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

By Amanda Stevens Sept. 12, 2014

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.

Reverie – UH Manoa Senior Fashion Show

(From 04/28/2014) – Amanda Stevens


The UH Manoa fashion program celebrated its 48th anniversary Sunday night at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. Every year, I look forward to witnessing what could be a major diamond in the rough and possibly the next Ari South, Matt Bruening or Allison Izu. From the collections on hand, to quote Tibuk3 “the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” Let me start with the junior collection, Transitions, the definite stand-out was the imaginative, sexy and colorful stingray design worn by model Kyiah Mason.

On to the senior collections, with Amanda Casarez, who opened with the Conquista collection. I loved the structured equestrian pants, dramatic Spanish flowing skirt and sexy silhouettes. She even added an obi-style belt to one of her looks. Tori Speere designed the Wind Swept collection that incorporated the perfect placement of lace. The collection was tres romantic with classic Americana and obvious Ralph Lauren influences, perhaps the chicest line of the evening. Christine Om captivated me with her co-mingling of Korean influences and Western couture-style gowns. It was obvious that her fashion influence comes from John Galliano and Alexander McQueen.

Camille Lanier’s Dead Film Star collection included an all-male model line-up. They hurriedly glided across the runway as if to catch a train, wearing vintage fabrics, faux fur and structured pants. Ashley Castro’s Salute collection incorporated an interesting blend of military structure and camouflage shades with gold accents. Her high-low design, worn by model Emma Wo, was definitely one of the evening’s best. Chelsea Otsuka’s Café Noir collection had a nostalgic 1960s schoolgirl ease and elegance. Her stand-out piece was an empire dress worn by model Rebecca Lin. I seriously think actress Zooey Deschanel would purchase some of the pieces in her collection. Sarah Yamashige’s Redamancy collection included brocade fabric with details inspired by the Victorian era with a vixen type of sophistication. Some of her looks are gala-ready-to-wear.

Reverie – UH Manoa Senior Fashion Show

The who’s who of fashion came to support the UH Manoa Fashion Design and Merchandising program.

Photos by Lyle Amine

A look at Honolulu’s urban street chic

(From 03/05/2014) – Amanda Stevens


Honolulu has been the epicenter of a progressive movement of fashion, style and dress. This movement is not limited to just young adults; the creative workforce has found a way to merge urban elements and business chic to create an interesting Millennial voice in fashion. Although remote by geographical standards, Honolulu can certainly be considered fashion forward thanks to its innovative and Internet-savvy residents who incorporate current trends and create a style of their own.

Honolulu street style was recently captured in a book bearing the same name. Authors Malie Moran, Attila Pohlmann and Andrew Reilly visited neighborhoods ranging from tourist hot spots in Waikiki, the urban art and entrepreneurial Kakaako district, the bustling business center of Downtown, and the culturally rich Chinatown area. The photos were taken over a period of six months, and the people featured were authentically captured and interviewed on the spot about their outfits and fashion influences.

Ever since I saw an image of Rihanna wearing high-waisted denim shorts a few years ago, I knew, it was baa-aack — the ’90s that is. Someone scored at Goodwill, that’s where I donated my flannel shirts, combat boots and baby-doll dresses, but I must say I’m glad I held on to my denim jacket. Thanks to Pohlmann, photographer of “Honolulu Street Style,” I had exclusive access to the images, even the ones that didn’t make it into the book, and I picked out a few of my favorites, highlighting my take on ’90s looks for our readers. This book highlights fashions of today, but also deeply delves into Hawaii’s fashion past. It’s a perfect gift for locals who love fashion and those who wish they lived here. It’s available on

Urban street chic – ’90s influence

Joshua’s goth influence: black nail polish, tattoos and silver accessories.

Photos by Attila Pohlmann

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Legacy of Alfred Shaheen

By Amanda Stevens from (Photos by Lyle Amine)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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