Photo Caption: Pictured from left to right are Grace Tsutahara, Lead Clothing Designer at ‘IOLANI; Carla Kawakami, ‘IOLANI owner; Kim Fujinaka, PacRim Marketing Group Director of Integrated Services; and Maiko Hanawa, PacRim Marketing Group Senior Media Communications Manager
Honolulu, Hawaii—'IOLANI was named Retail Business of the Year – Oahu at the Retail Merchants of Hawaii’s annual Ho’okela Awards at the Sheraton Waikiki hotel, Thursday. The Ho’okela Awards recognize outstanding storefront retailers that have contributed to the success and vitality of the retail industry of Hawaii, with the Oahu awardee having headquarters in that County.
Kim Fujinaka, Director of Integrated Marketing at PacRim Marketing Group, said she nominated ‘IOLANI based on it being a local business having retail and manufacturing on Oahu for more than 60 years. “The company has kept to its Hawaii roots, preserving the values of its founders, Keiji and Edith Kawakami, while expanding its island-inspired fashions globally,” she said. “Congratulations to second generation owners, Lloyd and Carla Kawakami, who have led ‘IOLANI’s growth including opening their store, ‘IOLANI on Kona Street, and for continuously developing relevant Hawaii fashions for men, women, and children around their theme, business people to hula dancers.”
The brand has established its reputation as a trusted leader in contemporary Hawaiian fashion. Over the years, ‘IOLANI has continued to provide fashion designs and clothing on Oahu, available at ‘IOLANI on Kona Street as well as in other stores across the state and overseas. In 2014, ‘IOLANI collaborated with global department store, UNIQLO, on a new apparel and accessories line that brought Hawaiian prints and island-style motifs from Hawaii to the world. ‘IOLANI introduced this new ‘IOLANI Hawaiian Classics collection and partnership with UNIQLO stores worldwide in Tokyo, Japan, at Japan Fashion Week International Fashion Fair in Odaiba in January.
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.
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.
‘IOLANI on Kona Street:
1234 Kona Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
Hours of Operation: 10:00am – 7:00pm (M-F), 10:00am – 5:00pm (Sat)