Video: #HFMKauai Launch and Fashion Show at The Shops at Kukuiula

HFM Kauai is killing it in their second year!  The 2015 launch event happened at The Shops at Kukui’ula and featured more than a dozen talented Garden Isle Designers. Keith Ketchum Photography captured a video of the action, check it out below! And read The Garden Island‘s event coverage, here.

And stay tuned for Hawaii Fashion Month events on Kauai throughout the month of November, celebrating Hawaii businesses and fashion professionals, from designers and retailers to stylists, photographers, hair and makeup artists, models, event producers, artists, manufacturers, and more.

Featured photo courtesy of The Garden Island 

Meet Malia Jones at HIFI Connects on November 6!

Featured image source: HONOLULU Shops, June 2015

Malia Jones will be part of an all-star fashion panel at HIFI Connects: The Business of HI Fashion at the Honolulu Design Center on November 6, 2015. Tickets are available here.

Malia Jones made a name for herself as an athlete and a model at an early age, because of her love and aptitude for surfing. She traveled the globe to model for magazines, commercials and print ads. She has influenced the lines of other designers, and has collaborated widely. Now that she’s settled back home in Honolulu it’s no surprise that she’s coming out with her own line, inspired by her extensive travels and personal taste for relaxed luxury & classic simplicity.

Taking an idea through production and onto the sales floor is no easy thing. especially for a mom of two young boys. Malia reached out to old friends, who now work in the industry in LA, to help her through the process. They’re coming together to tell the story in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.

See more of Malia’s story courtesy of Nadine Kam’s Fashion Tribe, here.

See a few of her suits, here.


HFM Kicks off Poolside at THE MODERN HONOLULU on 11/1

Credit: Travis Okimoto

Credit: Travis Okimoto

Hawaii Fashion Month 2015 Kicks Off in style with a special edition of THE MODERN HONOLULU’s Grey Goose Day Club!

Join us Sunday, November 1 from 12-6pm for a poolside party featuring special edition Grey Goose cocktails, tunes by DJ Godiva, magazines from our event media partner Pacific Edge Magazine, and a fashion show of locally designed swim and resort wear from Issa de Mar, Matt Bruening, Alola and other top Hawaii designers.

Fashion show is at 2pm. Tickets are $10 at the door, and the event is 21 and over. Daybeds can be reserved by contacting The first 50 people to arrive and mention Hawaii Fashion Month will receive a drink ticket for an HFM Grey Goose cocktail!

Mahalo to our Kickoff Sponsors:

THE MODERN HONOLULU is HFM’s official hotel partner and a hub for fashion events and VIP gatherings throughout the month.

Hawaiian Airlines is HIFI and HFM’s official Airline Sponsor, enabling HIFI to build bridges to the international fashion community year round.


AHOLA Site Specific Fashion Project Debuts during HFM!

ahola logo

media pic

HFX Mentor Henry Navarro returns during Hawaii Fashion Month to showcase the results of Hawaii’s first fashion-as-public-art project at a special Hawaii Fashion Month edition of THE MODERN HONOLULU’s Study Hall Lecture Series on November 4th, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

The event is free and open to the public. It will include a presentation on the process that took place during the summer of 2015, and a showcase of the resulting collection, called AHOLA (“Aloha” spelled backwards). AHOLA is a community driven collection inspired by Hawaii’s history, nature, culture, and diverse population. Inherent in the creation of the collection is a discussion of the issues shaping Hawaii’s present and future. Pacific Edge Magazine is the media partner for the event and will showcase AHOLA in its Fall 2015 issue. 

“Through the six weeks I was in Honolulu, I worked with a diverse group, from concept to execution. We came together one evening to discuss current life in Hawaii, shared our individual perspectives, and then went on to design and create garments reflecting the dialogue. The group members contributed to every aspect of the collection. We discussed everything from colonial legacies to what and who is considered ‘local’ now”, says project coordinator Henry Navarro, a professor from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Prof. Navarro has completed similar projects in Spain, Italy, Ohio, Canada, and Cuba, bringing people together to express somewhat difficult or uncomfortable topics.

The outfits were designed on-site by a group of Hawaii-based creators, and will be worn by a multi-ethnic group of ‘real-people models’ from various Honolulu neighborhoods. Each piece interprets elements of Hawaiian culture into contemporary looks. Through the lens of fashion, the designers collaborated and explored questions of locality and authenticity in Hawaii.

The project was supported by HIFI (Hawaii Fashion Incubator) & Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii. AHOLA received funding from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative and from Ryerson University in Toronto, where Navarro is an Assistant Professor in the School of Fashion.

“I’ve known of Henry’s work for some time and always admired his desire to address community-related issues through the medium of fashion and dress. I have felt that one of his projects would work well for Hawaii. I am glad that he accepted the offer to come to Honolulu to share his experience and knowledge,” says Andy Reilly, Professor of Fashion Design and Merchandising at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Reilly saw Navarro’s work in Toronto and was inspired to bring Navarro to Honolulu for a local edition. For AHOLA, Prof. Navarro worked with a group of volunteer design assistants and models who represent different ethnic and cultural experiences found in contemporary Hawaii. Their ideas and skills shaped every step of the creative process including conceptualizing the collection, selecting materials and sewing the garments. Several group members will also model their designs and produce the showcase.

“The premise of a fashion-as-public-art project is to select a location and, in a short period of time, design, develop and produce a collection intimately related to the place,” said Prof. Navarro. “Participative public artworks like AHOLA are only possible because of the interest and direct contribution from the local community.”

Follow AHOLA at:

Event Details: Wednesday, November 4th, 6:00 PM at THE MODERN HONOLULU’s The Study (1775 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815).


Honolulu’s First ‘Fashion as Public Art’ Project Needs YOU


Photos from previous collaborations including Havanidad (Cuba), Grey Cincinnati (US), Femme Universalis (Toronto), and Situozuone (Italy)

June 2015 brings Toronto designer, professor, and HFX Mentor Henry Navarro to Honolulu, where he sets the stage for Ahola, a site specific fashion project with potential to change the world!

A site-specific fashion project is a community driven public art work that takes advantage of fashion design’s collaborative processes to allow the exploration of social or political issues in a specific location. Henry coined the term “fashion as public art” and has completed similar projects working with communities in Cuba, Italy, Spain, and the mainland US.

Everyone is welcomed to participate, in everything from planning to design, photography, modeling, event production, and all the roles in between. Expert participants learn about the social empowerment aspect of project while novice ones learn about fashion as a creative industry.

The work starts right away and develops organically based on who comes to the table. The sky is the limit!

The final collection will be showcased during Hawaii Fashion Month in November 2015.

Please use this form to indicate your interests and talents and look out for immediate follow up.



Coming June + November 2015 – a  community driven design project with artist and Ryerson University fashion professor Henry Navarro, sponsored by HIFI and the University of Hawai‘i.

HFX Members + HIFI subscribers: Stay tuned for opportunities to be apart of this amazing project! This is a collaborative venture that will explore the intersections and influences between the diversity of Pacific island cultures that call Hawai‘i home. The project will consist of a fashion collection designed, sourced, and produced in collaboration with local communities over a month in summer of 2015.

The collection will use local materials and will be unveiled in a final presentation during Hawai‘i Fashion Month 2015. Henry will present the project at international conferences such as Fashion Art Toronto and the International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference.

Henry coined the term “Fashion as Public Art” and has completed collaborations that use fashion to comment on geographic context and social issues in Italy, Spain, Cuba, and the US.

Learn Fashion Illustration By One Of The Best: Louda Larrain

Renowned textile artist Louda Larrain is teaching a half-day workshop on fashion illustration in conjunction with Hifi and Hawaii Fashion Month. Louda is a mentor in the Hawaii Fashion Exchange, Hifi’s recent membership initiative.
This post originally appeared on and appears here with permission from Paula Rath.

Fashion illustration is a skill that can be just plain fun. And you don’t have to be a fashion designer to enjoy it. Just loosen up and be ready to play!

Renowned textile artist Louda Larrain is teaching a half-day workshop on fashion illustration in conjunction with Hifi and HFM (Hawaii Fashion Month). Louda is a mentor in the Hawaii Fashion Exchange (HFX), Hifi’s recent membership initiative. (Learn more about her in my blog.)

The workshop is suitable for aspiring and experienced illustrators and it’s designed to be intimate, so space is very limited.


The Fashion Illustration workshop will be held:

Sunday, November 16

Noon to 4 p.m.

Hosted by Fishcake Gallery, 307 Kamani St. in Kakaako

Cost: $70 for the general public and $35 for HFX members

Register online here.

The workshop will cover:

  • A presentation on fashion illustration history
  • A demonstration explaining illustration approaches and methods
  • Numerous drawing sessions with a live model, followed by a critique of each participant’s work
  • Exercises to communicate students’ fashion ideas through drawing


I remember when I was a fashion student at HCC and I shared my fashion illustration class assignments with my husband, Jerry, who is an orthopedic surgeon. It drove him nuts because the proportions are so wacky and, well, kind of outrageous and beyond Barbie. He would go on and on about how I just couldn’t draw that way because no one’s legs are that long, no one’s head is that small and, well…. no one’s proportions are like that.

Well, you know what? When it comes to fashion illustration, imagination reigns and reality flies out the window. We get to live in la-la land for a little while. Try it. I think you’ll have a blast.

– Paula Rath

Follow Paula Rath at “Hawaii fashion and fitness.”