All of Hifi's goals and projects are informed by the input of its members. At Hifi’s very first event in April 2007, 50 survey respondents identified expanding Honolulu Fashion Week, creating a Honolulu Fashion District, providing affordable workspace and showroom space for designers, developing trade shows to attract local and international retailers, and hosting events to showcase local talent as top priorities, though support was evident across the board for a wide range of initiatives such as education, mentorship, creating an online directory and community, and forging partnerships with local arts/cultural organizations. This and other ongoing feedback from the community have helped define Hifi's main projects and priorities.
Hawaii Fashion Month
October 2013 will be the first annual Hawaii Fashion Month (HFM), as declared officially by Governor Neil Abercrombie in December 2012. HFM is a month to promote and elevate all aspects of Hawaii’s fashion industry: design, manufacturing, education, art, and retail. The month will be filled with events including fashion shows, exhibits, shopping events, and more to bring the community together and promote Hawaii as a fashion destination. Hifi is organizing HFM along with key stakeholders from the fashion industry, government, arts, education, and business. Visit www.hawaiifashion.org/hfm to learn more.
The Hifi COOP @ Ward Warehouse
With the partnership of Howard Hughes Corporation and Ward Centers, Hifi opened its first physical headquarters, the Hifi COOP, at Ward Warehouse in March 2012. The Hifi COOP is a resource center that the fashion and arts community can utilize as a hub for classes, workshops, photo shoots, materials exchange, garment production, showroom space, affordable workspace and more. Professional Members can host events, offer classes and workshops, sell work in the store, and receive discounts on use of the space. The COOP also offers open sewing time, classes, and workshops for fashion enthusiasts of all ages. Finally, Hifi partners with local retailers to deploy the work local designers around the State via Hifi COOP "pop-up" shops.
Made in Hawaii Manufacturing & Export
Hifi is working to revitalize local apparel manufacturing and elevate the brand of "Made in Hawaii" fashion. We are partnering with local factories to increase Members' access to affordable, high quality local manufacturing, providing assistance and mentorship along the entire production chain. Our Hifi Apprenticeship program (launching in 2013) is designed to train designers to work with factories through collaborating on a capsule line designed and produced locally. Hifi is also collaborating with the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) and other entities to promote "Made in Hawaii" as a valuable brand that can be exported to international markets. Hifi provides export training to Members and opportunities to exhibit at large international trade shows such as the Japan International Fashion Fair. By providingdesigners with skilled local sales representation, trade show training, and expert booth display, we provide a valuable entree for designers wishing to enter international markets.
Kakaako Fashion District
Hifi and our members have long envisioned a fashion district in Honolulu where designers live and work, produce locally made fashion, and come together as a cohesive community. Kakaako is emerging as a new creative hub in the center of Honolulu, and fashion is a central part of that vision. Hifi is working with major Kakaako landowners including Howard Hughes Corporation and Kamehameha Schools to establish a fashion identity for Kakaako and explore ways of developing it into a hub for the fashion industry and creative community.
UH Costume Museum
The University of Hawaii at Manoa's historic Costume Collection is one of the largest collections of apparel and accessories housed within an American University. With 20,000 pieces spanning at least 150 years of fashion across the globe, the Collection is an inspirational resource for designers and should be a source of pride for the local community, as well as a fashion-related attraction for visitors. Due to lack of resources, the Collection is in dire need of funds for proper cataloguing and archiving, as well as a permanent home where it can be displayed and enjoyed by the community. Hifi regularly produces exhibits and showcases of the UH Costume Collection to raise awareness and funds. Donations are welcomed, click here for more information.
This list is just the beginning... send us your ideas for fashion in Hawaii!