Say Aloha To Local Designers At New Trade Show
As the founder of beach-inspired menswear collection Aloha Beach Club, Kahana Kalama has attended various trade shows in cities including New York and Las Vegas. But while traveling for these showcases, he started to think: Why not have one in Hawaii?
So he partnered with Olive & Oliver to create one – and their inaugural Interisland Trading Post takes place from noon to 6:30 p.m. Saturday (June 4) at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club. With an emphasis on Hawaii-made, ethically produced goods, Interisland Trading Post showcases a number of local brands, including Salvage Public, Eroix, Island Fin Design, Sig Zane Designs and more.
“There has been kind of a boom when it comes to young Hawaiian designers,” explains Kalama, a former professional surfer. “I have so many friends that are doing lines of clothing, swim suits, jewelry, just all these different things. Part of this is to try to help promote everybody else.
There is so much talent coming out of here.”
The event, he hopes, will serve to bolster local designers – in his experience, trade shows have helped him land press coverage and wholesale buyers. He is optimistic that, if not on their own, then with the help of a good custom trade show exhibits company (check out https://www.exhibitsnw.com/custom-exhibit-design/) these designers will be able to provide a similar growth to their brands.
“Running a business, being a designer in retail, all that stuff is really hard – part of what I want to do with Inter-island is really just get everyone together and form a community where everyone can bounce ideas off of each other and hopefully help each other out.”
Kalama, a Kailua native, opened his first Aloha Beach Club (formerly Aloha Sunday Supply Company) shop in California in 2011. Last year, he expanded to open the Kailua store, which also has an in-shop shave ice joint called The Local.
With an overarching aesthetic that Kalama has dubbed “plantation vacation” – which, he explains, combines functional, rugged elements with leisurewear – Aloha Beach Club carries its own signature line of locally produced aloha shirts, as well as blazers, vests, swimwear and an assortment of home goods that include candles, towels, cups and more.
Kalama has big hopes for Interisland Trading Post. In the future, he hopes to grow the event to the point where it can attract brands from all over the world to exhibit their products. But for now, he’s stoked just to get a mix of designers – which includes newcomers alongside long-time veterans – in one place.
“Our main focus on this one is let’s just get together, let’s interact with them and have some fun, and just see what we can learn from spending time together,” he says.
Interisland Trading Post also features a panel with local designers from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 3 at The Surfjack. For more information about Interisland Trading Post, visit interisland.co. For more on Aloha Beach Club, visit alohabeachclub.com.