Tokyo, Japan (January 22, 2014)—‘IOLANI, one of Hawaii’s oldest aloha shirt makers, announced at the Japan Fashion Week International Fashion Fair in Odaiba that the new ‘IOLANI Hawaiian Classics collection will be available in UNIQLO stores worldwide starting May 2014.
“‘IOLANI Hawaiian Classics,” part of UNIQLO’s 2014 spring and summer collection, will include men’s shirts, shorts, and “UT” (UNIQLO T-shirts) and women’s tunics, dresses, shorts, bags, long skirts, UT and kids items—all inspired by ‘IOLANI’s island prints. The new line of clothing features a variety of historical and modern Hawaiian motifs contemporized for international appeal.
‘IOLANI, founded in 1953 by Keiji and Edith Kawakami, was originally known for its ‘kabe silk’ men’s shirts. Fabrics were printed in Japan and imported to Hawaii where they were cut and sewn into aloha shirts. Eventually, ‘IOLANI pulled away from the kimono prints and began using prints and motifs more reminiscent of the island lifestyle.
“This collaboration with UNIQLO brings our family business full circle. While retaining the essence of island style aloha prints and designs, the collection achieves an urbane, globally relevant look,” said Lloyd Kawakami, second generation owner along with his wife Carla. “It really showcases the style of Hawaii - with an international appeal.”
The Kawakami’s introduced the new line at the JFW International Fashion Fair, Japan’s largest fashion business trade show, held at the Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba, Tokyo. The Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) sponsored the Hawaii Pavilion, inviting Hawaii’s designers and fashion related manufacturers to participate, helping Hawaii’s export business.
Commenting on today’s announcement, DBEDT Director Richard Lim said, “The ‘IOLANI collaboration with UNIQLO, featuring prime selections of classic Hawaiian patterns, brings the aloha spirit from Hawaii to the world. Not only will this bring recognition to ‘IOLANI and Hawaii’s fashion industry in general, it will also reinforce our message that Hawaii is a major fashion design center.”
For 60 years, ‘IOLANI has been a leader in the Hawaii fashion industry with a reputation for style, quality, and integrity. It has remained one of Hawaii’s most respected apparel companies. And, as one of the oldest clothing companies strictly adhering to a “made in Hawaii” policy, it continues to showcase the most current fashions. ‘IOLANI on Kona Street serves as its retail store and home to ManoaDNA, the popular Hawaiian band featuring Lloyd and his two sons, Alx and Nick. They have been added to the Kawakami repertoire, keeping the business of fashion and music all in the family.
“People worldwide come to ‘IOLANI on Kona Street because they always feel like they are being welcomed into our home,” Kawakami said. “We offer an incredible assortment of made-in-Hawaii products, but first and foremost, it is all about the fashions of ‘IOLANI.”
‘IOLANI on Kona Street:
1234 Kona Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
Hours of Operation: 10:00am – 7:00pm (Monday-Friday), 10:00am – 5:00pm (Weekends)
About UNIQLO and Fast Retailing
UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under seven main brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam, Theory, and UNIQLO. With global sales of approximately 1.14 trillion yen for the 2013 fiscal year ending August 31, 2013 (US $11.62 billion, calculated in yen using the end of August 2013 rate of $1 = 98.36 yen), Fast Retailing is one of the world's largest apparel retail companies, and UNIQLO is Japan's leading specialty retailer.
UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world's most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a truly global brand. Today the company has a total of more than 1,200 stores in 14 markets worldwide including Japan, China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and U.S. In addition, Grameen UNIQLO, a social business established in Bangladesh in September 2010, opened its two first stores in Dhaka in July 2013. UNIQLO operates an integrated business model under which it designs, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality, casual apparel. The company believes that truly great clothes should be supremely comfortable, feature universal designs, are of high quality and offer a superb fit to everyone who wears them.
With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and changing the world, Fast Retailing is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere. For more information about UNIQLO and Fast Retailing, please visit www.uniqlo.com