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UH Mānoa’s Fashion Show returns in-person


HONOLULU (KHON2) — After having to cancel two years ago due to the pandemic and then being forced to go virtual last year, the UH Mānoa’s Fashion Design and Merchandising Program return this year to an in-person fashion show which they’re calling “Vogue 56” for their 56th annual. 

To find out more about this, we are here with the Production Team Lead, Olivia Maguire.

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Tell us, what is the point of this fashion show and what can people expect this year?

“The point of the show is to showcase four collections by our student designers and the show is also created by our production team,” says Maguire.

“So it is all student-run and student-created to show off the passion, the hard work, the skill of all of our designers and really give them that fashion show experience that they can take on into the real world post-graduation.”

We have a lot of different designers to speak with and we are here with Cara Yoshimi.

Tell me a little bit about your experience last year as a designer for a virtual show but then what it means to you to be back in person this year.

“Last year, we were virtual. It was just a necessity, something we had to do,” says Yoshimi.

“Everything turned out great, however the atmosphere of it all, the live models, the music, the audience, really allows us to appreciate our craft and our blood, sweat and tears, and all of the details in what we do and spend so much time on.”

So, what does it mean to be back? How does that impact you as a designer or even as a model?

“I feel so happy,” says Yoshimi.

“I think my family and friends will be there and a lot of other professionals will be there as well. We can network, we can just have fun with each other and just really enjoy being able to see everyone’s smiling faces without the masks and things like that.”

We want to squeeze in another designer, or a couple designers, for their collection. 

We are here with Kanani Sato and Jordan Casteen. 

Let me ask you, Sato, if someone says you have to leave Hawaii to be successful in this industry, what would you say?

“When it comes to the arts, I think that’s what most people are going to think,” says Sato.

“But just this year alone, we saw Native Hawaiian and Hawaiian residents succeed in not just fashion but in the arts. We saw a Native Hawaiian director go to Sundance, Every Day in Kaimuki, and we even saw Native Hawaiian on New York Fashion Week.  So, I guess the short answer used to be yes, but not quite anymore.”

And Jordan, tell us a little bit about your collection.

“The collection is based off of Japanese streetwear,” says Casteen.

“It’s a Lolita subculture.  We tried to incorporate kimonos that were used through the JCCH, the Japanese Cultural Center.  They allowed us to use kimonos and we’re up-cycling them and turning them into new pieces.  It’s a very exciting collection and we are very thankful that the JCCH allowed us to use old kimonos to turn into new items.  It’s pretty exciting.”

Awesome, well thank you guys very much for your time. 

Again, this is going to be taking place May 1.

There is a lot of work and I’m sure sweat, and tears are being put into this. 

You can get your tickets either in-person or streaming online.

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