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Moms à la Mode: These Local Moms Run Their Companies and Families in Style

These three fabulous women run successful businesses, sprint to baseball games, dash to fashion shows and still have time to make a statement in their Manaola and Pradas. It’s apparent why their children (and we) look up to them, even when they’re not wearing stilettos.


Kerrie Inouye


Kerrie Inouye



  • Kids: Hayzen (11), Madden (6)

  • Occupation: General manager of Fighting Eel


Describe your style in three words.

Minimalist, clean, classic.


How long does it take you to get dressed in the mornings?

Every morning it’s a scramble. “Mom, where’s my socks; Mom, where’s my baseball cap; Mom, I don’t have shorts!” Good Lord! Getting everyone out of the door on time is stressful. I’m lucky if I get 10 minutes!


Favorite local brands?

Aside from Ava Sky and Fighting Eel, I’m keeping my eye on Marissa Weidemann from B.D’Angelo Jewelry. She’s in New York on a full scholarship at a prestigious gemological institute to further her skills and design journey. I can’t wait to see what she’ll bring back!


Kerrie Inouye


What’s the best fashion advice you’d give a new mom?

Be kind to yourself and invest in pieces that will work through body changes. New moms are already adjusting tumultuously internally. The last thing they want to worry about is their wardrobe. Comfortable jersey basics will be their trusty best friends.


Red stilettos?

Never say never. However, currently, it’s NEVER. I’m cracking up just thinking of myself traipsing through my daily duties in them.


What key clothing pieces should people be adding to their wardrobes in 2018?

I’m looking forward to incorporating 2018’s classic color palette into my own wardrobe, including navy blues, gray mists and rich rusts.


Janyce Higa

The Classic Act

Janyce Higa


  • Kids: Lindsey (31) and Jordan (28)

  • Occupation: Office manager


Describe your style in three words.

Comfortable, timeless, black.


How long does it take you to get dressed in the mornings?

Two minutes.


What’s in your closet?

Workout clothes, jeans, crewneck tees and casual dresses, classic separates and Prada wedges.


What does your husband say about your style?

He says I have a great sense of style. How sweet!


Has your style influenced your daughters?

I’ve enjoyed styling them since they were born; ask them! But somewhere along the line their own style evolved, even though they’re still constantly picking through my closet.


Do they still ask you for fashion advice?

They text me all the time, usually before they purchase something or before they go out.


What’s the best fashion advice you’d give to moms who need a wardrobe refresh?

Don’t spend too much on trendy pieces and invest in classics.


What key clothing pieces will you buy for 2018?

For the most part, my timeless clothing will take me into 2018!


Mālia Ka‘aihue

The Local Lover

Malia Kaaihue


  • Kids: Laura (21), Micah (19), Keānuenue (14), Puamakamae (12), Kalānōweo (9), Hōkūwelo (7), Honua (4)

  • Occupation: President of DTL


Describe your style in three words.

Straightforward, bold and effortless.


Favorite local designers?

I love that we have so many talented local designers, but some of my favorites are Manaola, Kini Zamora, Salvage Public, Hooked Up Hawai‘i, Anu Hawai‘i (obviously since she is my daughter) and Aloha Modern (my lifestyle company).


You recently went to NYFW; what was your takeaway?

I’ve been to NYFW the last two years. My takeaway from both is that storytelling is a central metaphor for a lot of the designers. For me, the best designers were the ones with the richest stories who really nailed not just the technicalities of fashion, but nailed the culture of fashion.


What’s the best fashion advice you’d give to moms juggling a big family and career?

Do you, always and unapologetically. Be authentic, keep it simple and always plan ahead. 


Did you keep any fashion trend from college? And does it still fit?

My fashion has toned down a lot. Fit? Terrible question. NO.


Red stilettos?

Absolutely! But currently crushing on my hot pink stilettos more.


What key clothing pieces will you buy for 2018?

Jeans. I spent some time at the Levi’s headquarters and loved what I saw. Their unique heritage and ability to consistently innovate is impressive. This year is the 50th anniversary of the jean jacket!




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Honolulu Magazine August 2020
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