January 31st, 2014 / posted by paularath

Last night marked the first Steering Committee meeting for Hawaii Fashion Month (HFM) 2014 , held in the Hifi Coop and ably run by Hifi cofounders Toby Portner and Melissa White.

The biggest news is that HFM will move to November this year, rather than October. The emphasis will be during the first 10 days of November and the month will be shorter than last year’s marathon of 40 events in 30 days. HFM will be pau before Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Some potential new partnerships are also big news. The Retail Merchants of Hawaii is hoped to come on board in a big way and Honolulu Magazine is planning a Honolulu Fashion Week to coincide with HFM. In addition, HIFF (Hawaii International Film Festival ) may be moving to November and will potentially include a fashion track of curated fashion films.

Other partnerships will continue and perhaps even expand. Among the possible supporters are The Modern Honolulu and Howard Hughes Corporation.

Lynne O’Neill, who produces and directs fashion shows for New York Fashion Week, will provide a huge bonus to designers and companies desiring to put on fashion shows during HFM. She will be giving workshops on the do’s and don’ts of fashion show production, covering how to select models and stylists, how to organize the backstage, how to present a clear image and many other fine points of production. These workshops will be required for any person or group that wants to have a show under the umbrella of HFM. This is a great way to address one of the few weaknesses reported during HFM 2013: the unevenness of fashion show production throughout the month. Some shows were polished and professional, while others were, to put it bluntly, an embarrassment.

Toby and Melissa are currently looking for a venue that can be used for a plethora of purposes throughout the month: runway, sales space, pop-ups, films, panels – you name it. Got ideas? Let me know!

– Paula Rath


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