Hawai‘i’s Kini Zamora Dishes About His Return to Project Runway and Tim Gunn

The Project Runway standout returns to the show on Feb. 11.


Project Runway All Stars

Photo: Courtesy of Lifetime


Kini Zamora, Hawai‘i designer/Project Runway alum, is at it again, whipping up show-stopping creations in hopes of winning the show’s All Stars season five. On the eve of of his return to reality TV, we caught up with the Honolulu Community College graduate. Although he couldn’t divulge any behind-the-scenes info, we learned why he returned to Project Runway All Stars, how he keeps a secret and the best advice he received from the “make it work” fashion guru himself, Tim Gunn.




HONOLULU Magazine: Why did you decide to participate in Project Runway All Stars

Kini Zamora: At first I thought to myself, hell no! But then I thought, it’s another chance for me to show the world more of what I can do. Also, I thought I could open more doors for people to appreciate Hawai‘i talent.


HONOLULU: What would you compare the stress level of being on Project Runway to?

KZ: Jumping out of an airplane. It’s all this excitement and anxiety and, when it’s all done, you can sit back and enjoy it!


HONOLULU: What’s the best advice Tim Gunn has given you?

KZ: Be me, and make sure you can see Kini Zamora in every piece you design.


HONOLULU: How hard is it to keep the results of Project Runway a secret from your family and friends?

KZ: It’s tough, but my family respects how hard it must be for me not to say anything, so they don’t ask. No one else knew I was on the show, so it’s a surprise to everyone.


HONOLULU: Was there anything different that you packed for this season of Project Runway

KZ: More Hawaiian and floral prints. I wanted to show a more stylish Hawaiian trend.


HONOLULU: How long were you actually away from home?

KZ: Filming process is about six weeks.


HONOLULU: Where’s your go-to place to grind in New York?

KZ: Shake Shack! I love their burgers! My usual is a bacon cheeseburger, french fries and a strawberry shake.


HM: What are three things you learned from being on Project Runway twice?

KZ: Stay true to your design aesthetic. Be confident in what you create. Love everything you send down the runway.


HONOLULU: What other reality show would you try out for?

KZ: None!!!


HONOLULU: Three words to describe the upcoming Project Runway All Stars season.

KZ: Twist, turns and excitement!


HONOLULU: What’s next for Kini? 

KZ: Opening The Clique by KZ, a one-stop shop basically with my store, manufacturing, photography studio, and hair and makeup styling studio. I’m working on a 2016 wedding collection, a fall/winter 2016 collection and fall/winter 2016 KZHawai‘i Collection. Plus, a couple of shows: Susan G. Komen fashion show and Goodwill Goes Glam. 


The first episode is set to air Feb. 11. For more updates, visit kinizamora.com or mylifetime.com.


Read More Stories by Stacey Makiya 


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