HILUXURY - Hawaii Luxury Magazine http://www.hiluxury.com Luxury Living In Hawaii Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:51:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Editor’s Note http://www.hiluxury.com/editors-note-13/ http://www.hiluxury.com/editors-note-13/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:51:27 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17024 editor-200x300Words spoken by the quintessential waterman and, without a doubt, Hawai’i’s most recognized citizen. While thousands of tourists make their way to his bronze statue in Waikiki each day to pose with “The Father of Modern Surfing,” those of us who live here know that he was so much more than that. With 2015 marking the 125th anniversary of his birth, and February marking the founding of The Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation (ODKF), we couldn’t think of anyone more appropriate to put on this issue’s cover. Writer Karyl Garland was able to talk story with Fred Hemmings and others who were more than happy to detail their experiences with Duke. Read “Renaissance Man” in page 104.

In the spirit of accomplished watermen, we also profile Tim Guard. Aside from his wave-riding savvy, he also runs a tight ship at McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co.—the last independent stevedore company in the state. Find more on him in “On the Waterfront” on page 40.

And it seems that the sea is a source of inspiration, no matter what industry you’re in. Nadine Kam sits down with avid art collector, gallery owner and authority on all things Hawaiiana, Michael Horikawa. In “From Frames to Fortune,” Horikawa points out one of his most prized paintings—a seascape by Lionel Walden—as a favorite, since it illustrates the exact view he observed from his mother’s house growing up. Find out more on page 86.

Also in the issue, you’ll come across vintage—both authentic and inspired—fashion finds, the latest in spring footwear, in addition to gym-esque accessories that’ll motivate you to get a workout regimen going (or at least look the part!).

But if you’ve already broken your “get healthier” resolution for the New Year, don’t sweat it—stoke your wanderlust instead. From hot-air ballooning in Scottsdale to taking the ultimate Explorer’s Club journey, there are plenty of travel ideas in this issue to get you out of hibernation mode. And if a food trip is more of what you had in mind, we have that covered as well. Take your pick from a caviar sampling at La Mer, fresh seafood at Turtle Bay’s fine dining restaurant, Pa’akai, or French fare at La Bourgogne on the Big Island. Get the lowdown in our Savor section starting on page 158. Enjoy the issue!

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Calendar http://www.hiluxury.com/calendar-5/ http://www.hiluxury.com/calendar-5/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:31:26 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17048 Embark on a haunted voyage with The Flying Dutchman in February (photo by Karli Cadel, Glimmerglass Festival).

Embark on a haunted voyage with The Flying Dutchman in February (photo by Karli Cadel, Glimmerglass Festival).

Feb.13

NEAL S. BLAISDELL CONCERT HALL | 596.7858

A legendary ghost ship rumored to roam the icy waters along the Norwegian coast will haunt Blaisdell Concert Hall for Hawaii Opera Theatre’s presentation of The Flying Dutchman. Captained by a Dutchman cursed to wander the sea, follow The Flying Dutchman’s voyage of love and redemption. Will true love set the Dutchman free, or will he be cursed to wander the sea for eternity? Through Feb. 17. hawaiiopera.org

Mar.5

MANOA VALLEY THEATRE | 988.6131

A lively fantasy set to music, Peter And The Starcatcher tells the origins of one of culture’s most cherished storybook characters, Peter Pan. Let your imagination take flight in a musical prequel of good versus evil, as 12 actors portray over 100 unforgettable characters. Through Mar. 22. manoavalleytheatre.com

Mar.7

HAWAII THEATRE CENTER | 791.1301

East of the Sun and West of the Moon, a beautiful Scandinavian folktale mirroring The Snow Queen and Beauty and the Beast, portrays a magical story of friendship and courage, as a brave little girl battles trolls and gargoyles on a quest to free the man she loves from an evil curse. Part of HTC’s Ohana! Series, this whimsical production presents an opportunity for the whole family to go to the theatre. Through Mar. 8. hawaiitheatre.com

HSO's Cirque de la Symphonie will dazzle Blais-dell March 20 (photo courtesy CLDS).

HSO’s Cirque de la Symphonie will dazzle Blais-dell March 20 (photo courtesy CLDS).

Mar.20

NEAL S. BLAISDELL CONCERT HALL | 946.8742

The magic of cirque enchants Blaisdell Concert Hall for Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of Cirque de la Symphonie, part of HSO’s Music that POPS series. Watch eight incredible acrobats and aerialists soar through the air in sync to classical works, played under the direction of Stuart Chafetz, in this remarkable feast for the eyes and ears! hawaiisymphonyorchestra.org

Mar.26

KUMU KAHUA THEATRE | 536.4441

A poetic revival of the original 1987 drama rendering the short life of Princess Ka’iulani, Kumu Kahua Theatre’s presentation of Ka’iulani will touch audiences through a moving, musical retelling of significant life phases of Hawai’i’s half-Scottish, half-Hawaiian princess. Through Apr. 26. kumukahua.org

Mar.27

DIAMOND HEAD THEATRE | 733.0274 Rodger & Hammerstein’s extraordinary score will entertain Honolulu “Some Enchanted Evening.” Diamond Head Theatre’s 100th anniversary presentation of the Broadway-smash musical South Pacific will touch audiences in a musical adaptation of America’s 1940s wartime culture. As an added treat, Loretta Ables Sayre will reprise her Tony-nominated role of Bloody Mary. Through Apr. 11. diamondheadtheatre.com

"The Great Wave off Kanagawa" (Kanagawa oki nami ura), from Katsushika Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji color woodblock print series, on view at Dreams of Mount Fuji (photo courtesy Honolulu Museum of Art).

“The Great Wave off Kanagawa” (Kanagawa oki nami ura), from Katsushika Hokusai’s Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji color woodblock print series, on view at Dreams of Mount Fuji (photo courtesy Honolulu Museum of Art).

On View

HONOLULU MUSEUM OF ART | 532.8700 Dreams of Mount Fuji. Through Mar. 22

HAWAI’I STATE ART MUSEUM (HiSAM) | 586.0300 Image & Imagination. Through summer 2015

BISHOP MUSEUM | 847.3511 Tradition and Transition: Stories of Hawai’i Immigrants. Through spring 2015

All events subject to change

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On the Waterfront http://www.hiluxury.com/waterfront/ http://www.hiluxury.com/waterfront/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:14:19 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17073 McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co. owner and Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation director emeritus Tim Guard is chairman of the board—whether he’s in the office or in the ocean.

There’s a sink-or-swim moment in nearly every great leader’s life. Ironically, celebrated waterman Tim Guard experienced that moment during a consultation with the attorneys who represented McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co.

The year was 2008, and economic downturn was about to push the largest and oldest stevedoring company in Hawaiʻi underwater.

“They said, ‘There’s only one way out of the jam, and that’s really to declare bankruptcy,'” says Guard, who is McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co.’s owner, president and CEO. “I said, ‘I’ll save it, if I have to contribute my last personal dollar.

I’m not going to be the guy standing the watch after 110 years, and the ship goes down and the leader with it.'”

Righting the company was more than just business for the 74-year-old Guard, whose family has been part of the company for almost its entire existence.

“My dad (Jack Guard) started working for the company as a hired hand in 1913. He worked for them for 58 years until he passed away in 1971. My brother Charles worked for the company as an operations manager, and I worked for them as a stevedore while I was in high school,” he recounts. “My dad wanted me to get a dose of reality. For sure I got it from those guys. They were the salt of the Earth.”

After graduating from Punahou School, Guard earned an international relations degree from the University of Southern California. During the Vietnam era, he volunteered to enter into the U.S. Navy, where he earned a Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal. Upon returning to Hawaiʻi, Guard opened an executive recruiting company.

He accepted an offer to become general manager of McCabe, Hamilton and Renny in 1984 and purchased the company in 1987. The company thrived under his leadership until the super recession of 2007 to 2010 almost became its undoing.

Ruth Ann Becker, chair and CEO of Becker Communications, who is on the board of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, which Guard chairs, says she admires Guard’s fortitude during those difficult times.

Tim Guard Tim Guard with his wife, Devon, in Venice, Italy (photo courtesy Tim Guard). Tim with his son Matt after a canoe race Guard and his crew in Australia during a long-distance canoe-racing championship Tim and Devon, about to fly to the summit of Mt. Kenya (photos courtesy of Tim Guard). water_20150201_06

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that he told the attorneys that he couldn’t file for bankruptcy,” Becker says. “He has a strong sense of ethics and well-placed values that put people first.”

If the company had gone under, it would have put 250 people out of work on the docks, and it would have taken Matson and other affiliated companies a long time to recover, explains Guard’s longtime friend Mike Irish, who sits on McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co.’s board.

“He had to get lines of credit and risk everything to save the business,” says Irish, who owns Halms Enterprise and its sister companies, Keoki’s Laulau and Diamond Head Seafood. “His business depends on healthy imports and exports, but he got down and dirty and held it together until the economy turned itself around.”

The welfare of the company and its people inspired Guard to apply paddling skills to move the company forward.

“Canoe racing is the ultimate team sport. It’s a selfless sport. Nobody is the hero. If you win a race, it’s a collective effort and if you lose everyone is responsible for the loss,” says Guard, who has paddled in about 18 Molokaʻi canoe races and four or five races on a one-man kayak across the channel.

For a paddler or a businessman, Guard acknowledges that a lot rides on who is in the canoe. Guard reduced his workforce by 20 percent, transferring about 70 of his 350 employees to jobs with major customers.

“We had to become far more conscious about costs and we had to make changes in our management structure, including several people who for one reason or another weren’t pointed in the same direction after we decided our strategic course,” he says.

He has since grown the remaining 280 employees to a workforce of over 300. “We’re doing well, but I don’t take it for granted,” he says. “You have to accept that you will win and you will lose. Learn from your mistakes, and strengthen your resolve to do better in the future.”

Guard said most of his employees embrace these tenants, because like him, many have come from athletic backgrounds and are deeply connected to the ocean. Guard said he was just 12-years-old when Duke Kahanamoku, who was a close friend of his father’s, introduced him to his first ride on a surfboard.

“To meet ‘The Duke’ was to elevate your spirituality,” Guard says. “He resonated the aloha spirit and kindness. Youngsters like me would do what we could to emulate him.”

Five years later, a 17-year-old Guard won the juniors division of The Makaha International Surfing Contest. As he got older, he turned to paddling serving on four crews that won an open division race and three or four crews that won a master’s division race. A past president of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, he spearheaded the creation of the Hawai’i Waterman Hall of Fame to honor Kahanamoku and all of the greats that have come in his wake.

“Really my whole life has revolved around the ocean—on it, or in it. It’s a playground for me, and an important part of my business. Second to my wife [Devon], it’s the love of my life,” Guard says. “I feel very fortunate to be doing what I’m doing.”

As such, Guard has no immediate plans to retire and cautions folks who are following him to watch out for the cloud of smoke.

“Keep up if you can,” he says with the satisfied smile of a man who has attained his heart’s desires.

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Lightness of Being http://www.hiluxury.com/lightness/ http://www.hiluxury.com/lightness/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:08:30 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17054 Photographer Mark Arbeit, exposed

In the early spring of 1997 in New York, I got off a bus at Port Authority on 42nd Street and headed to a shared apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. There I began my search for an apprenticeship with a New York City photographer.

Understandably, competition for apprentice jobs was fierce, and it wasn’t easy finding work with a famous photographer or, for that matter, a photographer whose work you personally appreciated. Yet, I carved out a career bouncing from one photographer to the next—picking up bits of knowledge along the way. I worked for many, but always chose photographers whose work I admired.

One photographer in particular captivated me the first time I saw one of his artistic nudes. I wanted to learn his technique, understand how his light shaped the image and see how he sculpted his models. I observed traces of Matisse, Renoir and Man Ray in his work. The classic training in his photography was apparent. It was then that I sought to understand Mark Arbeit.

I attempted to contact Arbeit, but found all correspondence went directly to his Manhattan agent. Over time, I faxed numerous resumes and called his agent a number of times, hoping to get an audience to no avail. With irony, it was only in Hawaiʻi several years later where our paths crossed.

Arbeit moved back to the islands after nearly three decades away, as he became a respected fashion and beauty photographer in Europe and the U.S., working for major magazines and brands. He returned to start a new chapter in his life and enjoy the Hawaiʻi lifestyle that so many covet.

Originally from Chicago but raised in Northern California, Arbeit was just 16 when his family relocated to Oʻahu, and he immediately fell in love with his new surroundings. As awestruck as he was in his new home, he was more astonished the first time he stepped into the darkroom at McKinley High School.

"Iris," November 1986 "False and Real Hands," February 1992 "Atelier Jean Piere Duroux," May 1994 Torso #2, January 2011 Protea #1, January 1987 The Dance, May 1994 Photogram #4 "Loops and Plastic Squares," December 2012 "Photogram #9-Marbles and Rope," December 2012 "Woman with Rose Head," March 1986

“The first time I saw a piece of white paper developing into a picture, I was blown away,” he says. From that point on, he knew he would become a photographer. After high school, Arbeit attended the renowned Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, where he met influential photographer Helmut Newton—someone who eventually became a life-long mentor and friend.

During the ’80s, Milan was the epicenter of the fashion world, and Arbeit longed to be a part of it—but not before making a stop in New York where, he started working with another big name photographer, Irving Penn. At Penn’s studio, Arbeit would retouch Penn’s platinum prints for eight hours a day but would sneak his lunches behind the master photographer to watch him at work. “I watched how he sculpted his models starting at her feet up to her chin,” Arbeit explains.

He did make his way to Italy as planned, and spent quite some time in Paris as well. There, Arbeit began shooting for such clients as French Vogue and L’Oréal, but more importantly, he began to focus on personal projects. “Being around the greats like Newton and Penn made me realize the importance of working on personal work,” Arbeit says. “…You’re always taking orders during a commercial job; personal work isn’t for anyone but yourself.”

Arbeit juxtaposed flowers and nudes for his first series, the In and Out of Focus project, in which he concentrated on the out-of-focus elements in his pictures.

His images became ethereal and dreamy, almost painterly in quality. For his next series, Polajunk, Arbeit experimented with different photography techniques to create montages all connected to Polaroid film.

After 19 years of living in Paris and working within the major photographic markets, Arbeit set his sights on Hawaiʻi once again and decided to return home in 2004. Since then, he’s been occupied with plenty of commercial and editorial projects, while his personal work continues to flourish. In fact, Arbeit showcased a series of photographs during a one-man show in 2013 at the Kaune, Posnik, Spohr Gallery for Contemporary Photography in Cologne, Germany.

This most recent personal project, Photograms, incorporates the human form exposed on photographic paper and processed in photo chemicals. The project was born out of knowing that the traditional photographic process is fast becoming obsolete. “The dark room is dying and it is getting harder to find photographic paper and chemicals,” he opines. So this last project incorporates darkroom techniques before they completely vanish from the marketplace.”

Arbeit and his work read like an art history book with his compositions coming straight from the masters. His personal work, along with his commercial endeavors, stand among some of the best the market can offer. To look at his images, you see the training and education that went into each piece. You also see how Penn and Newton influenced him to create work not in their shadow, but in their wake.

Eventually, I transitioned from apprentice to photographer here in Honolulu and used many of the skills and techniques I picked up on the bumpy road to becoming a professional.

Although I regret not being able to work with Arbeit back in New York, I did help him on several jobs here locally. What struck me most was how deliberately he worked. It irked me at times since I tend to be an impatient photographer shooting hundreds of pictures in an attempt to capture fleeting moments as they happen before me. In contrast, Arbeit doesn’t capture moments; he creates them. This key element is what I missed during my days as an apprentice and wished I had picked up from him back then. Now I try to imbue that approach today as a professional photographer. Alas, Arbeit became one of the last photographers I assisted— and seemingly the last one from whom I learned the most.

markarbeit.com

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In with the Brew http://www.hiluxury.com/brew/ http://www.hiluxury.com/brew/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:08:09 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17067 Honolulu Coffee’s Ed Schultz sets up shop in the Far East.

Coffee is much like a premium cut of steak, says Honolulu Coffee president Ed Schultz. “You can take a good piece of meat and a bad piece of meat, and it almost tastes the same if you just cook it off,” he says. “Same thing with coffee.”

It’s why you’ll never be able to order anything other than a medium roasted coffee from the company. Honolulu Coffee’s roasting methods coax out a natural sweetness that doesn’t require any added sugar to enjoy its flavor profiles.

coffee_20150201_01

Plus, Schultz says, the darker the roast, the less caffeine you’re actually consuming.

It isn’t just the company’s attention to the taste of its coffee that Schultz credits to its success. Basic skills that often are overlooked, like steaming milk to create a top layer of foam for lattés and other espresso-based drinks, is a craft its baristas are trained in. So much so, that in 2011, the company won the U.S. Barista Championship, beating out other mainland competitors.

Most importantly, the company focuses on some basic customer service.

“Our service, I think, is what we focus on every day,” he says. “You know, having a staff that is welcoming and engaging.”

It’s a business model that has allowed the company to excel.

Schultz took over Honolulu Coffee as owner and president in 2008. Prior to that, he had been an investment banker in New York City, where he analyzed Starbucks, and its suppliers and competitors.

Honolulu Coffee café at Waikiki's Moana Surfrider resort

Honolulu Coffee café at Waikiki’s Moana Surfrider resort

Addicted to caffeine since his high school days, he learned something: “Really, the passion is about the taste of the product,” he says, of coffee.

A self-professed foodie, he eventually left his job to pursue his own business ventures.

“I really wanted to do something on my own,” he says. “Coffee was an area that was continuing to grow, and I had a really great opportunity to build a business to compete with Starbucks.”

Then, he met former Honolulu Coffee owner and founder Raymond Suiter.

“What he had started was amazing,” Schultz says. “I thought to be able to expand on that really had a great tremendous potential to grow a brand based out of Hawaiian coffee.

“And it was something that was unique that only could be done here in Hawaiʻi.”

Honolulu's java king Ed Schultz

Honolulu’s java king Ed Schultz

Since taking over as owner and president in 2008, Honolulu Coffee has opened stores in Guam and Japan, and opened its first location in Shanghai this January.

In September 2012, Honolulu Coffee purchased its own 75-acre farm in Kona, where it grows and processes everything.

The company also recently leased land to created its own experience center, which Schultz hopes to open in the summer of 2015. The center, Schultz says, will feature just about everything someone may want to know about coffee—its history, where it grows, how it is processed and more— and about the company.

“We believe we have a higher quality coffee product than our competitors, and a unique one that is grown in one of the smallest coffee growing regions in the world, which is Kona,” he says. “So we have this amazing story to tell.”

For more information on Honolulu Coffee, visit honolulucoffee.com.

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Gym Dandy http://www.hiluxury.com/gym-dandy/ http://www.hiluxury.com/gym-dandy/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:05:14 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17033 High-end sportswear and accessories you’ll want to have before, during and after your workout.

gymdandy_20150201_01

Clockwise from top: MARC BY MARC JACOBS backpack in Cambridge red $248 from T GALLERIA HAWAII BY DFS; BOSE SoundSport in-ear headphones $149.95 from NORDSTROM; LULULEMON ‘The Towel’ $42; S’WELL 9-ounce bottle in champagne $30 from REBECCA BEACH; SWEATY BANDS headbands in black/white print $18 and silver sequin $15 from NORDSTROM; LOUIS VUITTON ‘Run Away’ sneaker in noir, price upon request; MAUI JIM ‘Seven Pools’ polarized sunglasses $229 from NORDSTROM.

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Clockwise from top:

MONCLER ‘Conroux’ jacket $1,260

TORY BURCH FOR FITBIT metal hinged bracelet $195

ADIDAS BY STELLA MCCARTNEY bumbag $70 (available early 2015) at adidas.com

TAG HEUER ‘Squadra Fondblanc’ ladies sport shield sunglasses with sport saddle bridge and flexa rubber temples $350 from HI-TREND at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort

ADIDAS BY STELLA MCCARTNEY small gym bag $200 (available early 2015) at adidas.com

DIOR ‘Fusion’ sneakers in lambskin $1,150

TUMI ‘Lima’ travel toiletry kit $95 from NORDSTROM

ACACIA Basics ‘Na Pali’ top in storm mesh $99 from REBECCA BEACH

Photos courtesy brands unless otherwise noted

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EuroCinema Hawaiʻi Awards Gala http://www.hiluxury.com/eurocinema-hawai%ca%bbi-awards-gala/ http://www.hiluxury.com/eurocinema-hawai%ca%bbi-awards-gala/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:03:25 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17120 EuroCinema Hawaiʻi, “a festival within a festival” of European film screenings throughout HIFF, hosted its highly anticipated Film Festival Awards Gala at the iconic Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Distinguished international celebrities, film jurors, patrons and culinary masters convened oceanfront in a black-tie ode to film-industry elite and Honolulu’s leading influencers. Guests of honor included: Princess Dialta Alliata di Montereale and Rising Star Award Recipient Brenton Thwaites.

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Hospice Hawaiʻi Na Hoa Malama – Mission: Possible! http://www.hiluxury.com/hospice-hawai%ca%bbi-na-hoa-malama-mission-possible/ http://www.hiluxury.com/hospice-hawai%ca%bbi-na-hoa-malama-mission-possible/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:03:21 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17082 A spin-off the Hollywood blockbuster, the theme for Hospice Hawaiʻi’s 2014 flagship fundraiser, Na Hoa Malama, Mission: Possible!, channeled excitement surrounding on-screen secret agents into an inspiring evening of celebration and hope. Martinis (shaken, not stirred) and fine wines, paired to the evening’s menu, filled glasses at Waialae Country Club in a jubilant tribute to Hospice Hawaiʻi’s 2014 Hall of Heroes (Edith Kawakami, co-founder of ʻIolani Sportswear; Julius Telang, pediatric patient) and Community Award Winners: Healthcare Professionals of the Year (Dr. Dawn Minaai, Straub Hospital and Clinic; Michelle Cantillo, RN, Hawaii Pacific Health) and Philanthropist of the Year (Dot Mason and The George Mason Fund).

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Palama Settlement’s Malama Palama Gala http://www.hiluxury.com/palama-settlements-malama-palama-gala/ http://www.hiluxury.com/palama-settlements-malama-palama-gala/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:03:19 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17178 Invitees of the Malama Palama Fundraising Gala flocked to The Royal Hawaiian in support of the 118-year-old Palama Settlement’s community legacy. Event honorees, Tihati Productions CEO Cha Thompson and surfing legend Ben Aipa, two longtime Palama devotees, were in attendance for the Monarch Room’s magnificent dinner gala garnering support for the organization’s keiki, teen and kupuna programs and services.

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On Trend with Meleana Estes http://www.hiluxury.com/trend-meleana-estes-6/ http://www.hiluxury.com/trend-meleana-estes-6/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:01:57 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17027 I have always loved and appreciated beautifully made shoes. But I admired them like pieces of art: something to observe and appreciate from a distance, but not necessarily to incorporate into my life. However, my recent revelation concerning the power of the shoe has shifted my views. And this season’s hottest styles have, thankfully, bridged the gap between functional comfort and chic elegance, proving you don’t need a four-inch stiletto to turn heads.

Gucci RTW stepped in chunky, rouge-heeled ankle straps

Gucci RTW stepped in chunky, rouge-heeled ankle straps

Today’s heel is chunky and square, easier on our soles, yet elegant as ever. Think Ali McGraw, circa 1970, for the red carpet premiere of “Love Story.” Gucci’s red and brown python-heeled sandals with ankle straps are a beautiful, modern nod to the era they originated. While Acne Studios gives an avant-garde, architectural take on this chunky heel trend with its sleek, white patent leather mule.

Taking its cue from the Greek sandal—an icon of comfort and ease— ankle straps are also a reoccurring theme this season. A striking illustration of this trend is Valentino’s knee-high gladiator sandals ornamented in gold. A more subtle expression: Chloe’s perfectly dainty flats with thin, black straps wrapping ankle and toe. Michael Kors, too, took on this trend, adding a simple ankle strap to the classic ballet flat, and Proenza Schouler topped off black suede, python-toed white heels with a silver-metal ankle strap—a combo that only the design duo could achieve so beautifully.

Valentino Spring '15 laced up toe-to-knee in Greek sandals with a Midas touch

Valentino Spring ’15 laced up toe-to-knee in Greek sandals with a Midas touch

Don’t worry if these options don’t scream comfort to you. Last spring’s Birkenstock renaissance was again making strides down Spring 2015 runways, proving you can still be in vogue while stepping in the very mascot of campus comfort.

Punahou grad and Fashion Institute of Technology alumna Meleana Estes gives us her take on the hottest runway trends. A trendsetter in her own right, her designs for her eponymous handbag line and modern take on resort attire for aloha wear purveyor Manuhealiʻi have garnered rave reviews.

Photos courtesy brands

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