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Having some exposure into fashion life during my Hollywood residency, I returned home to Honolulu to capture a local audience with Island Alohawear.  A line with palaka fabric was my first creative goal but could not do simply because SurfLine had a wholesale clamp on palaka.  Undaunted, I produced a khaki collection which was not the best move and was not picked up. I then showed my first collection using rose fabric to Carol & Mary and a seer-sucker holoku to Liberty House. A new designer had made his entrance into Honolulu retail.

Nevertheless, survival was not easy, and my theatre background helped me in the hiring process for huge fashion shows. One of my first fashion shows included selecting garments from the multitude of fashion manufacturers of Hawaii for the Miss Narcissus Society Pageant.

Becoming "Exclusive" was an important goal which led me into silk-screening fabrics with selected art, local art, and a variety of native motifs. My very first print was the lowly neighborhood bougainvillea flower, followed by a bevy of island (silhouettes) like maidenhair fern and lokelani blossoms, taro with the implements to make poi, Princess Kaiulani on her pony Fairy, canoe paddlers, maile-mokihana tapa and maile-ilima tapa.

A collection of designs amounting to approximately 40 fabric prints, all hand printed, all made in Hawaii - starting some thirty years ago and is maintained still TODAY!     

Native Hawaiian Fashion

In the late 70’s: my fashion show debut on the beautiful lawn of the Mission Houses. For the models: I chose palaka, seer-sucker, an exclusive laua’e print by Allen Akina, and a few prints from other fashion manufacturers. My original designs were still in the planning stage.

I had returned home. A Native Hawaiian designer was born. 


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