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Editor’s Page: Fashion Forward

Exploring Hawai‘i style.



Photo: Adam Jung 

Here at the magazine, we’ve been thinking a lot about Hawai‘i’s diverse fashion scene as we prep for our second annual HONOLULU Fashion Week, Nov. 20-22 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.


The event is the inspiration of our boss, Duane Kurisu, the self-deprecating entrepreneurial business executive who came up with the idea last year.  Why take such an interest in fashion now? “Fashion brings energy, it brings style, it brings grace,” he said, at the final meeting for Reach the Runway, a nonprofit program designed to provide middle-school students with a broader understanding of careers in the local fashion industry while equipping them with tools to start their own paths.


Led by our colleagues, Stacey Makiya and Lennie Omalza, the program started as a smallish segment of a large event that includes runway shows, a fashion marketplace and appearances by special guests to celebrate and elevate the latest in fashion. Yet Reach the Runway has proven inspirational for those of us who had the opportunity to be mentors to the 20 students who met on Sunday afternoons. We found ourselves amazed by the students. They quickly grasped the critical importance of teamwork, they bonded as friends and weren’t afraid to take chances.  Mehana, who focused on makeup and hair, may have found the perfect metaphor: “If you make a mistake, you can always wipe it off.”


I am fortunate to work with a talented team to put together the magazine each month. And this month’s cover is a good example. It’s rare for us to print more than one cover for an issue, but this dual cover is even more unusual. It’s the collaborative work of many talented people, starting with our creative director Kristin Lipman, who was inspired by the idea of a mauka-to-makai theme. She reached out to two Island photographers, known for their stunning work: surf specialist Zak Noyle and aerial expert Cameron Brooks. Both jumped in to share images. Next designer Allison Izu Song designed the outfits, while Tony Truong printed the one-of-a-kind fabric that she would use to construct the two outfits on our two covers.  Photographer Harold Julian shot the models while Brooks stopped by to see his image of Koko Crater come to life in a dress, a first for him. 


Senior fashion editor Brie Thalmann and managing fashion editor Makiya helped coordinate all the pieces of the cover shoot and also led the work on the fashion feature story, a lively look at 18 reasons we love Hawai‘i fashion.  I got a chance to sit down with trailblazing photographer Alma McGoldrick, who was a dominant force in photography here from the 1960s to the ’80s and frequently shot HONOLULU covers during that time.


From left, Lennie Omalza, Duane Kurisu and Stacey Makiya.


Meanwhile, other parts of Fashion Week are coming together with the help of executive director Lynne Hanzawa O’Neill, a fashion dynamo herself. While she’ll be putting her distinctive imprint on the second HONOLULU Fashion Week, she’s also helped attract special guests from New York including  Harold Koda, who grew up in ‘Aiea and has since 2000 been the curator in charge of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We’ll also hear from Fern Mallis, the woman credited with starting the world-famous New York Fashion Week.


We’re pleased to round out this issue with our annual feature done in partnership with Historic Hawai‘i Foundation and the state Historic Preservation Division to spotlight threatened places that deserve consideration before they disappear. This year, associate editor Katrina Valcourt writes about seven historic sites worth saving. And we have a new holoholo guide to Neighbor Island travel. Maui writer Shannon Wianecki shares her tips for Valley Isle vacationing.


We hope you’ll enjoy all our journeys this month.




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