By Nadine Kam
Whitby Bierwolf photo
Kiani Ventura-Tampos, left, and Mailani Makainai are in a silver Niho Mano Cuff and silver Kapa Cuffs from the Paradisus Sonny Ching Collection. Mailani also wears Kamapua’a Tusks with silver lashing, from the same collection.
No matter what the outcome of the Hoku Awards, Kiani Ventura-Tampos—nominated for Female Vocalist of the year and Reggae Album of the Year—was a winner before she set foot in the Hawai’i Convention Center Kalakaua Ballroom.
As a new artist from the Big Island, she said she doesn’t really wear make-up and “fashion isn’t at the top of my list due to not much fashion choices as the Hilo mall is limited.”
Even so, with all the stories I’ve written about Ralph Malani and the work he’s done with Polynesian models and artists like Raiatea Helm and Anuhea, she decided to contact him through Facebook to see if he could help her make a good impression on an audience of her peers in Honolulu, as well as a television audience.
For his part, Ralph said, “At first, wasn’t going to do it because I’m so busy.”
But then he had a change of heart because he was already performing a makeover on last year’s Hoku Award-winning Female Vocalist of the Year Mailani Makainai, and Kiani was so eager to make an impact. “She is sweet and never been on TV or in the paper,” he said. “She is a Big Island girl with Big Island style, but the night of the Hokus she will be a star.”