Hawaii Fashion Incubator Wins Award for HFM2013

The American Marketing Association Hawaii Chapter has announced the winners for the 2013 American Marketing Awards, honoring Hawaii’s top marketers in 2013. The Hawaii Fashion Incubator was awarded Best Marking of an Event for Hawaii Fashion Month (HFM).

HFM is a month to promote and elevate all aspects of Hawaii’s fashion industry: design, manufacturing, education, art, retail, and more. The inaugural HFM in October 2013 featured 40 events including fashion shows, exhibits, shopping events, seminars, and films. Four “Signature Events” were created and produced by the HFM team to anchor the month, including the HFM Kick-Off, OUTFIT: Hawaii Fashion Designers Market, Fashion as Art @ HiSAM, and the Governor’s Fashion Awards, as well as two Signature sponsor events with Ala Moana Center and Royal Hawaiian Center.
“With widespread participation and support from the fashion industry, corporate partners, and the State and County governments, HFM 2013 was an unprecedented effort that greatly increased the visibility of Hawaii fashion and set a baseline to measure growth and progress going forward,” says Melissa White.

HIFI oversaw the planning and production for HFM with support from HFM Co-Chair Senator Will Espero, a Steering Committee, and a Team of eight. The marketing team included Katie Ka`anapu of Howard Hughes Corporation (HFM Marketing Committee Chair and Steering Member); Lauren Roth of Yellow Bird Bohemia (HFM Creative Director); Aaron Lee of Formlessness Design (HFM Web Designer); Bree Dallwitz of Communications Pacific (HFM PR Coordinator); James Cave (HFM Social Media and Editorial Director), Jason Hoopai of ShopSuey (Mobile App Partner) and Shaun Edward (Videographer).

In its inaugural year, HFM secured partnerships with major media including HONOLULU Magazine, Clear Channel, Nella Media Group, and Pacific Edge Magazine, as well as a print partnership with Hagadone Printing. Magazine partners provided advertising and design support for the HFM and Governor’s Fashion Awards programs. KITV featured HFM regularly leading up to and during the month, and weather anchor Moanikeala Nabarro showcased local designers throughout the month. Clear Channel aired 200 radio spots throughout the month of October. A partnership with mobile app ShopSuey enabled HFM to have an interactive online program, as well as a virtual marketplace for vendors at OUTFIT Hawaii Fashion Designers Market. And the State of Hawaii remained a steadfast supporter, pledging $160,000 in funding and issuing an official proclamation by Governor Neil Abercrombie at a press conference in August 2013.

In all, HFM was covered in the media more than 170 times leading up to and during the month. More than 100 local designers were showcased and thousands attended the events from Hawaii, the Mainland U.S., Japan, China, and India. The recognition from the American Marketing Association Hawaii Chapter attests to the excellent work carried out by the HFM Team in promoting this first-of-its-kind event.

The awards will be presented to all recipients at a reception on April 10 at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki. More information can be found at amahawaii.org, hawaiifashionmonth.com, and hawaiifashion.org.

Some Changes In Store For Hawaii Fashion Month 2014

Starting this year, November is Hawaii Fashion Month. And, as Hawaii Fashion Incubator co-founders Melissa White and Toby Portner will tell you, there’s a lot of change to dish. Here’s what we’ve got in store for you as HFM continues to move Hawaii fashion forward.
Starting this year, November is Hawaii Fashion Month. And, as Hawaii Fashion Incubator co-founders Melissa White and Toby Portner will tell you, there’s a lot of change to dish. Here’s what we’ve got in store for you as HFM continues to move Hawaii fashion forward:

November is (Now) Hawaii Fashion Month

Why the change to November? Aside from the fact that this is the month for holiday shopping, it’s also one of Hawaii’s slowest months in terms of in tourist activity. Also, November, as opposed to October, will allow for increased international participation based on the international fashion calendar.

HFM is not only a month of events, but it also supports the infrastructure of Hawaii’s fashion industry and allows those involved to showcase their talents on a much bigger platform with greater exposure. This year, HFM will have increased international exposure with the first-ever HONOLULU Fashion Week, organized by HONOLULU Magazine, HFM’s major magazine partner.

“HONOLULU Fashion Week is a great example of an HFM partner stepping up to produce a major event and sharing that platform with the community,” says White.

Shared Venue Returns

Remember last year’s OUTFIT venue? This year, HFM hopes to invest in a shared venue again, but for 7-10 days, during which different designers and a variety of partners and vendors can host a multitude of events. The concept behind the shared venue is similar to OUTFIT, but will be open longer to give participants greater access and create a hub for Hawaii fashion.

Hawaii Fashion Exchange

The Hawaii Fashion Incubator will also launch a new online platform called the Hawaii Fashion Exchange (HFX), an effort to respond to the needs of the local fashion industry that became apparent from HFM last year, as well as the needs of HFM’s partners, sponsors, and event hosts, who will be able to post offers and needs to HFX.

For example, HFM’s hotel partners can post special rates for those who might want to host events at their venue. HFX will also feature a listing of professionals, including modeling agencies, designers, stylists, event producers, and more. The idea is that HFX will serve as a platform for members to connect with resources and opportunities. HIFI will also select from members of HFX when planning news segments and print media coverage leading up to HFM, so the platform presents the opportunity for great media exposure.

White explains that HFM is dedicated to a simple, yet poignant purpose: collaboration. “That’s the theme that keeps coming up, because just having five successful companies doesn’t mean we have a fashion destination or fashion capital,” she says. “HFM is about everyone coming to the table and working together, from emerging designers to luxury retailers and legacy Hawaii brands. They all participated last year and that spirit has to continue for this to be successful. Collaboration will allow us all to achieve more.”

Professional Development

Along with launching HFX, HIFI is also considering a certification and credential program, which would present professionals the opportunity to learn from experts in the industry through workshops and seminars. Come April, HIFI will host a workshop with Lynne O’Neill, who has directed many fashion shows for New York Fashion Week. Those who complete the workshop will be given a certificate of completion.

“Each year, we need to further elevate the quality of the brand of Hawaii fashion that we put out there to the world,” White says. “By connecting local professionals with top-notch training and mentorship, we can continue to raise the bar and promote Hawaii alongside other major fashion destinations.”

Evaluating the Numbers

In addition to collaboration and professional development, HFM also allows the industry to take stock of its current state. “Last year, we collected a lot of data and found that our members’ biggest needs were manufacturing, promotions, and capital,” White says. “HIFI is focusing our efforts in support of the industry to make sure that those gaps start to get filled. HFM is a way to bring the community together around shared needs, as well as providing the key promotional platform for the industry to brand Hawaii fashion and showcase it to the world.”