O‘ahu Middle Schoolers Get Celebrity Treatment at HONOLULU Fashion Week

The nonprofit Reach the Runway graduated the first class at HONOLULU Fashion Week.
Photos: Karen DB Photography 


This past week, seven middle-school girls started their Friday evening climbing into an Escalade limousine at the Moana Surfrider, ready to receive the ultimate HONOLULU Fashion Week experience. Part of Reach the Runway’s class of 2015, these students completed a 12-week mentorship program; each girl in the group represented a different aspect of fashion: journalism, photography, fashion design, magazine design, hair and makeup, styling and modeling. Their hard work, dedication and great attitudes earned them spots on Reach the Runway’s 2015 honor roll, and they were ready to enjoy their prize.


After arriving at the Hawai‘i Convention Center for HONOLULU Fashion Week in style, they were presented with swag bags containing jewelry from handmade local jewelry line Kiele, clutch bags from Honolulu-based textile design and accessory company Jana Lam, as well as other goodies provided by Wilhelmina Models. They then joined the rest of their class to attend a meet-and-greet with Fern Mallis, known as the godmother of fashion, and Harold Koda, an ‘Aiea native who is the curator in charge of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The girls were then ushered to their seats for Live Aloha, HONOLULU Fashion Week’s opening show. Less than two hours later, they took their reserved seats for the fashion show by Project Runway finalist Kini Zamora, a benefit for Reach the Runway.


SEE ALSO: Kini Zamora Fashion Show Benefit for Reach the Runway 


It was a whirlwind of an evening, and the first time most of the girls had ever seen a fashion show. After the Kini Zamora show, modeling graduate Autumn Woolpert marveled, “It’s like the clothes were alive!”


“It was an unforgettable evening of fashion-filled runway excitement,” said Diana Fletcher, mother of fashion design graduate and honor roll student Nicky Fletcher. “And it was also really neat for her to see her mentor’s work and talent.”


Reach the Runway is the official nonprofit program of HONOLULU Fashion Week. Presented by the aio Foundation in partnership with Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui’s R.E.A.C.H. initiative, it’s designed to inspire and support Hawai‘i’s youth by creating mentorship opportunities for O‘ahu middle-school students. Applications are now being accepted for the class of 2016.


Visit reachtherunway.com for more information.