18 Reasons We Love Hawai‘i Fashion

From chic beachware and bold, nature-inspired prints to cool collabs and fresh spins on sartorial traditions, here are 18 reason we’re crazy about Hawai‘i fashion.


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No. 5: Connections To Nature

From the elegance of the koa leaf to the flow of the ‘ele‘ele, local designers draw inspiration from Hawai‘i’s diverse and uniquely beautiful surroundings. 

Photo: David Croxford, Illustration: Kelsey Ige 


1. Designers Ane Bakutis, Jamie Makasobe and Hina Kneubuhl of Kealopiko capture the flowing movement of the limu ‘ele‘ele in the water, a seaweed that grows only where fresh and sea water mingle. The print speaks to the importance of maintaining a good, clean water habitat in our Islands. 

‘Ele‘ele keiki Tee, $28, kealopiko.com


2. Danene Lunn, owner of Manuheali‘i, represents the layering of generations with the ‘awapuhi, a native Hawaiian ginger plant with vibrant red blossoms. “It is also the first plant we planted for our youngest son when we moved to Kailua and became a family of five,” says Lunn. 

Naomi tank, $44, manuhealii.com


3. Hilo-based Sig Zane hopes his designs provide deeper insight into Hawaiian culture and values. Here, the kalaukoa print celebrates the signature, crescent-shaped leaves of the koa tree, the largest native tree in Hawai‘i. 

Button-down shirt, $200, sigzane.com


4. Tutuvi Sitoa designer Colleen Kimura finds never-ending inspiration from the plants, sea life and natural material from the Pacific Islands. Note how the kukui leaves are beautifully knotted into a lei, traditionally made by joining leaf stems together. 

Kukui Print T-Shirt, $46, available Nov. 23 through Dec. 31. at Shop Pacifica, bernice pauahi bishop museum, 1525 bernice st., 848-4158.


No. 6: Luxury, Steps From the Sand

No need to stray from the shore when in search of upscale shopping. Luxe retail destinations are as close to the crests as it gets. 

Photo: Courtesy of Valentino 


Just this year alone has brought a slew of new high-end retailers to the Islands. At the practically beachside Royal Hawaiian Center sit ritzy brands that include Fendi, Tourneau and, as of July, the Islands’ first Valentino (pictured) store, with two elegant floors of sleek stone filled with the brand’s signature Rockstud shoes and leather goods.


Across the bridge, the expansion of the already-massive Ala Moana Center includes a 165,000-square-foot Bloomingdale’s that will stock a mile-long list of dashing, luxurious labels. Offerings include the first-ever Vince handbag shop, uber-popular Alexander Wang tees and hard-to-get Burberry Beauty.


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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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