|Multi-color short dress by Karla Bollmann of Karlota’s Tropical Clothing // Photo by Patrick Kelley|
Kauai’s emerging talents in fashion were showcased this past Saturday at the fourth annual Kauai Fashion Weekend, featuring the newest collections in island-inspired designs for evening couture, as well as resort, casual and beach wear.
Co-founded by international fashion designer Sha Ali Ahmad of India and Marynel Valenzuela, president of Inkspot Printing on Kauai, the red-carpet event drew a crowd of more than 400 residents and visitors to the Grand Ballroom of the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club in Lihue.
Ahmad, who has created fashions worn by celebrities from Hollywood to Bollywood, showcased his latest collection, AC 16, which he recently debuted at fashion shows in Miami and California.
Adding to the event’s fashion flair was Maytee Martinez, an international model, designer and star of the E! cable network series, "House of DVF," modeling some of the new designs. Photographing the event was international fashion photographer Natasha Kertes.
Four Kauai Fashion Designers Showcase New Collections
Kauai Fashion Weekend highlighted the newest collections of four Kauai homegrown fashion designers, Chanterelle Chantara of Chez Chanterelle, Taryn Rodighiero of KaiKini Bikinis, Karla Bollmann of Karlota’s Tropical Clothing and Wilma Bumanglag of Wilma’s Top Secret.
A variety of new fashions from the Kauai designers were showcased ranging from wedding dresses to casual cover-ups and resort wear.
Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, noted there have been a proliferation of Kauai Made foods and products introduced over the past decade, but Kauai-inspired fashion is a new element to be featured. She is hopeful this focus on fashion will encourage more island residents to share their creativity on cloth.
“When people think of Kauai, fashion isn’t always top of mind," said Kanoho. "There are some beautiful styles being designed by island residents that people anywhere in the world would enjoy wearing. Promoting Kauai’s fashion design is a beautiful way to diversify our island’s economy and show that Kauai should be known for more than sun and surf."