraid to approach company founder Keiji Kawakami for help, but that it was common in the early days of the industry for competitors to help each other out in times of need, when machines broke or if they needed a loan to get by, and he later learned that Keiji felt fortunate for having been helped by Watumull's.

In accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, David "Pua" Rochlen of Surf Line Hawaii/Jams World said that when he found out about it, he didn't know why he won and thought he was too young to receive it. He humbly acknowledged that he was once told of running the company started by his father, "You did one thing right, you didn't screw it up."

He reminded all that the Hawaii fashion industry is about more than clothing, but offers the opportunity for all of us to connect with a lifestyle, culture, food, and all the things that create a feeling others can't find at home or anywhere else in the world.

He also announced that he is starting a petition to encourage the state to acquire the Nike building in Waikiki to showcase made in Hawaii products to the visitor market year 'round.

Here are the winners of the Governor’s Fashion Awards, announced Wednesday night at The Modern Honolulu at the close of the inaugural Hawai‘i Fashion Month:

>> Major Retailer of the Year: Don Kang, Hilo Hattie
>> Boutique Retailer of the Year: Deborah Mascia, Mu‘umu‘u Heaven
>> Emerging Designer of the Year: Cora Spearman, Coradorables
>> Established Designer of the Year: Rona Bennett and Lan Chung, Fighting Eel
>> Designer, Contemporary: Ari South, Andy South
>> Designer, Aloha: Jamie Makasobe, Ane Bakutis and Hina Kneubuhl, Kealopiko
>> Designer, Couture/Formal: Anne Namba, Anne Namba Designs
>> Designer, Jewelry: Jason Dow, Jason Dow Inc.
>> Photographer: Harold Julian, Harold Julian Photography
>> Wardrobe Stylist: Amos Kotomori, Amos Kotomori Ltd.
>> Beauty Professional: Paul Brown, Paul Brown Salons
>> Outstanding Professional: Don Kang, Hilo Hattie
>> Lifetime Achievement: David “Pua” Rochlen, Jams World

Congratulations to all, the finalists, and all those who put in the work day after day to make Hawaii a more beautiful place to live.


Pua Rochlen with wife Heather and keiki Nacho, David III and Pumehana, surrounded by Surf Line/Jams World 20-year employees. He bought three tables for his loyal 20-year workers.


Carla and Lloyd Kawakami of 'Iolani Sportswear were honored as the company marked its 60th anniversary this year. The family recently lost matriarch Edith Kawakami, but Carla said if she were here, she would remind them that any honors are  not about us as the owners, but about the people who make it happen and the people of Honolulu. (more…)

HFM: Nominees for the Governor's Fashion Awards

October 24th, 2013


David "Pua" Rochlen Jr. of Surf Line Hawaii/Jams World is the Lifetime Achievement Honoree for the Governor's Fashion Awards taking place Oct. 30 as the finale to the inaugural Hawai'i Fashion Month. Rochlen carries on the legacy of his father, who championed the Hawaii surf and lifestyle brand across the nation in the photo

A triumphant inaugural Hawai'i Fashion Month will come to a close Oct. 30 with the presentation of the 2013 Governor's Fashion Awards at The MODERN Honolulu.

The event starts at 7 p.m. If you're in the biz, tickets to the can't miss event also celebrating the 60th anniversary of 'Iolani Sportwear, 50th anniversary of Hilo Hattie's, and 10th anniversary of Fighting Eel are $125 at

Congratulations to all the nominees and good luck Wednesday! See you there!

Lifetime Achievement Honoree: David "Pua" Rochlen, Surf Line Hawaii and Jams World


Established Designer of the Year
Rona Bennett and Lan Chung, Fighting Eel
Lisa Cabrinha, Letarte Swimwear
David "Pua" Rochlen, Jr., Surf Line Hawaii, Ltd. (Jams World)

Emerging Designer of the Year
Matt Bruening, Matt Bruening
Deborah Mascia, Mu‘umu‘u Heaven
Cora Spearman, Coradorables (more…)

HFM: 'Iolani Sportswear marks 60-year milestone

October 24th, 2013


From left, Carla and Lloyd Kawakami with sons Nick and Alex, who have built up 'Iolani Sportswear, the company started by patriarch and matriarch Keiji and Edith Kawakami in 1953.Nadine Kam photos

'Iolani Sportswear celebrated its 60th anniversary with a rooftop garage party Oct. 10 at the company headquarters at 1234 Kona St., above Side Street Inn, which catered the fundraising party.

Casual fashion shows highlighted recent designs from the company that continues to build on the success of founders Keiji and Edith Kawakami, with the addition of contemporary street wear to complement classic aloha wear collections.

In between fashion shows and enjoying the food, guests could browse the 'Iolani Sportswear shop, with proceeds from the evening's sales and admission benefiting the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, which is also marking 60 years.

The event was a part of Hawai'i Fashion Month, and the company will also be celebrated, along with Hilo Hattie (marking its 50th anniversary) and Fighting Eel (celebrating 10 years) during the Governor's Fashion Awards taking place Oct. 30 at The MODERN Honolulu. The event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $125 at

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Miss Hawaii 2013 Crystal Lee on the runway in 'Iolani.


Kapala provided music for the event. Manoa DNA—Lloyd, Alex and Nick Kawakami, showing they have talent beyond fashion—also performed later in the evening, though by then I was off to see the Hawai'i International Film Festival opening night film "Final Recipe." It was a wonderful, warm-hearted foodie film, so catch it when it comes back.


Favorite dishes from Side Street Inn were on the evening's menu.

HFM: 'Snapshot of Style' pops up at Kahala Mall

October 15th, 2013

Dallas Nagata White's "Lava Kiss" will be up for silent auction at Kahala Mall's "Snapshot of Style" event.

Kahala Mall will present “Snapshot of Style,” a pop-up photo gallery and fall shopping event for Hawai'i Fashion Month, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 16.

The one-night only exhibition of work by Hawaii photographers, including Kicka Witte, Keith Kandell, John Hook, David Murphey, Dallas Nagata White, and others, will highlight the event, an evening store crawl with sips and light bites as guests discover snapshots of fashion and lifestyle in Hawaii captured by camera.

Other highlights include in-store promotions, live DJ and an exclusive scavenger hunt with live prize giveaways at Center Court, including a two-night stay at The Modern Honolulu, a Kahala Mall shopping spree, and more.

Upon entry, guests will be given a VIP booklet which includes the following: an exclusive VIP savings pass, five featured photographs hidden in five participating stores. Guests will visit participating stores not only for great deals, but also to find the photos shown in the VIP booklet. After they complete the search, they’ll turn in their completed forms to be entered to win live prize giveaways at 8:30 p.m.

The five in-store photographs will also be featured in the Oct. 16 silent auction, with 100 percent of proceeds to benefit Kapiolani Medical Center’s Campaign for Children.

Some of the photos to be showcased at the event are already pretty famous, like the “Lava Kiss”
photo by Dallas Nagata White that went viral this year and was seen everywhere, including National Geographic online and the Huffington Post.

Visit for further event information or for further “Snapshot of Style” event details.

Pull-in Hawaii artists want your votes

October 8th, 2013

pull-in As noted in an earlier post, Pull-in Hawaii held its first live design competition at OUTFIT: Hawaii Fashion Designers Market, Oct. 2 and 3, and three winners have been named: Lee Maxwell, Kai Kawamoto and Koreena Nagai.

Their designs will be a part of the Pull-in Hawaii 2014 Limited Collection to be sold in the new Waikiki flagship store at Waikiki Beach Walk, 227 Lewers St., when it opens at the end of the year.

Winners also receive a cash prize and a personal launch party to promote their design and their work. But, there's still one more spot up for grabs, and the public is invited to cast votes for a fourth winning design. Voting will close at noon Oct. 16.

To view the entries, see who's on top, and vote, visit:

HFM: A celebration of 'Fashion as Art' at HiSAM

October 6th, 2013


Models tread carefully on the wet glass tiles of the Hawaii State Art Museum's Sculpture Garden during a First Friday show of bridal and evening wear featuring the work of 15 local designers.Photos by Nadine Kam

Adding a touch of glamour to First Friday festivities on Oct. 4 was the Hawai'i Fashion Month double bill of the HiSAM bridal and formal wear fashion show and "The Way We Wear" exhibition, which ran from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum.

The fashion show was free, one of the signature events of Hawai‘i Fashion Month, with designers showcasing evening and bridal gowns in the open air of the HiSAM sculpture garden, with a soundscape by DJ Teley Brandon. Featured designers were Nicole Vermillion, Lauren Tiburcio, Beverly Horton, Bernard Foong, Sarah Yama­shige, Randy A. Leano, Jaclyn Mae Santos, Chun Hui Chen, Sahra Indio, Feliz Salas, Ryan Hana­oka, Erin Midori Ludolph, Breanne Lee, Alegra Matsuo Mossman and Michele Y. Matsuo.

Attendees were encouraged to don black-tie and evening attire in keeping with the theme.

The evening started with a rain blessing, which ended with the start of the show, but started to come down hard, timed to the show's finale, which brought out either cheers or screams from fans. It was hard to tell which, but by show's end, visitors watching from the second-floor gallery had begun to scatter.

Non-flash video

All agreed the show was beautiful, though those of us who love fashion were saddened by the idea of the designers going home with gowns with wet hems. Maybe there's a good dry cleaner in town who is willing to offer their services.

The event also marked the opening of "The Way We Wear," an exhibit offering a glimpse into local culture through clothing from various times and places, with garments from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts' Art in Public Places Program and on loan from the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Historic Costume Museum.

The free exhibition will continue through Jan. 18 in the Diamond Head Gallery. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, except state and federal holidays. The museum is also open for First Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. (galleries close at 8:30 p.m.) monthly.
HiSAM is at 20 S. Hotel St. Call 586-0300.

More of HFM:


At left, Corin Gentry stopped to pose after the show with designer Erin Ludolph, right, and her model Mahina Alexander, and Condesa-Azria Nora Meijide-Gentry.


Designer Beverly Horton was one of the few designers to go with print. Her dress flowed beautifully on the runway. (more…)

Catch last day of Ala Moana Center Fall Fashion Event

October 6th, 2013


Models wear Pepsi-inspired garments created by the Honolulu Community College All-Stars during one of the Fall Fashion Event red carpet fashion shows taking place Oct. 4 through 6 at Ala Moana Center. Nadine Kam photos

The Fall Fashion Event is back at Ala Moana Center, part of Hawai‘i Fashion Month. Among the highlights are daily red carpet fashion shows traversing the length of the mall, featuring apparel from center merchants.

Shows Oct. 5 featured designs from bebe, Juicy Couture, Caché, and Honolulu Community College fashion technology all-stars Eddy Pong Cheung, Channelle Hillman, Reise Kochi, Jacky Lau, Randy Leano, Chai Siang Lim, Randy Oribello, Kitri Rowland, Natalie Sagaysay, Ari South and Rose Wolf. The all-stars, alongside mentor, designer and fashion show producer Amos Koto­mori, presented one-of-a-kind looks inspired by Pepsi.

Tell all your friends so they won't be clueless and get in the way when the models walk the red carpet.

More fashion shows take place Oct. 6 as follows:

Noon: Macy's
2 p.m.: Forever 21
4 p.m.: Valerie Joseph

During the event, there are all kinds of special deals, including the opportunity to win The Fall Fashion Event sweepstakes with a prize of $1,000 in Ala Moana Center gift cards and more. Over at Neiman Marcus, you can create your own custom pump from the Manolo Blahnik BB Boutique. Choose from five heel heights and 20 different colors.

The complete list of deals and offers at www.ala­moana­


Models in holiday and evening wear from Caché, among the retailers featured during the Fall Fashion Event at Ala Moana Center.

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The HCC All-Stars, including Ari South, right, and instructors Joy Nagaue, left, and Karen Kamahele, third from right.


While waiting for the Pepsi show to start, photographer Mark Ramelb posed with Angela Byrd, who was modeling La Perla lingerie outside the boutique. La Perla is offering a 10 percent discount for the Fall Fashion Event through Oct. 6.


Outside Macy's, Starbucks was offering samples of its new Refreshers energy drink, just the thing I needed to keep going while running through the mall to get ahead of the models for the video. Luckily, the red carpet loop was long so I even had time to check out a product at Sephora while the models were en route. While I was in Tokyo a week-and-a-half ago, Starbucks was also offering free cans of the Refreshers on the street near my hotel, the central New Otani Asakura. I was eating out so much, though, that I never drank it and left it in the hotel mini bar.


The Caché models line up outside the store and vicinity.

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