Preview Sig Zane Designs' Pinch of Salt pop-up in Honolulu

Zane Garden

Sig Zane Designs

Some things in life only come around once every few years, then poof! They're gone. Things like the Olympics. Class reunions.

And Honolulu pop-up shops by Hilo-based Sig Zane Designs.

For a fleeting five hours tomorrow, Sig Zane and his family will set up shop in Kakaako for A Pinch of Salt for the Holidays. There, you'll have access to signature, limited-edition Aloha shirts, dresses, accessories and more sans interisland flight (or Internet connection). You can also learn about their work, inspiration and process during a free talk story session after the event.

We were lucky enough to snag the designer for a quick talk story of our own:

It's been two years since your last big pop-up on Oahu. What can shoppers expect tomorrow? We always try to create an experience so that when people walk in, they'll see something unique on display. Something that maybe everyone hasn't seen yet. It'll be a very visual treat.

Can you elaborate? Mmm, let's just say we really want to surprise people.

What products are you're bringing over? We'll show up with some new things, dresses, T-shirts and hats, that we've done in Hilo but that Honolulu has never seen. For example, "Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai" is a song my grandmother wrote that we used as inspiration for our Merrie Monarch 50th Anniversary print, and we'll have it in new color combinations. Also, we're bringing back a few things we haven't done in a while. We call them classics. They're issues that haven't seen the light in a few years, like Pu‘umanawale‘a, a print that celebrates the various pu‘u of our islands, or small mountains that haven't completed their growth cycle.

Tell me more about your new hats. [David] Kalakaua, one of the last kings of Hawaii, was called Kalakaua Rex. Our new five-panel hat, the Rex, is a nod to living like a king. The whole idea is that we're living a blessed life and we're capping it off with this [hat]. The designs are very Hawaiian. We brought it out at Merrie Monarch and it was so popular, we sold out in hours! I couldn't believe it. We just got a new shipment in for Holiday 2013 and we're going to debut it this weekend.

Your talk story session is called "Cultivating Traditions." What does that mean? We have a mission to perpetuate our culture. We want to draw on the metaphor that when you plant a seed and nuture it, it becomes a tree. It's the same with cultivating traditions. I'm not necessarily talking about Hawaiian culture per se, but really all of the different cultures we share in Hawaii – Chinese, Japanese, Filipino. We're trying to make sure everybody holds onto their traditions. The opportunity to talk story is where we really feel that we can share a bit of our philosophy of how and why we do things.

One example we'll address is the new logo we did for Hawaiian Electric [Company], which is a big deal. One of the aspects [of the design] honors the brilliance of King Kalakaua, who met with Thomas Edison and brought electricity to Hawaii – it was in Iolani Palace even before the White House! The symbols are of his time, inspired by kapa – because kapa is what they wore in those days – and reflect the Hawaiian thought of community, connectivity and energy.

Sig Zane Designs will be at Pinch of Salt for the Holidays tomorrow, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at 683 Auahi St. with the "Cultivating Traditions" talk story session from 6-8 p.m. in the same location. For more information, visit Photos: Courtesy Sig Zane Designs.

Sig Zane Designs