Fashion: Sig & Kūha‘o Zane

melded Hawaiian culture and fashion
Photo: Aaron Yoshino 

Last year, hilo-based brand sig zane celebrated 30 years. Three decades of constant motion in the fashion industry has not changed its mission: “Our goal is to always elevate the global perspective of what Hawaiian is,” says Kūha‘o. 


In 2015, Forest Cloud, the secondary gentleman’s line for Sig Zane, gained momentum. The unique addition of subtle Hawaiian-inspired patterns on rich Japanese fabrics exposed the capabilities and talent of Hawai‘i fashion designers. Superimposing an ‘ulu graphic print on a modern-cut tweed blazer was a game changer. Last summer, GQ Japan noticed the fresh takes and featured the power pair in Forest Cloud attire as part of a summer fashion roundup. 


Retailers were also suitably impressed. Neiman Marcus, which has been a fan of the brand for many years, snagged the opportunity last December to be the first U.S. store to carry the Forest Cloud line. 


Before the Neiman Marcus Forest Cloud deal came collaborations with HAYN footwear, Hurley, Kicks HI and the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance. 


“With every project we take on, it’s important for me that Kūha‘o, and generations that follow, really have that insight into cultural practices,” says Sig. “We see how the teachings of all who came before us continue to be relevant today.”


Reflecting back on 2015, gratitude is not far from Kūha‘o’s mind. “We are truly blessed to have a strong and talented design team. Last year, I took them to New York and planned trips to museums and art galleries,” he says. The opportunity to be directly inspired by different forms of art was a gift his parents gave him growing up—one he wanted to pass on to his creative family. 


The inspiration from that excursion will be seen in 2016 in their newest shop in downtown Honolulu, Sig on Smith. We can’t wait.