Words by HNL Flow Staff
Photos by Brittany Reis, Clayton Nelson, and Jason Perez
Two months ago, HNL Flow released its 2015 lookbook featuring a plethora of local designers, including Kapolei-based designer Kini Zamora.
Kini made his mark in the fashion industry when he appeared as a contestant on Season 13 of “Project Runway.” After that, he became widely recognized as a pioneer in Hawai’i’s contemporary fashion. His clothing was featured in a joint runway show alongside fellow designer Dinko Satta in the inaugural Honolulu Fashion Week show in November 2014, and in 2015, he opened up a new storefront, The Clique by KZ in Aiea.
Kini’s clothes are a combination of elegance tied in with cultural patterns and details – a tribute to the island home that has always given him love, support and inspiration.
We asked Kini a couple of questions about the launch of his fashion career, and how his family inspired him not only to stand out, but also to stay humble.
How long have you been designing clothes?
I have been sewing since 10 and designing since the age of 15. I started learning from my Auntie Delilah and she was teaching a class with me and my cousins. I’m the only one that stuck through it.
What/who was your inspiration to design clothes?
Well, my biggest motivation is my family. they inspire me to create and be creative and push me to do more with my company. Every season, inspirations change but [family] will always be my inspiration.
Your career took off after you became a contestant on Project Runway. Describe your experience about being on national television. It was an amazing experience…stressful yet rewarding. I have met and got to do so many things since then and it has opened so many doors.
If you could describe your clothing in 3 words, what would they be?
Structured, elegant, detailed.
What advice would you give to aspiring designers?
Never steer away from your creativity, no matter what comes in the way. Always be creative and never let anyone tell you different.
You can view more photos in our lookbook, click here.
Find Kini’s designs at The Clique by KZ (99-1132 Iwaena Street, Aiea, Hawaii, 96701)