Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui Designer Featured Alongside International Talent at HONOLULU Fashion Week

November 15, 2016, 2:17 PM HST
* Updated November 16, 5:18 AM
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*VC: HONOLULU Magazine/ HONOLULU Fashion Week

Keke Lindgard in Kojo Couture design. PC: Gary Saito/HONOLULU Fashion Week

Keke Lindgard in Kojo Couture design. PC: Gary Saito/HONOLULU Fashion Week

Maui-based designer Koa Johnson presented designs from his Kojo Couture line as part of the Local Luxe Fashion Show during HONOLULU Fashion Week presented by Hawaiian Airlines at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center over the weekend.

Johnson offered his version of “dark, grunge glam—evening wear with an edgy, sinister vibe,” according to event material.  The look included long, “dramatic gowns and jumpsuits in metallic brocade and mesh finished with beaded lace and Swarovski crystals.”

Johnson was also a featured designer at the annual Maoli Arts Month (MAMo) Wearable Art Show held on Maui in June.  During that event, his collection was Victorian-based, with Johnson pulling inpsiration from Queen Liliuokalani and the period of the overthrow.  Johnson’s MAMo 2016 collection was described as “dark and edgy” as well, tapping into the pain of what the queen went through.

Manaola Hawai‘i. PC: HONOLULU Fashion Week

Manaola Hawai‘i. PC: HONOLULU Fashion Week


This year’s HONOLULU Fashion Week presented by Hawaiian Airlines brought together more than 8,000 residents and visitors to Hawai‘i for a three-day showcase of Hawai‘i fashion and design on Nov. 10, 11 and 12, 2016.


The strong lineup of designers also included international talent featured in 11 runway shows. More than 45 designers also took part in the upscale marketplace.

“Our team at HONOLULU Magazine has long been committed to covering Hawai‘i’s fashion scene and the local talents who have gone on to succeed all over the world,” said Alyson Helwagen, publisher of HONOLULU Magazine and executive director of HONOLULU Fashion Week. “Our local talent in Hawai‘i rivals any global city and it’s rewarding to see that come to life during HONOLULU Fashion Week.”

Visiting designers included Dion Lee from Sydney, Marissa Webb from New York City, PELI from Tokyo and Younhee Park from Seoul. These designers joined Hawai‘i’s own Jeffrey Yoshida in the presentation of capsule collections during Hawaiian Airlines presents Runway to Runway, the airline’s annual show inspired by the fashionable destinations served by presenting sponsor Hawaiian Airlines.


New York-based designer Asaf Ganot flew in for a solo show featuring his collection of athletic menswear, kick-starting the fashionable festivities followed by luxury retailer Neiman Marcus which showcased fashions fit for fall featuring premier designers.

Hawai‘i legacy designer Reyn Spooner celebrated the brand’s 60th anniversary during HONOLULU Fashion Week and showcased six decades of alohawear on the runway. Hawai‘i Island native, Manaola Yap brought his design talents, flair for visual storytelling and unique aloha style together in his eponymous label Manaola Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i designers came together for two shows: Live Aloha, which featured Noa Noa, ‘IOLANI Sportswear, Manaola Hawai‘i and Manuheali‘i; and Local Luxe, which showcased contemporary designer brands: Allison Izu, Ten Tomorrow, Malia Jones, Kojo Couture and Ari South.

Other special guests included Kini Zamora of Project Runway who held a solo show showcasing pieces from his Fall/Winter 2016 collection and donated ticket sales to HONOLULU Fashion Week’s official nonprofit Reach the Runway, to create mentorship opportunities for O‘ahu middle school students interested in pursuing a career in the fashion industry.

Japanese model Rinka appeared; along with a heartfelt Hawai‘i Pacific Health show that featured “Beautiful Survivors” of life-threatening illnesses.

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