On a typical drizzly night in Hilo, the extraordinary was unfolding. Friday, December 15th at Nani Mau Gardens was a collaboration of talent, beauty, and couture. As the first of it’s kind, it was a packed show with over 200 general admission and 60 VIP seats sold out.
The incredible line up highlighted 6 local Big Island designers, displayed on 47 models, ranging in ages from keiki to 45! Some models with years of experience and some experiencing the runway for the very first time.
Pōmaikaʻi Bartolome brought her elegance and class to the event as emcee for the evening helping to turn this evening into one of memorable beauty.
Donna McCluer – Evry Apparel Hawai’i
Chanel Lato – Drip Fitt
Lexie Prudholm – Kailea Swim
Shanely Apele – Felicity Hawaii
Lovely Simonson – Lovintage
Marcel Evans Rodriguez – Wehis Boutique
Hayden Konanui-Tucker, the shows Executive Director and Bethany Honma, Model and Talent Coordinator, worked together for 3 months and held nearly a dozen rehearsals with their models to bring this event to the ballroom at Nani Mau Gardens.
Together this vibrant duo has founded Runway H also known as Runway Hawaiʻi.
Bethany, who is also a model, shared “It’s been a very, very long road to get here tonight. So much goes into setting up a largescale show like this and there are many challenges having to transition between all the different hats (or heels if you will) managing and corresponding with close to 500 people to make tonight happen. The entire process has been an incredible experience and to be able to showcase local talent. All of the models and designers have been amazing. We look forward to many more nights like tonight. We also want to give a huge mahalo to Nani Mau Gardens for allowing us the opportunity and collaborating with us at Runway Hawai’i and bringing this show to life for our community.”
Big Island Boffins’ Kyle Douglas provided the sound, as 5 photographers captured this spectacular night with live broadcasting streamed by KVIKS Media.
Luke, an advisor with the KVIKS program, helped the group of Hilo High School media students, utilized a variety of video cameras and equipment. They learned hands on how to capture every beautiful, yet raw piece of footage on the runway to encapsulate it for all time…
To learn more about KVIKS Media, visit: https://kviks.org/
*Photos above provided by: Kiʻi Kalo Photography
Working with a full cast of local models is so special. Being able to empower people and help them as they inspire others to become more comfortable in their bodies is a wonderful by product of what fashion shows on the Big Island do.
The diversity of the models, and their experience paralleled the variety of fashion they exhibited. A few shared their thoughts with Big Island Pulse:
Maluhia Polido, Waiakea High (16) – Model for Felicity Hawaii
“I have been a model with other brands and companies before. This has been such a great opportunity. This is what I want to do in the future and shows exactly like this local one, open up so many career opportunities. I love being a part of it all.
Skye Narvaez (35) –
Skye knows the Creative Director, Bethany, through their work as Ambassadors for Waisted Hawaii.
“I started modeling this year and it has been such a great experience to share the confidence and vibe with others here. We are all learning to love ourselves together when we walk on the runway, it just does something to your confidence that is indescribable. I am grateful to be in this show.”
Lehani Coloma (16) –
“Iʻve been in pageantry and modeling since I was 2 yrs. old and was born and raised on Big Island so Iʻve always felt a lot of support. Iʻve used pageantry as an opportunity to model for businesses and help them get their names out. Itʻs always fun and different”
She is currently a contestant for the Miss Hawaii Island Teen Organization and hopes to use her platform of women empowerment, to inspire younger girls!
Ikaika Stone, Kamehameha (18) –
“I’ve known most of these people for months now and I know that we’ve come so far with what’s been given and what’s been offered. Thank you to Bethany and Hayden for everything and thank you to the designers. I aspire to be in the position of a model and designer one day.”
Bringing any type of event to fruition on Hawaiʻi Island has it’s own unique set of geographical challenges, however, staying focused, dedicated and utilizing strengths in one another are key elements in making sure everything is runway ready.
Hayden Konanui-Tucker shared “When the idea of hosting a fashion show was proposed, we had no idea what to expect from the months of trial and error, the nights of no sleep, the countless hours of rehearsals, meetings, fittings and more. Our goal was to truly create a “Season of Opportunity” for all involved. Whether you were a model, vendor, guest, designer or anyone in between, we hope to have been able to provide a new opportunity to each and every one of you. The amount of support and love we have received has been overwhelming and I can’t wait to see what comes next through this platform that we have created. Stay tuned for more from Runway Hawai’i.”
To find out more about all the wonderful upcoming events at Nani Mau Gardens or to book your next special celebration in one of their beautiful venue areas visit: nanimaugardens.com or call (808) 959-3500.
*Click on pictures below*