Category: Fashion Designer

Model Citizen – Kini Zamora

(From 3/20/2015)- Amanda Stevens

Model Citizen features inspirational individuals in fashion, art and entertainment who utilize their talents for the good of the community.

Kini Zamora, fan favorite and finalist on Lifetime’s “Project Runway” season 13, has been paying it forward since returning from the show. One of his philanthropic projects is with Lanakila Pacific and their Meals on Wheels program, which delivers nutritious meals to those in need and is the only islandwide meal service for seniors. Zamora designed a limited edition tote whose sales will benefit the program.

We got an exclusive first peek at the tote and a chance to catch up with Zamora:

Tell me about the design of your tote.

The tote was inspired and designed around my knack for working with denim fabrics and my signature scissors that I wore throughout my time on the show, that I continue to wear.

Zamora wearing his signature scissors on "Project Runway."Photo courtesy of Lifetime.
Zamora wearing his signature scissors on “Project Runway.”Photo courtesy of Lifetime.

What led you to connect with Lanakila Pacific?

Believe it or not, the connection happened through Frolic Hawaii. Frank Valenti from Lanakila Pacific read about my “Project Runway” viewing party on Frolic and that’s how we first met. Since then, he and his wife volunteered to help us out for our big show at Honolulu Fashion Week, and there began a friendship and partnership with Lanakila Pacific and their staff. They’re such good people!

Growing up, what did the Meals on Wheels program mean to you?

Since I can remember, Meals on Wheels was this awesome program there to kokua our kupuna with healthy food, quality “talk story” time and a link to other services they may want or need. It meant there was someone out there to help kupuna in need. It’s really an honor to be able to help prepare and deliver meals to kupuna in our community on this day. I encourage people out there to give it a try, come and support this program.

Photo by Roy Kimura.
Photo by Roy Kimura.

From your success on Project Runway and your international fan base, to come home and give back, how does it feel to come full circle?

Giving is a part of me, like it is a part of almost everyone here in Hawaii. I just feel blessed that with the success of the show and an increased support base, I’m able to help out even more and on a variety of levels. It feels great to be able to create and donate to such a great cause.

The totes are selling for $25 and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to benefit Lanakila Pacific and their Meals on Wheels program.


To purchase the tote go to, call 356-8532 or go to

‘Project Runway’ recap – Zamora wins rainway challenge

(From 9/12/2014)- Amanda Stevens

Kini and Frank

Kini Zamora fans gathered at the Pau Hana Lounge on Thursday night to watch “Project Runway” episode 8, the rainway challenge. We all knew it would be an epic runway show — we’re talking rain on the runway; but no one could have imagined the level of avant garde excellence we’d see from Zamora.


The judges loved Zamora’s design, but they were split between his design and Sean’s transformative design. When activated by water, Sean’s creation morphed into a genius look (thanks to Rit powder dye). Ultimately, Sean and Kini were deemed co-winners and the fans watching the episode with Zamora went wild, sharing high-fives and cheers.

Fade was sent home, but the consensus is that Korina would have been packing her bags, if she wasn’t granted immunity from last week’s win.

We had a chance to sit with Zamora at the viewing party and chat:

Kini design

How does it feel to be back from Fashion Week in New York City and here watching this episode with family and friends?

You know, Hawaii has been so supportive, and I hear so many people tell me that they have viewing parties, even people that I don’t know. So I knew that I wanted to do something when I came back to say, “thank you for your support,” and that’s why I wanted to host a viewing party and have it open to the public. It feels surreal to be here with my family, friends, colleagues and fans.

Kini's reaction

Your “rainway” design is next-level caliber, what was your inspiration and when did you know, “I got this?”

I was inspired by the parameters of the challenge, and knew I would be doing an avant-garde reverse umbrella design, but it was more than that. I knew I really had to let go, and to go beyond, and take it to the next level to prove that I deserved that win. The judges expect a lot from me and I knew it had to be epic. I guess you could say I knew it was going to be a good result when I heard the judges’ reactions.

I know you can’t say much about the rest of the season, but we did see images of you showing in New York this past week…

As you know, “Project Runway” does have contestants showing at fashion week who are not in the top three, it serves as a decoy, but at the same time, those who get to show their collection are so blessed to get that experience. I can tell you and your readers, keep watching. It gets very interesting, there will be so much creativity and it will be exciting.

Beverly Horton Resort Collection Showcased at Lujuria

photo provided by Beverly Horton

photo  by Mariela Flores

Lujuria, the fashion experience, owned by JS Jose Santamaria enterprises, continues to showcase local, mainland and European designers. On August 16, 2013, at the Modern Honolulu, Addiction Club,  Lujuria showcased a Beverly Horton collection and jewelry by Panacea designs.

About Beverly Horton:

After several years of experience in the New York City luxury retail industry, Horton relocated to Oahu.  Her resort wear collection represents  Horton’s past and present: the sophistication of NYC, and the vibrant imagery and unique island culture of Hawaii.

The design style esthetic combines feminine silhouettes with sophisticated accents and bohemian cool.  The collection complements the woman looking for ease, comfort, simplicity and style.

Horton’s new collection is composed of three themes: Gentle Nature (floral motifs in a soft colorful palette); Dark Nature (smoky shades of neutral colors);  and Southwestern Fusion (sun washed colors infused with tropical and aquatic bright along with tribal prints).

The garment silhouettes are easy, and versatile and can be work as a swimsuit cover-up by day, or for a night out on the town, or even as lingerie.

To learn more go to and visit the Lujuria – the fashion experience page on Facebook.

Hawaii Fashion Month Launch

Governor Abercrombie and the Hawaii Fashion Month Steering Committee

Governor Abercrombie and the Hawaii Fashion Month Steering Committee – photo by Travis Okimoto

Yesterday, at The Modern Honolulu, Governor Neil Abercrombie proclaimed October as Hawaii Fashion Month (HFM), announcing the launch of the inaugural month-long event to celebrate and promote all aspects of Hawaii’s fashion industry.  State Sen. Will Espero led the announcement and was joined by Hawaii Fashion Incubator (Hifi) co-founders, Melissa White and Toby Portner, along with Mary Alice Evans, Senior Director of the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), who are part of the team spearheading initiative.Hawaii fashion designers, wardrobe, hair and make-up stylists, fashion writers, manufacturers, retailers, artists, educators, business leaders and others were in attendance, filling up the Sun Suite venue.  The goal of the month-long initiative is to engage the local community, along with visitors from around the world, to connect with, purchase and learn more about Hawaii fashion. To learn more about opportunities to get involved, and the more than twenty events on the HFM calendar, go to

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The Legacy of Alfred Shaheen

By Amanda Stevens from (Photos by Lyle Amine)

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It was like going back in time, witnessing the epitome of East-meets-West fashion originating from Hawaii. The HI Fashion – Legacy of Alfred Shaheen event on Saturday at Bishop Museum highlighted the work of this innovative, ground-breaking aloha wear designer.

Alfred Shaheen, pioneer of the textile and fashion industry in Hawai‘i, 1955. Photo courtesy of Camille Shaheen

Alfred Shaheen, pioneer of the textile and fashion industry in Hawai‘i, 1955. Photo courtesy of Camille Shaheen

The fashion show paid tribute to Shaheen, the pioneer of aloha wear. A special collection from Reyn Spooner introducing reinterpretations of the original textile designs developed in the 1950s and 1960s opened the show. The second line of the show featured some of Shaheen’s timeless aloha shirts with high-quality fabrics and distinct textile prints. The third line featured some of Shaheen’s exquisite dresses highlighting the classic feminine silhouette. The finale showcased Hawaii’s own Andy South, who unveiled a capsule collection inspired by Shaheen.

“I was truly inspired by the story of Shaheen, his culturally authentic aesthetic and his dedication to doing everything in Hawaii,” South said. “In putting together this collection, I tried to think like one of his designers — channeling his aesthetic sensibilities into the world of today.”

The regal Beverly Noa, Shaheen’s signature model was at the event and performed a beautiful hula before the fashion show.

Beverly Noa - Alfred Shaheen's former muse and model

Beverly Noa – Alfred Shaheen’s former muse and model

The exhibit runs through Feb. 4, 2013. For more information, call 808-847-3511 or visit

The Substance and Style of Andy South

There was a private blessing and intimate ceremony commemorating the opening of Andy South’s Atelier and business headquarters on September 15, 2012. The invitation was extended to industry professionals to view the workspace at 12 S. King St.

The courtyard on the groud floor includes a mini fountain, sitting nooks and trees – all in the middle of China town in Honolulu.  The atelier upstairs is breathtaking – with the exposed red brick, prestine wood floors, subtle Asian accents and vintage sewing machines, it’s San Francisco meets New York in a big way. How fitting that this special day also served as an impromptu birthday celebration for Andy South.

Andy’s heart lead her back to Hawaii when she could have easily chosen to work anywhere in the world after Project Runway fame and after South by Andy South collections were sold at Neiman Marcus.  But Andy chooses to build upon her roots in Hawaii.  She mentors her interns, stays true to her asthetic, designs and manufactors her clothing in Hawaii and provides jobs for people in Hawaii.  Keep an eye on Andy’s progress as the Atelier continues to produce fantastic Made in Hawaii quality fashions.

Visits to the Andy South Atelier are by appointment only. Call (808) 744-1167 or visit To shop online go to