Ala Moana Center Announces The Fall Fashion Event for HFM!

Ala Moana Center will present its annual  Fall Fashion Event (FFE) for its third year, to take place from Oct. 4-6 during Hawai‘i Fashion Month. Here's a look.

Ala Moana Center will present its annual  The Fall Fashion Event (TFFE) for the third year, to take place from Oct. 4-6 during Hawai‘i Fashion Month. TFFE will celebrate all things fashion with a weekend of fashion shows on Hawai‘i’s longest red carpet runway, a stylish gift-with-purchase, a chance to win  TFFE sweepstakes, opportunities to give back to the community, and more. In addition, shoppers can enjoy more than 100 in-store events, offers, and promotions.

“Ala Moana Center is excited to celebrate Hawai‘i Fashion Month with  TFFE,” Scott Creel, senior marketing manager for Ala Moana Center, said in a statement. “This event will showcase Hawaii’s unique designers and diverse shopping, which will further position Honolulu as a global fashion destination.”

TFFE highlights include:

Fall Fashion Shows on Hawaii’s Longest Red Carpet Runway – Fri.–Sun., Oct. 4–6

Preview the latest fall fashion trends all weekend long on the long TFFE  red carpet runway. Hourly fashion shows from noon-4pm will be produced by local award-wining designer Amos Kotomori and will feature fashions from Ala Moana Center merchants including, Diane von Furstenberg, Forever 21, White House | Black Market, Spiral Girl, and more. On Fri., Oct. 4 at 5pm, don’t miss the TFFE men’s runway show featuring modern and vintage aloha shirts from Reyn Spooner.

Honolulu Community College Fashion Technology All Stars Fashion Show–Sun., Oct. 6

Shoppers are invited to view one-of-a-kind looks inspired by Pepsi and designed by Honolulu Community College Fashion Technology All Stars such as Eddy Pong Cheung, Channelle Hillman, Reise Kochi, Jacky Lau, Randy Leano, Chai Siang Lim, Randy Oribello, Kitri Rowland, Natalie Sagaysay, Ari South, Rose Wolf, and Amos Kotomori.  Catch this fashion show on TFFE’s red carpet runway on Sun., Oct. 6 at 5pm.

Stylish Center-Wide Gift with Purchase

Shoppers who redeem $250 in Ala Moana Center store and restaurant receipts will receive an exclusive gift—a fashionable silk-cotton scarf designed exclusively for the TFFE. Receipts must be dated Oct. 4-6 and can be redeemed at Customer Service Center. Limit one scarf per person, while supplies last.

TFFE Exclusive Offers, Free Gifts, and Events

Revamp your fall wardrobe during the TFFE with exclusive retail perks, such as Ala Moana Center merchants offering more than 100 amazing discounts, free gifts with purchase, and exciting in-store events. Check out the complete list of deals and offers at

Strike a Pose on The Fall Fashion Event Red Carpet

Strike a pose on the TFFE Red Carpet from Oct. 4-6 and post it on Instagram or Twitter using @AlaMoanaCenter, #TFFE, and #HFM2013. One lucky shopper per day will win a $50 Ala Moana Center gift card!

The Fashion Event Sweepstakes

Enter for a chance to win $1,000 in Ala Moana Center gift cards, dinner for two at Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room (excluding alcohol), a 50 minute Elemental Nature massage, and a Style for Two at Ho‘āla Salon and Spa Aveda. Entry forms will be available on Mall Level 2 near Louis Vuitton. Entry dates: Oct. 1–Oct. 6. Visit for official rules.

Giving Back

During the TFFE, Ala Moana Center will also accept donations on behalf of Dress for Success® Honolulu, a non-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Shoppers are encouraged to bring classic suits and separates, dresses, jackets and sweater sets, handbags, accessories and shoes, unused cosmetics, creams, and toiletries to participating merchants including Dooney & Bourke, Folli Follie, Maui Divers Jewelry, Neiman Marcus, Papyrus, Tapestries by Hau‘oli, Trade Secret, Valerie Joseph, Victoria’s Secret, W Salon and White House|Black Market. Shoppers who donate can enjoy special discounts and offers at select retailers. Donations in the form of store or Ala Moana Center gift cards can also be made at the Customer Service Center.

A Staycation in Jams World


Next year, Jams World will celebrate 50 years of producing articles of original—and very recognizable—Hawaii fashion. From its start in 1964 as a beachwear manufacturer known as Surf Line Hawaii, Jams World has since evolved into an international brand, with three  stores on O‘ahu carrying pieces that range from casual wear to resort clothing.

You always recognize a Jams World fabric, with those technicolor prints that look more like a painting of abstraction than a typical aloha pattern. CEO Mark T. Tsuda describes the reason behind choosing such vibrant colors used in every design. “When our founder [Dave Rochlen] moved from beachwear to leisure resort wear, […] what he was looking for and thought about was where someone could find colors that are going to last forever. So he thought about kimonos. All of our fabric is printed in Japan, then shipped [to our warehouse in Kalihi]. Everything is cut and sewn right here in this 45,031 square-foot factory.”

Rochlen’s innovations shaped Hawaii’s fashion today. His son David, also known as Pua, is currently the president of Jams World, and is involved in pretty much all aspects of Jams’s operations. By focusing on design and production, Pua Rochlen carries on the company’s distinctive style—a style that includes hand-painted buttons on each style to perfectly match the fabric—and encourages other local designers to do the same.

Tsuda, a longtime supporter of the Hawaii Fashion Incubator (Hifi), says he’s excited about Jams Worlds’s involvement in the inaugural Hawaii Fashion Month. “Since last year, Jams World has been involved in Hifi, by volunteering some space in our stores for new and upcoming designers. We want to give them a venue where they can display and sell their product.”

By doing this, designers are able to receive feedback on their designs from customer comments, as well as from looking at their sales—while hopefully making a profit from the products that did well for them.

Tsuda has been instrumental in organizing various shopping malls’ participation in upcoming HFM2013 events, such as those participating in the Shop Your Mall events.

As far as looking at the next 10 years, Tsuda says he hopes to “continue to develop retail stores and improve our expertise, and we’re trying to do jewelry, footwear, headwear, and any other accessory that can support and work with Jams World and get into nice locations.”

You can see Jams World’s passions through its motto: “Color, freedom, difference, and love,” by visiting its three O‘ahu stores, two Big Island stores and one Maui store. Jams World is also available in more than 30 boutiques and department stores statewide, and over 300 stores nationwide and internationally.

Visit for more information.

Announcing OUTFIT: Hawaii Fashion Designers Market

It's more than a trade show; it's more than a marketplace. It will be a fashion event unlike anything presented in Honolulu's industry before.

There’s 28,000 square feet of space under the new TJ Maxx at Ward Centers that might look empty now, but come October 2 and 3, it will overflow with local fashion creative energy. In an event called OUTFIT: Hawaii Fashion Designer’s Market, local designers will have the chance to meet, network with, and learn from influential creatives from around the world.

It’s more than a trade show; it’s more than a marketplace. It will be a fashion event unlike anything presented in Honolulu’s industry before.

“This is a great opportunity for designers, because, not only will it put them in the same room with people who want to buy their clothes, it will give them exposure in local and national media, as well as access to influential people that they maybe couldn’t otherwise get face time with,” says Malie Moran, the coordinator for OUTFIT. “The idea is that emerging designers such as those from across the state will get to see and be affected by established designers, who will see and learn from local and international panelists.”

Panel discussions will take place on the main stage and present ideas from professors from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Apparel Product Design and Merchandising program and Honolulu Community College’s Fashion Technology program; editors from fashion magazines from around the globe will talk about how designers are finding success in their country;  TV and film wardrobe designers will talk about how you can plug into productions; and a retailer’s panel will look at how designers can get their stuff in department stores.

Fashion at the vendor booths will represent the wide range of style in Hawaii: Everything from high-end couture to men’s urban streetwear, to accessories and surf and swimwear. “Hilo Hattie and Jams World are coming as buyers, which is an amazing way emerging designers can pitch their lines to a large local retailer,” says Moran, who is also the founding editor of the street fashion website HawaiiRedStyle. “They are a resource to help newer designers learn how to write orders and go to a next level.”

Solo and group fashion shows will walk down a 60-foot runway in the middle of the showroom four times throughout the event, as styled by Paul Brown Salon’s Beauty Bar.

There will also be a multimedia Hifi Lounge where attendees can participate in DIY events hosted by Aly Ishikuni and the Art & Flea staff, as well as talk story industry professionals, visiting keynote lecturers, and panelists.

Stay tuned to our blog for updates on events and panelists. If you’re a designer who wants to book a booth in the exhibition space, or you’re a supporter wanting to volunteer, there is space for you. Click the links for more information. The deadline for booth registration is September 1. OUTFIT is a production of HawaiiRed, Hawaii Fashion Incubator, and the State Department of Business,Economic Development, and Tourism.

Categories Added to the Governor’s Fashion Awards Ballot

We’re excited to announce an expansion in the nomination categories for the Governor’s Fashion Awards to recognize photographers, wardrobe stylists, and members of the beauty industry. These professionals are a key part of the industry, and these categories have been added to recognize the essential role they play. There are just a few days left to nominate before the August 15 deadline, so jump in and nominate your favorites! If your vocation doesn’t fit neatly into one of the named categories, feel free to drop your nomination in the hat for Outstanding Professional. Given enough response, we may add more categories in future years.

Find the link to nominate with updated criteria here.

Who’s that Girl on the Mic at Discover Kaka’ako?

That’s Kimee Balmilero, an actor, host, producer, educator, and founder of ImprovHI. Her credits include The three-time Emmy-nominated TV series Hi-5, the original broadway cast of Mamma Mia, and the national touring company of Miss Saigon. Although a serious actress, Balmilero says she’s a huge fan of comedy and studied improv and sketch at Upright Citizens Brigade in New York and LA. Now back in Hawaii, she teaches improv, acting, and musical theater to kids and adults statewide.

Balmilero is also the founder of, a website dedicated to featuring all improv & sketch comedy shows, classes, and workshops around the island. She produces and hosts The Original Jams Improv Show (OJAMS) featuring local performers and an open improv jam, where people are invited to get up and try improvisation for themselves. She also produces The Scratch Paper Sketch Show every first Saturday in Kaka’ako; it’s the only ongoing sketch comedy show in Hawaii right now.

You can also catch her emceeing around town for events like Lemonade Alley, Discover Kaka’ako, and Honolulu Night Market.

Hifi Designers Featured in Discover Kaka‘ako on Saturday


On Saturday, Ward Centers’s fashion and film-themed block party, Discover Kaka‘ako, will feature the designs of Hifi members Peace of Paradise, Rumi Murakami, Ecolicious, and Lily of the Valley Isle! (Photos by Travis Okimoto and courtesy Ward Centers.)

Here’s the announcement from Ward Centers’s website:

This month, Ward Centers aims to showcase Hawai‘i’s flourishing connection between film and fashion in a collaborative partnership with the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and Hifi COOP. Experience the best in film and fashion, information on the upcoming Hawaii Fashion Month program, “Half-y Hour” discounts, food, and live entertainment.

Presented by the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), (DBEDT) and Hifi COOP, a few of this month’s Discover Kaka‘ako events currently include:

  • Kick the night off with POCKET at the main stage 5:00 p.m.  These veteran local musicians specialize in Disco, Funk & R&B cover tunes from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
  • At 6:30 p.m., revel in the setting sun while the feature film, Blue Hawaii plays overhead.
  • At 8:15 p.m. turn your attention to the main stage for a fashion show brought to you by  the Hifi COOP.  Designers will be taking you from the beach to the boardroom with the latest trends and fashions.
  • Enjoy 50 percent off at these participating Half-y Hour stores plus sample signature cocktails along the way:  As Seen on TV,  Crazy Shirts Outlet,  Downtown Gifthings, Eden in Love, Island Olive Oil,  Island Soap & Candle Works, Native Books/Na Mea, Rainbowtique, Sedona, THEFACESHOP

Upcoming 2013 Discover Kaka’ako dates:
September 14, October 12, November 9, December 14.

And here’s more info, from today’s Lei Chic update!

Discover Day
 This month, Discover Kakaako fuses film and fashion. Enjoy an outdoor screening of the 1961 Elvis movie Blue Hawaii, then head to the main stage for a fashion show featuring Hifi Coop’s emerging local designers, like Peace of Paradise Creations, Allison Izu, and Rumi Murakami. Plus, preview upcoming events for Hawaii Fashion Month and take advantage of Half-y Hour’s 50-percent-off deals and free signature cocktails at participating merchants.

When: Saturday, 5-9 p.m. Movie at 6:30 p.m., fashion show at 8:15 p.m.
Where: Ward Centers
Details: For a full schedule, click here

To stay up to date on upcoming Discover Kaka‘ako events, visit and follow the #discoverkakaako hashtag.


Photos from the HFM Media Launch & Proclamation

Photographs from the media launch of #HFM2013, held on the Sun Suite of the Modern Honolulu. Photos by Travis K. Okimoto, © 2013

Governor Abercrombie Declares October as Hawaii Fashion Month

Governor Abercrombie, as introduced by Senator Will Espero and flanked in the audience by Georja Skinner and Mary Alice Evans of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT), announced today that October will be known as Hawaii Fashion Month in the state of Hawaii.

Governor Abercrombie, as introduced by Senator Will Espero and flanked in the audience by Georja Skinner and Mary Alice Evans of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT), announced today that October will be known as Hawaii Fashion Month (HFM) in the state of Hawaii.

“I’m hoping to do everything I can to try to make it attractive and possible for fashion to take place on an ongoing basis,” he said at a press conference held at the Modern Honolulu. “We want to build an international retail [fashion] destination.”

Although Gov. Abercrombie waxed nostalgic about some of the big names in Hawaii’s fashion history—”I’ll tell you what Hawaii fashion was 50-plus years ago: It was Dave Rochlen [founder of Jams World]. He was an original creator and pioneer. We have world music and world fashion now, and Dave was a part of that. Jams World was international in terms of its scope and reach. He was out pitching Hawaii, selling Hawaii […] Alfred Shaheen’s designs are being reintroduced in today’s market […] I knew Hilo Hattie! I don’t know how many people can say that. She embodied the spirit of aloha. […] She would be proud of what’s happening here today”—he made it a point to say that this is about Hawaii’s fashion industry ahead of us.

“I’m looking at the future,” he said. “This is not a one-off. This is not some nostalgic look back. We’re looking forward. It’s a privilege to look forward with all of you.”

Gov. Abercrombie then presented Hifi co-founders and HFM co-chairs Melissa White and Toby Portner with a proclamation in recognition of HFM, a month that, as Abercrombie read aloud, “aims to raise awareness of Hawaii as a unique, creative, and competitive fashion destination while bringing sustainable growth to the industry that comprises design, manufacturing, retail, art, education and more.” (See the complete text below.)

Senator Espero, acting as emcee, said that this is the “first time, on a national level, that a city is putting on a fashion month.” He said that, given the strong talent in the industry here, creating a full month of fashion attention was an idea that is accomplishable. “When you think of all the individuals in the fashion industry here, we knew this was a task we could complete successfully. […] October is the month of film and fashion in Hawaii.”

“There’s a lot of people I’m seeing out in the crowd now that I’m really excited to see,” said White, looking at the audience that included designers such as Allison Izu, Lauren Roth, Deb Mascia of Mu‘umu‘u Heaven, Beverly Horton, Denyse Ray of the Ease Collection, Matt Bruening, Brooke Dombroski, Stephen Haus, Robert Reed, and Akihiko Izukura.

Hifi co-founder Toby Portner said, “When we came together seven years ago, we envisioned this, and it seemed so far away. Now it’s here! We’re looking forward to see what’s to come.”

In a fashion industry that already generates what DBEDT Deputy Director Mary Alice Evans estimates is $750 million every year in sales for the state, HFM seeks to make this industry grow. “We want to keep the dollars in Hawaii,” Abercrombie said.

Read more

August’s Discover Kaka‘ako is Racked with Local Fashion!

Is it already August?! October is fast approaching, but even if you still can’t wait for #HFM2013, this month’s Discover Kaka‘ako event will whet your appetite. It all starts on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 5pm, with a screening of the classic Elvis flick, Blue Hawaii, followed by a fashion show (featuring the inventive designers of the Hifi COOP), and a presentation by DBEDT, the Hawaii International Film Fest, and the Hifi COOP about the link between film and fashion. Fashion Month partners ShopSuey will follow, showcasing their amazing new local shopping app. It’s all in the parking lot diamondhead of Menchie’s, across Auahi Street from the movie theater.



Hawaii Fashion Month (HFM) seeks to showcase the work of local photographers, stylists, and models throughout the state. HFM's promotions, collateral, and media coverage will highlight the best of the industry and provide a platform for exposure via our PR efforts and media partnerships.

Hawaii Fashion Month (HFM) seeks to showcase the work of local photographers, stylists, and models throughout the state. HFM’s promotions, collateral, and media coverage will highlight the best of the industry and provide a platform for exposure via our PR efforts and media partnerships. HONOLULU Magazine is our primary print partner and will publish select photos in the official HFM program.

We are seeking submissions of high-resolution editorial fashion images that meet the following criteria:

  • 300 dpi resolution, as large as possible
  • Incorporate locally designed clothing, jewelry, and/or accessories
  • All permissions cleared from photographer, stylists, models, agencies, locations, designers/fashion houses, MUA’s, etc.
  • Free from watermarks and text
  • Off-centered images and images with space for text preferred

HFM will provide credit to all photographers, stylists, models, makeup artists, featured designers, etc., as specified in the submission. If selected, photos may be used by HFM in the following outlets:

  • To accompany editorial and advertorial media stories about HFM and the industry in print, web, video, and social media;
  • Accent photos on HFM collateral (flyers, posters, programs, banners, etc.);
  • In HFM’s social media, blog, video, web, and newsletter.

Please submit photos (low-res/watermarked versions OK for submission purposes), detailed credits, and any usage requirements/restrictions to Aaron Hess,, no later than Monday, August 5.