Native Hawaiian fashion designer Kiniokahōkūloa Zamora is presenting his designs at the Prince Kūhiō Plaza in Hilo, Hawaii, Thursday through Saturday this week.
As a fashion designer, he has a strong connection to the art of sewing. He told KITV how he started to become interested in fashion design.
“I got into fashion design when I was 10 years old. It was passed from my grandfather. He had to sew a lot of clothing for my aunties and my uncles to go to school and my aunt actually learned how to sew from him and that’s where it was kind of passed on.”
Zamora’s interest in fashion design evolved into a way of life when he enrolled in Honolulu Community College’s Fashion Technology program and later attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. After returning to Hawaii, he started his own company.
Zamora and his team of three people are located in Hālawa Valley on O’ahu, where they sew everything themselves. He told the KITV that it is crucial to maintain a sustainable business in Hawaii and to be a company that produces goods made in Hawaii. Zamora sees this opportunity to showcase Hawaii culture and history through their designs.
You can see some of the designs he’ll be presenting this week on his Facebook page.
His latest collection draws inspiration from Haleakalā on Maui, which is the land of his ancestors. The collection features designs inspired by the Silver Sword plant and the overall experience of visiting the area. Zamora intends to tell the story of the land through his collection, highlighting the natural beauty and cultural significance of the region.
“As kanaka being part of Merrie Monarch is an honor it’s a blessing to just be there and I think my grandfather would be amazed how far our family has come,” Zamora told KITV proudly.
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