Kini Zamora at the Palace

Still one of the hardest working designers in town, Kini Zamora presented his 2018 spring collection at Iolani Palace Oct. 21, with 51 looks on an army of models, paying homage to this country’s roots and waves of immigrants who made America great.

There was plenty of his signature denim, plus Hawaii’s palaka print in honor of the working man, but done up fun and street smart for a new Americana.

The show was a first for the palace in modern history and afterward, many claimed chicken skin moments. He made palaka new again, sometimes with a touch of shine and sometimes playing with the sizing and shaping of the print that, combined with the curves of the body, delivered a psychedelic optical effect. Models short, tall, thin and plus size also reinforced Zamora’s skill in designing for every body type.


Kini Zamora on the steps of Iolani Palace with Pomai Toledo.

And yes, there was a nod to his famous “Project Runway” umbrella dress, this time with a black sheath with umbrella sleeves. The show at the palace came together in just a month when Zamora was en route to New York Fashion Week and happened to be on the same plane as the palace’s development director Pomai Toledo, also en route to NYFW. They shared a cab ride into the city, and by the time it was over, inspiration had taken hold.


Well-wishers after the show.