Archive for the ‘Swimwear’ Category

Kauai hosts fashion weekend

May 9th, 2016


Designer Sha Ali Ahmad, co-founder of Kaua'i Fashion Weekend, takes a bow following his Saturday runway presentation. At right, Maytee Martinez, from "House of DVF" was one of his models.

In Honolulu, we tend to look at our city of a million as the center of everything creative in Hawaii, from food to fashion. But, our neighbor islands no longer want to be ignored. There is amazing culinary work being done on Maui, and in distant Kauai, a nascent fashion scene is no longer waiting for Honolulu to come calling, when it's perfectly capable of attracting attention at home.

The 4th Annual Kaua‘i Fashion Weekend took place May 7, featuring Kauai designers' newest island-inspired evening couture, resort, casual and beach wear collections.

Co-founded by international fashion designer Sha Ali Ahmad of India, and Marynel Valenzuela, president of Inkspot Printing on Kauai, the red-carpet event drew more than 400 residents and visitors to the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club's Grand Ballroom.

Above and below, two more of Sha Ali Ahmad's designs.


Ahmad, who has created fashions worn by celebrities from Hollywood to Bollywood, showed his latest collection, AC 16, which previously debuted at fashion shows in Miami and California. He calls Kauai his home away from home, said he was inspired to help raise the island’s profile in fashion design internationally.

“I want to make Kaua‘i a destination for fashion lovers everywhere. The designers here have huge potential because of the diverse culture. Since my first visit, the people, culture, hospitality and beauty of the island have inspired me.”

Among the models was Maytee Martinez, an international model, designer and star of the E! cable network series, "House of DVF."

Swim and resort styles, below, dominated the Kauai collections.


Also featured were homegrown designers Chanterelle Chantara of Chez Chanterelle, Taryn Rodighiero of KaiKini Bikinis, Karla Bollmann of Karlota’s Tropical Clothing, and Wilma Bumanglag of Wilma’s Top Secret.

Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, hopes this focus on fashion will encourage more island residents to share their creativity.

“When people think of Kaua‘i, fashion isn’t always top of mind. There are some beautiful styles being designed by island residents that people anywhere in the world would enjoy wearing. Promoting Kauai’s fashion design is a beautiful way to diversify our island’s economy and show that Kauai should be known for more than sun and surf.”

More informatiion:

Pull-In to Waikiki for new undies

December 19th, 2013


Darth Vader is less frightening in his Pull-In undies. — Nadine Kam photos

Pull-In Underwear opened its doors with a media event Dec. 11 with owners Emilie and Frederic Cannas and informal modeling of underwear and swimwear.

The Cannas, from Corsica, France, fell in love with Hawaii and tried to figure out how to move here permanently. Although neither has a fashion background—she was in education, he ran bars—they decided they could make a living by introducing locals and tourists to the high-performance French brand, Pull-In Underwear.

Pull-In was created by Emmanuel Lohéac in 2000 with the idea of revolutionizing the lingerie market by introducing bold, fun prints we more likely associate with children's underwear, and efficient, high-performance materials such as Lycra and 100 percent certified organic cotton mixed with Elastane fibers for stretch and comfort.

Covered with print, the undies are so colorful and sturdy, they look more like swimwear and the Cannas said the brand is a natural for Hawaii, where we have the option of pulling off your outerwear and simply jumping into the water when the mood hits.


Kelia Fu and Sani Taylor in Pull-In designs with colorful cupcakes to match some of the fun prints available. The cupcake print below also has a circle reading, "Yummy!"


Our regular underwear is simply too flimsy and thin for that. I know, because while I was in Bali earlier this year, I met a British guy and we were just hanging around talking after lunch and it was hot day, so all of a sudden he says he wants to go for a swim and asks if I want to join him. I was like, "Oh, did you bring swim shorts?" and said I had to go back to my room and change into a swimsuit.

So he just strips to his underwear and cannonballs into the pool! If I had some Pull-In pieces at the time I might have done the same, but no, I didn't.

Screen shot 2013-12-17 at 5.04.05 PM

Meanwhile, the store is running a contest through Dec. 23 to win a special Xmas gift pack with the items above. To enter:

1. Follow @Pullinunderwear on Twitter or @Pullinstagram on Instagram.

2. Take a photo of yourself in the new store on Waikiki Beach Walk, 227 Lewers St. near Giovanni Pastrami.3. Post your photo on Twitter or Instagram with #pullinhonolulu, and mention the store in your post.

This is a global contest and one winner per store will be chosen at random. No purchase is necessary. The winners will get a notification on their Twitter or Instagram account by Christmas.

The store is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.


May the force be with you in Pull-In Underwear. Briefs are about $29.99 for women;
$39.99 for men. Bikini tops run $39.99 to $49.99.


Marketing director Thierry Daupin, right, with owners Emilie and Frederic Cannas, and Conchita Malaqui, left, general manager at Waikiki Beach Walk.


The way these briefs are seamed in the back is supposed to give men a butt lift. However, no one in the media crowd volunteered to put them to the test. (more…)

Edward Atkins wins Pull-In online vote

October 22nd, 2013


Online voters have selected Edward W.K. Atkins as the 4th artist whose design will be produced and sold next year in the Pull-in Hawaii 2014 Limited Collection celebrating the brand's flagship store opening in Waikiki.

Atkins joins three other winners selected earlier: Lee Maxwell, Kai Kawamoto and Koreena Nagain.

Winners will receive a cash prize and a launch party to promote their design and their work as artists. Atkins won with more than 1,200 votes out of 2,300, from a field of 43 artists who entered.

The store is slated to open at 227 Lewers St., Waikiki Beach Walk. Stayed tuned for more info about the opening date.

Pull-In was created in 2000 by  a former marketing director of Quiksilver Europe, Emmanuel Lohéac. The international French designer label features underwear and beachwear in eye-catching graphic prints for men, women and children. Originally created as a surf apparel brand, Pull-In quickly became popular with celebrities such as Madonna, Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg and Ben Gordon of the Chicago Bulls.

Weekend shopping: Estee Lauder, La Perla

August 2nd, 2013


Estee Lauder photo

Neiman Marcus is hosting an "Up Close: Estee Lauder" event from Aug. 4 to 11, featuring makeovers and consultations, and a look a the new fall beauty collections.

Shoppers who make an Estee Lauder purchase of $75 or more will receive a gift of a city tote filled with a deluxe 14-day supply of Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Creme, a lavish compact of eye, face and lip shades, full-size Pure Color Lipstick, Intense Kajal Eyeliner and Sumptuous Extreme Mascara, at one per customer while supplies last.



La Perla photo

La Perla has opened its doors in the Macy's wing at Ala Moana Center.

The luxury brand is known for its high-end lingerie, swimwear and ready-to-wear apparel favored by Hollywood celebrities.

The company was established in Italy in 1954 by corset-maker Ada Masotti, branching into swimwear in 1971, and opening its first boutiques in Milan and Paris in 1991. The ready-to-wear collection launched in 2002.


Men’s Wearhouse is continuing its National Suit Drive through Aug. 7.

The store in the Ward Entertainment Center, at Auahi and Kama­kee streets, is accepting men’s and women’s professional attire such as suits, jackets, ties, shoes and accessories for distribution by nearly 150 charities across the country to help disadvantaged workers “suit up” for success. Donations collected at Hawaii Men’s Wearhouse store will be donated to the Hono­lulu-based nonprofit Helping Hands of Hawaii.

In exchange for your donation, Men’s Wearhouse will give you with a coupon for 50 percent off your next purchase.



Island Sole photo

Island Sole has opened two new stores in Waikiki.

The first store, at 2335 Kalakaua Ave., was formerly a Sanuk store managed by Island Sole’s parent company, The Art Source Inc. The re-branded store features beach and lifestyle brands such as Sanuk and Olu­kai, with more brands coming soon.

Just down the street at Waikiki Beach Walk, Island Sole also unveiled Island Sole Mates, carrying boots, slippers and shoes from UGG Australia.

The Ala Moana Center Island Sole also has a new location: on the mall level near Centerstage. The company’s current store will remain open through October, for those already accustomed to finding the store in the Nordstrom wing, mall level.

Hawaii inspiration for Yummy Dress

March 10th, 2013

margeauxAmy Davis illustration
Margeaux in a Maui Girl bikini, Ki-ele and Q-pot. jewelry, with Happy Haleiwa shopping bag and Sanuk footwear.

I have styled my fair share of magazine pictorials, but a lunch meetup with former isle resident, Paper fashion illustrator, musician, actress, and, well, all-around artiste Amy Davis led to a first, a Hawaii collaboration for her new fashion + food blog, Yummy Dress.

I write about fashion + food, so we're simpatico, though she wasn't working the food angle when we formally met a few years ago when she was back in town as a guest artist for Le Sportsac, for whom she'd created four prints over two years.

This time around, she was back in town from Santa Fe, with longtime partner in art and life, Jon Moritsugu, before heading on to the Chicago Underground Film Festival for the March 8 world premiere of their new film, "Pig Death Machine." The dynamic duo also picked up the fest's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Of course, Hawaii is full of yummy clothes, so when it came to dressing Margeaux, I suggested a few Hawaii brands and was happy to see some of them on Margeaux. Of course the best part about dressing an illustration, there was no running around picking up and droppig off merchandise, and no heavy lifting. Love it!

amyNadine Kam photo
Amy Davis and Jon Mortisugu at Taste Table, when Margeaux was still a line drawing and vision in Amy's head.

paperamyA trio of Amy's Style Fiends from Paper magazine.

A look back at SI swimsuit issue's humble beginnings

February 15th, 2013

siarielAlex Cayley photo
Ariel Meredith was photographed for Sports Illustrated 2013 Swimsuit Issue's online edition, in Seville, Spain, in a swimsuit by Sarah Bolz of Maui's Kai ulu Swimwear.

In today's paper, I wrote a brief story about Maui-based Letarte Swimwear's history with the Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue, going back 13 years.

Another Hawaii company that made it into the issue was Maui Girl, and the online version also featured swimsuits from another Maui-based company, Kai ulu Swimwear.

spainMaui Girl suit by Debbie Wilson, modeled by Ariel Meredith and shot in Seville, Spain, by Alex Cayley. The company's swimsuits were featured in four magazine spreads, four full pages and six suits were presented in a collage format. With online presence as well, 28 of the company's swimsuits were featured.

chinaMaui Girl suit modeled by Jessica Gomes and shot by Derek Kettela in Guilin, Guangxi Province, China. Many of the suits are already available at

The annual issue has grown into a $1 billion enterprise according to Business Insider, but the issue had humble roots.

Our sports editor, Paul Arnett, happened to have purchased the original 1964 Swimsuit Issue for $10 in the 1990s. (Original price: .25 cents). I saw one site listing its value today as $175, though of course that's dependent on availability and one's desire to own it.

It's pretty rare that a sports and fashion writer have a meeting of minds. Most times, he's making fun of me because I never know the names of the Superbowl teams, except when I can't help but pick it up through osmosis. Generally, I try to avoid all talk of football and pretend to know nothing of the game, though I went to every game of my high school alma mater, and followed the UH team when I was there, as well.

I was much more enthusiastic when he brought in the original swimsuit issue. Sports Illustrated was born in 1954, and the "Swimsuit Issue" started 10 years later, on Jan. 20, 1964. It was really just a six-page fashion spread, with a few water-oriented stories on snorkel and dive spots, but the cover—of Babette March in a white bikini—was definitely not your typical Sports Illustrated cover.

The look was also more girl next door, vs. the bombshell look look of today's models. It was all quite tame and wholesome.

According to Business Insider, the supplement was started by then-editor Andre Laguerre to increase readership during the winter lull between popular sports seasons. With a hit on their hands, Jule Campbell was chosen as SI's first swimsuit editor, taking the helm from 1965 to 1996.

Since becoming a stand-alone issue in 1997, the magazine has become "one of Time Inc.’s biggest revenue drivers over the years, bringing in more than $1 billion," according to Forbes.

The empire encompasses online editions, videos, calendars, and a swimwear website,

In contrast to the original swimsuit spread, which fits in its entirety here: (The magazine is now in ab archival cover, and I don't think Paul would let me handle it again.)





Letarte scores second SI Swimsuit cover

February 11th, 2013


For the second time in the 13 years Letarte Swimwear has been included in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, the Maui company has scored a cover. The brand created by Lisa Letarte Cabrinha and Michele Letarte Ross, and designed by Lisa, last made the cover in 2005. The 2013 edition of the swimsuit issue hits newsstands tomorrow, although you can view the images now at

Two's also a charm for model Kate Upton, who's been the cover girl for two years in a row. Last year, she appeared on the cover in a swimsuit by Maui-based Suit Yourself Bikinis by Kathleen Bruening.

This year, she appears in Letarte's sporty mesh side tie bikini bottom, sans top, but with a fur-trimmed parka in the unlikeliest of swimsuit venues, Antarctica.

It makes sense for Letarte, considering the sisters conduct their business cross-country. While Michele skis in Vermont every weekend, Lisa is surfing the Maui waves that inspire the line.

The suit Upton is wearing is part of a surf/kite capsule. The swimsuit issue always delivers a bump in sales for the local swimwear and jewelry companies included in the fashion spreads. Pre-orders for the $180 bikini are being taken at The matching top is a white mesh slide triangle style that ties at the neck and back.

Bikini time at Lujuria

July 18th, 2012

lujuriaNadine Kam photos
From left, Jessica Andrian of San Lorenzo, Chris Akin, Laura Grace D'Angeli, Michelle Van Veenendaal of LBDB and Lujuria—The Fashion Experience producer Jose Santamaria posed for photos after the "Wet the Bikini" pool party edition fashion show July 15 at The Modern.

Sunday was hot, hot, hot, the perfect weather for Jose Santamaria's "Wet the Bikini" pool party edition of Lujuria—The Fashion Experience, at the Modern, complete with a bikini and resort fashion show, heavy on the bikini part.

In one of the biggest shows of its kind, event host and producer Jose Santamaria, of JS Enterprises, sent more than 100 looks down the runway, including swimwear, coverups and casual wear from LBDB at Kahala Mall, and San Lorenzo Bikinis, and hats from Straw Garden.

Sitting with photographer Rae Huo while taking pictures of the runway, she asked me, "Would you wear one of those? Did you ever have a body like that?"

"Yeah, maybe when I was 16 through 22. It was all downhill from there."

Or, I used to say that when I was 22; the real downhill, I learned, was after 33.

At any rate, I'm more in the market for coverups, not bikinis!

Non-flash video

l10Artist Colin Andrew Wood, who was working on this board on the spot, took time out to pose with models, from left, Katherine Laethem, Crystal Douglas and Kaitlin "Goose" Hamilton.

l12Laura Grace D'Angeli walks the show.

l13This was one of the biggest pool and resort shows I've seen here, with 100 looks shown.




l9Catherine Martin showed up appropriately dressed in a colorful duckie inner tube.


Recent Posts

Recent Comments