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HIFI Connects: A Panel Event With Local And International Fashion Pros

The Hawaii Fashion Incubator (HIFI) will host HIFI Connects: The Business of Fashion, Coffee + Dialogue, featuring a panel discussion comprised of internationally recognized fashion industry professionals on Sunday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center Exhibition Hall during HONOLULU Fashion Week. The event will also feature a panel of prominent Hawaii fashion professionals and the presentation of the 2014 Governor’s Fashion Awards by Governor Neil Abercrombie.

“HIFI Connects will present different perspectives on the business of fashion from within and outside of Hawaii,” said HIFI co-founder Toby Portner. “To move forward as an industry, we need dialogue about where we are, where we’re aiming to go, and what it’s going to take to get there.”

The HFX Mentor panel consists of accomplished professionals with connections to Hawaii, helping to paint a bigger picture of the global fashion industry. The Hawaii panel features local leaders who support the growth of the industry here on the ground.

HIFI Connects is open to fashion professionals and enthusiasts alike. Drawing upon many combined years of expertise, panelists will share insights into the current status of the local industry and discuss the future of Hawaii fashion, what is possible, and how to make it profitable and thriving.

International panelists include:

  • Lynne O’Neill: A fashion show producer with more than 30 years of experience producing New York Fashion Week runway shows for such designers as Tommy Hilfiger, Herve Leger, Catherine Malandrino, Vivienne Tam, and Rebecca Minkoff.
  • Jacky Tang: Vice president of branding & retail development for popular brand Opening Ceremony, Tang specializes in brand and merchandise development.
  • Roman Young: A graduate of ‘Iolani School, Young is the Director of Talent for Wilhelmina Models in New York, and has appeared on MTV, MSNBC, E! Entertainment, CNN, and as a judge on America’s Next Top Model.
  • Bliss Lau: Designer of a successful accessories brand that is carried in boutiques worldwide, Lau is also an associate professor at Parsons The New School For Design where she teaches how to build a strong brand vision.
  • Henry Navarro: An artist specializing in fashion as public art, Navarro is a faculty member in the fashion program at Ryerson University in Toronto. He will introduce “Aloha Na‘au,” a collaborative project for summer 2015.

Featured speakers in the Hawaii industry panel include:

  • Mark Tsuda of Jams World
  • Ed D’Ascoli of Xcel
  • Joy Nagaue of Honolulu Community College
  • Georja Skinner of the Creative Industries Division of the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.

At noon the space opens to the public for HONOLULU Fashion Week’s Marketplace and participants are encouraged to stay to shop, mingle, and network.

HIFI Connects is Sunday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center Exhibition Hall during HONOLULU Fashion Week. Seating is limited. Tickets are $25, or free for Hawaii Fashion Exchange members, and can be purchased online at hificonnects2014.eventbrite.com.
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