Fashionable, trending, esteemed and cultured are just a few words that come to mind when describing famed New York Fashion Week royalty, Hawai’i brand Dezigns by Kamohoalii.
The start of summer 2022 kicked off Dezigns by Kamohoalii’s first retail stores at two new locations. Commonly known as DBK by true fans, they have opened permanent stores at Windward Mall and Pearlridge Center on the island of O’ahu. We caught up with CEO and designer Kumu Micah Kamohoalii to learn about DBK Fashion and what’s coming up on his always busy schedule.
From the Island of Hawaiʻi, founder and renowned Kumu Hula, Micah Kamohoalii established his Hawaiian clothing company in 2005. Kamohoalii’s passion for art led him into graphic design and his family’s legacy in Hawaiian Kapa led him into fashion. His designs encompass the natural environment of Hawaiʻi and strives to educate in the ways of Hawaiian designs, metaphoric imagery, cultural significance with strong symbolism and interpretations. Kamohoalii strives to honor the breath of life from his ancestors by perpetuating, preserving, and retelling their stories in the designs worn on their clothing.
Kamohoalii has been on an exhilarating roller coaster ride over the last few years and has kept busy even during the pandemic. Up until the last year he’s kept it simple with pop-up shops and online sales. This would all change as he became a featured designer in the Television Show Hawaii Fashion Showcase and with his creative television commercial in 2021, his clothing line business touched opportunities for a vast reach within the retail industry. Soon, Kamohoalii was invited to New York Fashion Week and has been noted as the first native Hawaiian and Hawaiʻi designer that has presented on the storied catwalks, showcasing his clothing line on the official New York Fashion Week platform. Following his huge impact and success in New York a 1-hour television documentary was created about his journey and aired in a nationwide broadcast which garnered him an Emmy nomination. With this national exposure his company has been featured in many notable magazines such as Forbes, Vogue, Vanity Fair, i-Fashion Magazine and Modern Luxury just to name a few.
Kamohoalii has always had his eye on opening a brick-and-mortar retail store and that has finally come to fruition. Dezigns By Kamohoalii has opened on the second floor at both Windward Mall and Pearlridge Center Uptown where his notable styles have been flying off the racks. Besides wanting to open his next store in Maui, Kamohoalii shares with us his newest endeavors. His all-star team will be heading to Europe this September 2022 to be the first Hawai’i brand and fashion designer featured in all 3 of the most prestigious iconic European fashion weeks shows in London, Milan and Paris! Check them out on O’ahu. Also, learn how you can support theirfundraisers for their journey to Europe by visiting their website www.dbkamohoalii.com
Photography by: Lani Walters, Stallone Chartrand