Hawaii Island Clothing Brands Make a Statement

By Karen Rose

Sig Zane Designs. Photo: Chanel Tsang.

It’s easy to be inspired by the beauty that is Hawaiʻi, and clothing designers on Hawaiʻi Island have captured the loveliness of paradise in clothing brands created and imagined specifically on the Big Island. Some are small local designers and others, like Sig Zane, have found international recognition. Here are a few clothing brands uniquely designed on the Orchid Isle. Just one more reason to love the Island of Hawaiʻi.

Sig Zane Designs

Kuhao of Sig Zane Designs. Photo: Cody Welsh.

One of the most well known clothing brands from Hawaiʻi Island is by designer Sig Zane. Zane and his wife Nalani Kakakole began Sig Zane Designs in 1985 with the mission to share and educate others about the Hawaiian culture. His clothing reflects the gifts from nature that have influenced his life. A surfer, hula dancer and fisherman, his designs deeply reflect these aspects of himself. His philosophy is that understanding the relationship with plants and culture set the foundation for his creations both on fabric and in his daily life. He feels his artistic responsibility is to honor and respect his ancestors, and his work is a visual platform for their story. To learn more visit, sigzanedesigns.com.

Simply Sisters

Lola Miller Designs. Photo: Simply Sisters.

Founded in 2011 in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, Simply sisters had its humble beginnings as a collaboration with clothing designer Lola Miller and her hula sisters. Lola began designing contemporary Hawaiian clothing to go with her jewelry designs before it grew into a Hawaiʻi Lifestyle brand that is now available at many local outlets, including Nordstrom in Honolulu. Her fabrics are hand painted and hand screened, so every piece is unique. The brand name Simply Sisters comes from Lola’s hula sisters who she says inspire and encourage her daily. For more information visit lolamillerdesigns.com

Kira Kamamalu Designs

Photo:  Kira Kamamalu Designs.

A professional painter and gallery owner, Kamamalu uses clothing to share the stories and legends of ancient Hawaiʻi with her new line of Hawaiian dresses and men’s shirts. Her uniquely designed prints tell the stories and legends of Maui the demigod, the legend of the Goddess Pele and the legend of Haloa. Each legend is depicted through pictorial designs printed directly onto the fabric. Her dresses are classically retro and inspired by her mother’s antique dress collection and her grandmother’s storytelling. Kamamalu Designs are available at her studio, A Work of Art, in Holualoa and at Kona Rock and Minerals on Aliʻi Drive in Kona. For more information contact kamamalu@me.com.

Na Makua Designs

Photo: Na Makua Designs.

Hidden deep in the rainforest in the Puna district of Hawaiʻi Island, father and son designers, Nelson and Kainoa Makua have created a casual line of Hawaiian wear that pays homage to the stunning beauty of Puna and Hawaiʻi Island. Inspired by Hawaiian words of wisdom, or `olelo no`eau, the clothing line holds a deeper meaning of traditional Hawaiian values. This designing duo of visual artists create wearable art using clothing as their canvas. Their products are offered exclusively on their website at namakua.com and can be found at local cultural events such as the Merrie Monarch Invitational Arts Fair.

See also: Shopping in Hawaii
See also: Honolulu Fashion Week

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