HIFI - Hawaii Fashion Incubator Logo


What We Do


The Hawaii Fashion Incubator builds community and provides resources to Hawaii’s growing fashion industry. Our membership, partnerships, and initiatives are driven by community needs and participation.


Invention and rise of the aloha shirt


The Hawaiian Garment Manufacturer’s Guild forms and later morphs into the Hawaii Fashion Guild


Manufacturers begin adding “Made in Hawaii” to garment labels


Montgomery Cliff, Burt Lancaster, Ernest Borgnine and Frank Sinatra sport Hawaiian shirts in From Here to Eternity


Statehood in 1959 boosts tourism and the fashion industry


The Hawaii Fashion Guild lobbies the State legislature to adopt “Aloha Friday”, encouraging aloha attire in the workplace and setting the stage for the concept of casual Friday nationwide


LIFE Magazine features Jams World on its cover and in a two-page spread


The Governor’s Fashion Awards debuts as an annual event by the Hawaii Fashion Industry Association


The Hawaii Fashion Industry Association debuts “Made in Hawaii with Aloha” label and campaign


The Hawaii Fashion Industry Association dissolves


SMART Magazine debuts as a local fashion and lifestyle publication


HIFI is conceived in a Palolo living room and develops with the mentorship of The Honolulu Advertiser’s fashion journalist Paula Rath


HIFI hosts a public meeting and panel at the Arts at Mark’s on the future of Hawaii fashion

The community’s expressed needs shape HIFI’s focus on events, affordable workspace, and creation of a Honolulu fashion district and fashion week

HIFI teams up with the UH Costume Collection and Dale Hope to curate an exhibit of vintage aloha shirts and swimwear in Chinatown


HIFI launches its website and membership program and incorporates under fiscal sponsor Community Links Hawaii

HIFI members participate in trunk shows and pop-ups at Aloha Tower, Pearl Ultralounge, Bar 35, and other venues

“Green Style on the Garden Isle” links Kauai and Oahu designers for networking, fashion show, and eco-fashion marketplace

HIFI produces the “Threads of Hope” exhibit and gala with the UH Costume Collection at Aloha Tower

Kealopiko designs HIFI’s first tee-shirt, featuring an ulu (breadfruit) design


“The COOP” debuts as a roving pop-up featuring HIFI designers and deploys at events throughout Honolulu

“Green Style” moves to the Big Isle with a weekend of events at NELHA Gateway Center

HIFI and Ala Moana Center produce “50 Years of Fashion in Hawaii”, an exhibit celebrating statehood and the Center’s anniversary

Neiman Marcus taps HIFI for an exhibition of student work during the first ever “Fashion’s Night Out”

Senator Will Espero introduces a bill recognizing UH’s Costume Collection as “a world class collection of historic and national significance”


HIFI expands its offerings to include classes and workshops for all ages

Hawaii RED and HIFI celebrate Project Runway’s Andy South with a live screening of the finale and reception at the Honolulu Design Center

Sierra Dew designs limited edition HIFI shirt featuring the endangered Hawaiian Stilt

Neiman Marcus + HIFI collaborate on a student exhibition of re-worked tee shirts at the Ala Moana Center store.

Arts organization Fractured Atlas comes on board as HIFI’s fiscal sponsor


The “Fashion Incubator Pop-Up” at Ala Moana Center tests HIFI’s permanent space concept and features 25 workshops, photo shoots, events, and fashion shows over 10 days.

Hawaii RED and HIFI host Project Runway alums Andy South, Mondo Guerra, Christopher Collins, and Michael Drummond

HIFI gets the keys to the COOP at Ward Warehouse, its permanent home base and Hawaii’s first fashion incubator


Six local designers are represented by HIFI at Japan’s largest fashion trade show with sponsorship from the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT)

R\D and HIFI screen “The Tents” documentary and a live Q&A with New York fashion show producer Lynne O’Neill

Regular sewing classes begin at the COOP

Jams World/Surfline Hawaii hosts an in-store pop-up and opening party with twelve HIFI member designers

More than 150 attend Hawaii Fashion Month exploratory meetings hosted by HIFI, DBEDT, and Senator Will Espero


A second crop of designers travel with HIFI and DBEDT to the Japan International Fashion Fair

Goodwill Goes Glam! (GGG) hosts volunteer recruitment at COOP and HIFI emcee’s the GGG fashion show

HIFI stylists produce and judge a “Best Dressed Award” at the 2013 Business Achievement Awards gala with Pacific Edge Magazine

Governor Neil Abercrombie declares October 2013 the first ever Hawaii Fashion Month

Enterprise Honolulu comes on board as HIFI’s local fiscal sponsor

Hawaii Fashion Month features 40 events and hundreds of fashion professionals from across the state

OUTFIT Hawaii Fashion Market debuts with a design marketplace, runway shows, networking, speakers, entertainment, exhibits, and more

The Governor’s Fashion Awards returns as the closing event of Hawaii Fashion Month, honoring thirteen Hawaii fashion professionals across the industry


Hawaii Fashion Exchange (HFX) launches to promote members and increase access to professional opportunities

HFX Mentor program features prominent international fashion professionals through HFX workshops

HONOLULU Magazine announces HONOLULU Fashion Week, a new Signature Event as part of Hawaii Fashion Month

Art+Flea steps up to produce OUTFIT 2014 and other marketplace opportunities for HFX Members

Hawaii Fashion Month returns in November 2014

HIFI’s partnerships span the fashion cycle, from ideation to production, sales, and export. HIFI works in the space where member needs and partner goals intersect.

hifi partnerships

HIFI collaborates with many Private Sector, Government, Media, and Non-profit partners including:

Howard Hughes Corporation
State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism
DBEDT Creative Industries
Enterprise Honolulu
Fractured Atlas
City and County of Honolulu Office of Economic Development
Goodwill Industries
Honolulu Chamber of Commerce
University of Hawaii Fashion Design & Merchandising Program
University of Hawaii Costume Museum
Retail Merchants of Hawaii
Startup Paradise
Jams World
Ala Moana Center
Luxury Row
DFS Galleria
Royal Hawaiian Center
Neiman Marcus
Hawaii RED
Element Media
Nella Media Group
Color Cuts
Paul Brown Hawaii
Hilo Hattie
The MODERN Honolulu
Aston Hotels and Resorts
Muse Agenci
I Heart Radio
American Savings Bank
Aloha Tower Marketplace
Kamehameha Schools
Na Mea Hawaii
Social Wahines



HIFI’s initiatives provide platforms to promote and elevate all aspects of Hawaii’s fashion industry and build sustainable infrastructure for growth.

hfx project
hfm project
outfit project
coop project

Hawaii Fashion Exchange (HFX) is HIFI’s membership platform, featuring an online directory of fashion professionals where the community can discover the faces of Hawaii fashion. HFX promotes members work and increases access to opportunities, networking, and professional development. See more @ HFX website.

Hawaii Fashion Month (HFM) is a month to celebrate, elevate, and promote all aspects of Hawaii’s fashion industry, from design and retail to manufacturing, photography, styling, art, and more. The inaugural event in 2013 featured 40 events, including fashion shows, marketplaces, films, exhibits, networking, and workshops. HFM is a community driven effort in partnership supported by the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism and other key stakeholders. See more @ Hawaii Fashion Month.

OUTFIT Hawaii Fashion Market is a marketplace of Hawaii fashion where buyers can discover new brands, the industry can connect and collaborate, and the public can shop and support local designs. OUTFIT debuted during Hawaii Fashion Month in October 2013, and featured 60 local designers from across the state, runway shows, speakers, networking, classes, and demonstrations. The event continues to evolve and expand with exciting partnerships.

Hifi opened its first physical space, the Hifi COOP at Ward Warehouse, in 2012 under a partnership with Howard Hughes Corporation. The COOP is a hub for all things Hawaii fashion, featuring event space, showroom, photography, sewing equipment, classes, and business incubation. HFX Members can host events, offer classes and workshops, show and sell their work at the COOP. See more @ The Coop.






Hawaii Fashion Month 2014
Fashion As Art
Hawaii Fashion Month – Flashback 2013
Anniversary Shoot


Hawaii Fashion Exchange (HFX) is an online platform that connects those in Hawaii’s fashion industry with professional opportunities and resources.