June 29th, 2012 / posted by paularath

1979 Swimwear by Suzanna Kuhlemann will be one of the featured Hifi designers. Photo by Filine Fink.

One might have thought that Hifi, the Hawaii Fashion Incubator, now settled snugly into Ward Warehouse, would not continue to venture around Oahu with innovative pop-up shops. Nope. The brains behind Hifi, co-founders Toby Portner and Melissa White, continue to seek partnerships that will benefit their members.

Hifi has just announced they will collaborate with Surf line Hawaii/Jams World‘s owner Pua Rochlen for a pop-up shop in Surf Line’s new Ocean-Lifestyle Store in Kalihi. From July 11 to August 11, 2012,  Surf Line Hawaii will feature 15 Hifi designers and artists, including:

  • 1979 swimwear
  • Arkotec
  • the BASE Project
  • Ecolicious
  • JenStone Jewelry
  • Katrina Langford
  • Maui Thing
  • Mamanu Kids
  • Organik
  • Salty Girl
  • Sasaki Bags
  • Soluna Designs
  • Stir Crazy
  • UMEE
  • Vers Hawaii
  • HI Loves Art

The offerings include apparel, jewelry, accessories and art. The pop-up shop will be designed and merchandised by Retail Therapy, a frequent partner with Hifi.

Salty Girl Jewelry by RISD graduate Amber Chesebro will also be featured.

The pop-up offers Hifi members and Surf Line Hawaii an opportunity to see how the public responds to each designer. Response will be closely monitored with an eye to inviting select participating designers into Surf Line Hawaii stores on a long-term basis.

The pop-up also provides a mini reunion of my Fashion Forum. Toby and Melissa were Forum members for many years, as was Summer Holcomb, Surf Line Hawaii’s Operations Manager, who joined when she was still a student in the fashion department at U.H. Manoa. In a news release Summer is quoted: “It started with an interest in incorporating more local design into Surf Line Hawaii’s retail offerings. Once we saw the great diversity within Hifi’s membership, we wanted to take it a step further and give more designers a chance to test-market their products in our stores.”

Many Hifi designers are just getting started with their lines. A high profile retail environment could be a big boon to their businesses. Surf Line Hawaii currently has stores in Waikiki, Ward Center, Kalihi and on Maui and the Big Island.  They’re planning to open more stores soon.

“Surf Line Hawaii’s support of other Hawaii designers is a commendable example of how we can work together as an industry to move Hawaii fashion forward,” Melissa said in the release. “By bringing each of our resources to the table, we’re creating something bigger that will have a ripple effect in terms of creating economic benefit, building camaraderie and raising the profile of Hawaii design.”

The public is invited to shop and mingle with featured designers at a kick-off celebration Wednesday, July 11, from 4 to 7 p.m. The fete will feature pupu, drinks and music with sponsors including Kona Red. RSVP to Summer Holcomb at SummerH@JamsWorld.com or 847-5985 by July 6.

For more information on participating  Hifi designers, contact Melissa at melissa@hawaiifashion.org or call 226-1480.

Find the Surf Line Hawaii Ocean-Lifestyle store at 411 Puuahle Road, directly across from OCCC.

– Paula Rath

Hifi member Maui Thing will bring its clothing to Surf Line Hawaii.

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