Tiffany's & Co. is partnering with Sig Zane in a limited sterling silver edition pendant for the Moku O Keawe International Festival 2007 to be held at Waikoloa, South Kohala. If you haven't heard of Sig Zane Designs, then allow us to be the first to turn you on to quite possibly the most authentic, unique apparel and home furnishings designer in the Aloha State.
A fisherman, surfer, dancer, cultural practitioner and artist, Zane moved from his native Oahu to Hilo in the mid-1970s to seek an "unhurried life", as he states on his web site. It was there that he met and married Nalani Kanaka'ole-daughter of legendary kumu hula Edith Kanaka'ole. Nalani's passion for hula blended well with Zane's penchant for incorporating all that was native and traditional in Hawaiian culture-both past and present-in to his designs.
What began as simple pareu's (sarongs) for Nalani, blossomed through the 1980s in to T-shirts for his friends, followed by Aloha shirts.
Images of native plants like taro, hala, puakenikeni blossom, kukiu, koa and others appeared on all Zane-designed wear. And the more he learned about hula, fishing, surfing and what have you, the more the elements of these activities became incorporated into the apparel worn during them.
The Sig Zane Designs shop that opened in 1985 has recently completed a top-to-bottom renovation, one worthy of (and will be by this writer) coverage in any national design publication. Local hardwoods span the gleaming floor; light fixtures and wall hangings all come from local artists. The store is an ode to all things Hawaii, and offers all things to Hawaii's people.
Zane has branched out in to home furnishings, offering furniture, pillows and coverings, blankets, throws and more. And as the store began offering a diverse array of product, thoughts of getting Zane designed-apparel to a younger generation became a topic of conversation. Enter Zane's son, Kuha'o. Approaching 25 years of age, Kuha'o took his father's designs and, with some modern adjustments (Sig Zane sketches all designs by hand) approached Oahu's 88 Tees with a concept: To put signature Sig Zane designs on Converse All-Stars, as well as slippers and surf-style caps.
Can't find them? That's because every pair of sneaker was sold out before they even arrived in the shop; the same is expected of the limited run of caps and slippers.
What's next for the Zane family? There is talk about a line of surfboards with a well-known Big Island shaper.
The culmination of 30 years of creating designs that "honor the land and the native culture...[as well as] celebrate excellence and beauty," Zane says, is just beginning to get out there. "Our designs are wedded to a place, nature and culture. Our values are simple. They are based on a strong, simple love."