Fighting Eel and Sig Zane Release a Merrie Monarch Festival-Inspired Collaboration

Hang on to your hula skirts! The two Hawai‘i brands are releasing their first collaboration at the 2019 Merrie Monarch Festival (April 25–27).
Fighting Eel x Sig Zane Designs collab


Target and H&M aren’t the only ones who can drop a killer collaboration. Two of our own big-hitting fashion houses, Fighting Eel and Sig Zane Designs, came together to create an irresistible family collection featuring alohawear for adults and keiki.  


Fighting Eel co-owners Lan Chung and Rona Bennett have been longtime fans of Sig Zane and buy the brand’s aloha shirts for their husbands. “But I could never find boy’s aloha shirts that I really loved for my son,” Chung says. “So, when Sig Zane approached us to do a collaboration that included a boy’s shirt, there was no hesitation to say yes to the best in the business.”


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Sig Zane’s art director, Brandy Alia-Serikaku, says the collaboration is a game-changer for the Hilo-based brand. “Ever since I started working at Sig Zane, I have always heard customers asking for matching family outfits, and unless it was a special order, it’s something we’ve never done. Now, our customers finally have that opportunity.”


Naturally, Fighting Eel designed the women’s and girl’s pieces for the collection—dresses, coverups, shorts and pants—in their popular jersey and rayon blends. Sig Zane, however, took a break from crisp aloha shirts and decided on a lightweight cotton with a curved hem for the men’s and boy’s cuts.


The biggest wrinkle was the pattern, which was the common thread. “It took us a year and a half to decide on the print,” recalls Chung. “We got to look through Sig’s archive—it’s HUGE!—and I thought, how will we ever narrow this down?” Eventually, they landed on red ginger and plumeria prints in several different colorways.


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And, while the clothes will be the talk of the town, the synergy of working together is what the designers speak highly about. “When you do what you do for so long, it’s refreshing to see another local company’s culture and how they operate,” says Rona Bennett, co-owner of Fighting Eel.


Alia-Serikaku adds, “Working with the girls was the best part! Lan and Rona’s infectious energy and confidence are definitely like their name, Fighting Eel.”


Skipping the 2019 Merrie Monarch?

Women’s and girls’ styles will be available at Fighting Eel shops and; men’s and boy’s shirts will be available at Sig Zane Designs, Sig on Smith and


Read more stories by Stacey Makiya