Letter From The Editor

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When I asked Ari South’s mother, Nora Sisounthone, about her daughter’s decision to return to national television after transitioning from a man to a woman, she says that she was so proud of her.

“I feel proud that she has that courage … I give her credit.”

But she also added, “At first, I was kind of worried.”

South, too, admits that it was a big decision to step back into Project Runway right after transitioning. It made her transition a topic of national conversation. But South is quick to talk about the bigger picture.

“It all comes back to taking up space within the community and not feeling like I have to have a special restroom, not feeling like I have to have a special anything, but just to exist within society as it is today,” she says.

After her run on Project Runway All Stars, though, South did step back a bit from the limelight. She needed time to focus on herself while still building up her clothing brand. But she’s been back designing as much as ever more recently. Case in point: You can see a number of her new pieces in a fashion show this Saturday (March 18) at Pa‘akai Marketplace.

Read more about what South has been up to on page 6.