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 Clift, 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 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

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 custom tee, 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 Island with a weekend of events in Kona

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 Ala Moana Center


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

Hawaii RED and HIFI host a fashion show with 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 space


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

The COOP offers regular sewing classes and affordable workspace for local designers

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

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


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

HIFI partners with the Goodwill Goes Glam! (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

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 debuts HONOLULU Fashion Week during Hawaii Fashion Month

Art+Flea produces OUTFIT 2014 and expands marketplace opportunities for HFX Members

Hawaii Fashion Month returns in November 2014 with support from the State legislature

HFM expands to Kaua’i through a partnership with the Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce

HIFI launches HIFI Connects, a business of fashion panel and networking event

The 2014 Governor’s Fashion Award is presented to Joy Nagaue of Honolulu Community College


HIFI sponsors AHOLA, a fashion as public art project led by Toronto professor and designer Henry Navarro

Hawaii Fashion Month returns with feature events at the MODERN Honolulu and Royal Hawaiian Center

Hawaii Fashion Month Kaua’i continues with four events across the island

HONOLULU Fashion Week brings fashion luminaries Harold Koda and Fern Mallis to Hawai’i


HIFI celebrates its 10th anniversary

HIFI partners with Ala Moana Center on the Fashion Annex, an exhibit space

Two fashion exhibits happen at the Annex: The Aloha Shirt with Dale Hope and Deb Mascia, and REBOOT with Solomon Enos, Marques Marzan, and Na Mea Hawai’i

Ka Makana Ali’i in Kapolei opens with an array of window displays by HIFI, Platform Hawai’i, and Hawai’i Craftsmen

The new International Marketplace open in Waikiki with a gala featuring fashion illustrators curated by HIFI

Hawaii Fashion Month and HONOLULU Fashion Week return


The HIFI COOP and other businesses in Ward Warehouse close as the property is redeveloped

HIFI winds down its initiatives after 11 years, offers open source resources for the community to continue growing in the spirit of incubation and collaboration

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 has collaborated with many Private Sector, Government, Media, and Non-profit partners including:

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



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.  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.  See more @ Hawaii Fashion Month.

OUTFIT Hawaii Fashion Market is an evolving 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.

The HIFI COOP at Ward Warehouse was established in 2012 under a partnership with Howard Hughes Corporation. The COOP closed in 2017 as Ward Warehouse was slated for redevelopment. Over its five years, it provided event space, showroom, photography, sewing equipment, classes, and business incubation. 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.