Did this: Hidesigncommune


At Saturday’s inaugural Hidesigncommune marketplace at Kaka‘ako Agora, emerging and established Hawaii designers showcased their collections on hanging racks, industrial displays and in the fashion showcase. Event director Reise Kochi styled the fashion show and brought his edgy flavor and keen eye for design into each ensemble. The vibe was part pop-up shop, part cocktail party with Ocean Organic Vodka in the house.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite fashion show and party moments:

Hidesigncommune fashion show

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Andy South kimono, Issa de mar rash guard and Reise Kochi leather carrier. Photo by Amanda Stevens.

Hidesigncommune party pics

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Photo by Tracy Chan



Hidesigncommune creative convergence


On Saturday evening, designers will converge at Kakaako Agora for an innovative design and retail event, Hidesigncommune. At this inaugural event, 19 new and established Hawaii designers will feature their collections in a fashion and product show. The event is free, takes place from 6-9:30 pm, and is part of June Kaboom, a month-long initiative that showcases public arts programs in Our Kaka‘ako.

“Hidesigncommune represents a coming together of Hawaii’s design community,” said director Reise Kochi. “What makes this different from any other marketplace is the space and the presentation itself. Each designer will have a clean palette space to sell and showcase their designs, giving shoppers a modern and unique showroom-type of retail experience.”

Organizers plan on making this an annual event that will cultivate engagement and interaction among designers, foster growth for small businesses, and increase public awareness in local design and fashion.

Kakaako Agora
441 Cooke St.


The substance and style of manscaping

Manscaping. Merriam-Webster defines it as “the trimming or shaving of a man’s body hair so as to enhance his appearance.” It’s also a hot trend these days for everyone from male models to the everyday Joe.

Back in the day, the only guys who waxed their body hair were athletes. Now, thanks to movies like “40-Year-old Virgin,” it’s no longer a secret that some men prefer a cleaner bodyscape.


Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

I’ve been fascinated with male facial hair since I can remember. My dad had a healthy mustache, but I’m pretty sure that what really made me take notice was seeing Tom Selleck playing volleyball at the Haili Tournament on Hawaii island. Oh my goodness, was that a ‘stache.

For their takes on what’s happening in this sphere of men’s body art, I put some quick questions to a local grooming expert and two serious manscapers. You might be surprised at what they have to say.

Grooming, with less pain

IMG_2405 The European Wax Center recently opened in Pearl City using a Comfort Wax that is pretty much painless. I tried it — the wax isn’t too hot and they don’t use those dreaded scary strips. Here’s my Q&A with David Pang, the company’s regional developer:

Are men paying more attention to grooming?
Yes, they want to look good, look clean, but not too perfect.

What are the most popular services for men?
Eyebrows, legs, nose and chest — once they get it done, they usually come back. After the treatment, they feel better about themselves, more confident.

Why are more men in their 20s and 30s interested in manscaping?
The younger generation of men are feeling more comfortable about grooming and the spa scene, and understand that looking clean is in. Over the last several years we are seeing an increase in men’s grooming practices. Men want to express their individual style, and still look their best.

Trimmed for that George Clooney stubble


Model Sam Armitage, photo by Eric Tagayuna.

Sam Armitage is a model from Hawaii who is gaining national exposure. He can easily switch things up with a healthy Adam Levine-type stubble or a clean-shaven look.

“Guys should care about being comfortable in their skin and their hair. That means taking time to groom, using the right tools and conditioning with the right products to keep everything in check. My groomer, Rene, taught me that it’s really about keeping trim and clean, but balancing it with masculinity.”

Keeping it professional

M.Ortis_2 Mike Ortiz is a 30-something professional. In 2014 he made a bet with his brother about who could grow the most epic beard. He won — and kept the beard.

“I’ve been able to find that balance of being a working professional and stylish. My beard definitely is a conversation starter, opening doors to meet new people on my travels and develop new friendships. It’s become more than just extra hair, it’s become a part of who I am and it tells the story of where I’ve been.

I upkeep my beard by utilizing tips from men like The Beard Baron. I purchase a line of beard products from Honest Amish, a company based in Pennsylvania focusing on all-natural beard care products.

I use beard balm to condition my beard and the extra grit beard wax to give it more control. I apply the beard balm and wax daily which takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. I also make sure at least once every couple of weeks that I take some scissors and cut the longer hairs to match the rest of the beard for that somewhat clean, uniform look. I also make sure I upkeep the edges on my cheek and neck lines as straight as possible.”

Diner en Blanc Honolulu 2015


Diner en Blanc, an elegant pop-up picnic that takes places in cities across the globe, unfolded Saturday evening at this year’s secret location – Ko Olina. Launched in Paris a quarter of a century ago, Diner en Blanc requires all of its attendees to wear white and bring their own picnic fare, including food, drinks, tablewear, etc.

When registration began for the second Diner en Blanc Honolulu, the looming question was, “How can they top ‘Iolani Palace?” Well, kudos to hosts Maleko McDonnell, Aubrey Akana and Malie Moran, they did it, and here are my top five reasons why:

5. Sometime less is not more. Last year there were about 750 attendees; this year, Akana’s estimation is at 1,300.

4. No leaks. Twice the registrations calls for more staff support, hence more “people in the know,” but the secret location was not revealed, until it was time. Speaking of no leaks, it didn’t rain!

3. Unicorns, ballerinas and all out style. People did not hold back their style expression this year, at-all!

2. Dancing queens, and kings. Super CW was in rare form. She, along with, DJ Gem Tag team, DJ Betty and Hawaii POPS kept everyone dancing into the night.

1. With a an epic west side sunset and tons of space to roam, Ko Olina lagoon was the perfect location for Diner en Blanc Honolulu 2015.

Here’s a look at our favorite moments from preparation to full-on party mode:


Floral crown prep at Paiko the afternoon before Diner en Blanc.


Pre-party at Restaurant Row.


Bus ride en route to the secret location.


Getting ready to board the bus.

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Photos by Amanda Stevens


Manaola fashions go deep

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Photos by Tina Mahina.

To truly understand the Hawaiian language, you must know what “kaona” is; the hidden and deeper meaning of a word or phrase. To fully appreciate Manaola fashions, understand that behind every creation, lies a story.

Hula practitioner and designer Carrington Manaola Yap, known as Manaola, debuted his latest collection at the Honolulu Design Center’s Cupola Theatre on Friday. From his handcrafted prints to his unexpected placement of cut-outs, and slim menswear silhouettes, there’s something different and special about Manaola designs.

Growing up in Kohala on Hawaii island, he immersed himself in his surroundings, culture and heritage. Manaola translates his spirituality and fascination of nature into prints that embody organic shapes and repetitious patterns from fish bones, shark teeth, eel skin and lightning.

I had a chance to sit with Manaola after the show and learn more about his design execution.


Manaola’s traditional brushes and ʻohe kapala bamboo tools.

Tell me about your stamping technique.
I use a traditional stamping technique called ʻohe kāpala to create my patterns and designs. The stamps are made from bamboo. There is power behind designing and creating patterns with your hands. It’s good to not just rely on digitized graphics and computer designs. I bring it back to the name Manaola, it literally means the power (mana) of life (ola).

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The design on this skirt was inspired by the ʻūwila or lightning bolt.

What inspired the patterns and shapes in this collection?
The patterns in my latest collection come from different elements in nature that also symbolize human spirituality and moʻolelo (stories) I grew up hearing. For instance, pewa wedges, or fish tail patterns, also represent bridging the past into the present, or mending a lost or broken connection. The the ʻūwila or lightning bolt represents the story of Pele’s younger sister, Hiʻiaka. She was sent to rescue Pele’s lover and used her magical lightning bolt paʻu (skirt) to slay the dragons or large moʻo (lizards) on her journey.


Your silhouettes and designs are contemporary and the jewelry you chose is traditional. Tell me more about your styling choices.
My designs are bold and contemporary. I wanted to add dimension and accessorize the collection with traditional and larger jewelry by Dean Kaʻahanui, who uses only natural organic elements and textures such as mother of pearl inlays, bone, shells and coconut fibers. The sterling silver earrings by Hina Jwls showcased that my designs can be worn in more formal evening settings.

Here are some of our favorite moments from the Manaola fashion show and post-event pop-up shop:

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