Hawaii Fashion Incubator / “I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet,” Michael J. Fox said to a room of blank faces in Back to the Future. Whenever I think about the Hawaii Fashion Incubator (and moombahton) I recall that scene. Everything from the incubator’s mission to its projects scream forward-thinking for both fashion and Hawaii. When it was starting out, the “incubator” concept needed to be explained. Now, after five years of heavy involvement with the fashion community and strong dedication to the cause by founders Melissa White and Toby Portner, incubator is a household term. Nevermind that there are incubators in other cities. Does it make sense here? It absolutely does. Countless young designers have found their way by using HiFi’s resources. Top names in the industry have looked to it for support organizing their events. HiFi gained respect from local media, the public and the state Senate with its unfaltering dedication to preserving the University of Hawaii’s historic costume collection. Its projects always involved time and planning and have panned out beautifully. Its “Green Style” eco-fashion event on Kauai and Kona were ahead of their time in 2008 and their pop-up stores have been integrated into numerous events and fashion shows.
During this busy Shop A Lea season at Ala Moana Center, you’ll find the HiFi’s Spring Pop-Up near Old Navy. This is a space that brings people together with exhibits, shows, classes and a workspace for all things fashion. On March 24 there’s a Beauty Bar by the Spa at Trump and a meet-and-greet with Andy South after his show at Centerstage. You can see how Tiare Thomas makes her dreams come true with her Vision Board Workshop, and even win a prom dress from the Bella Project on Sunday. Drop by and pick up a schedule.
This past weekend, Showdown in Chinatown co-founder Torry Tukuafu modestly revealed to a packed house that he was inspired by the Blue Planet Foundation’s topic: “Powerless or Empowered. What if Hawaii Ran Out of Gas?” As soon as he said it, the room erupted into loud cheers that drowned out his announcement that he made a film.
Of course, said film isn’t in the running. I guess it’s not fair to have a co-founder participate. I don’t see why it can’t be in the running as long as the people judging aren’t part of the film. But whatever it takes to have Torry make and show a film, because it was amazing. Crew and cast from Hawaii Five-0 was 100 percent behind the short and cheering through it. Torry took the concept back to the original ways of the Hawaiian people. How they provided for their families, how they cooked, how they spent their leisure time.
Basically the message was that being cut off from gasoline would empower Hawaii. It was just beautiful. The empowerment was a nice deflection from what is going on with the planet and actually made me wish there was no such thing as gas.
While there’s no certainty about the state of this world, the future is coming fast. Hopefully you kids are going to love it.