Archive for the ‘Purses’ Category

Raiatea inspired LeSportsac “Mele” print

October 15th, 2011

Nadine Kam photos
Raiatea Helm showed her new CD, “Sea of Love,”  and LeSportsac “Mele” print pouch being sold together in limited edition, yesterday at the Ala Moana Center store. She’ll be at an autograph session at the store from 2 to 5 p.m. today, Oct. 15.

LeSportsac has a long history of artist collaborations, but these have tended to be with visual artists whose work translates easily onto LeSportsac’s ripstop nylon handbags,  totes, cosmetic pouches and travel bags.

Now, they’ve embraced music artist Raiatea Helm, with a launch of the exclusive Hawaiian print “Mele,” inspired by Raiatea’s voice and ukulele talent. A precedent was set when they worked with Gwen Stefani and L.A.M.B., but in my mind, L.A.M.B. was already a fashion brand, so it wasn’t much of a stretch, whereas the Raiatea collaboration seemed to have come out of the blue.

Cindy Eastman, LeSportsac director of sales, said Raiatea’s natural beauty, grace and talent is a great expression of the brand and its customers, and as for coming up with the design, she said that it took a good 12 months to develop the print that focuses on the ukulele—not any particular ukulele—designed in a way to include some of the iconic imagery of Hawaii in a way that would make “people understand it’s a special instrument.”

Raiatea will be at LeSportsac Ala Moana Center from 2 to 5 p.m. today for an autograph session and drawing for a three-piece Mele-print travel set.

LeSportsac director of sales Cindy Eastman, center, with Edna Hechtman, right, introduces Raiatea, her new CD and LeSportsac “Mele” print collection inspired by Raiatea.

Coincidentally, Raiatea just released her “Sea of Love” CD, and a limited collection of autographed CDs enclosed in Mele zip pouches will be available for sale, with all proceeds from both CD and pouch sales to be donated to the Japan Relief Fund through the Red Cross.

The Mele print isn’t based on any particular ukulele, but KoAloha’s Alan Okami, left, stopped by to show his support for Raiatea and Waikiki Trader president and CEO James Geiger, who brought LeSportsac to Hawaii. Coincidentally, the ohana documentary “My KoAloha Story,” is one of the film’s in this year’s Hawai’i International Film Festival and will be screening at Sunset on the Beach at 7 tonight as well as Oct. 20 at Dole Cannery and Oct. 28 at Hilo’s Palace Theatre.

The brand continues to expand its collection, introducing eight new prints a month, which is unheard of in the industry, which generally focuses on four to five seasonal collections a year.

That speaks to the collectible nature of the brand, with pieces from limited-edition lines in demand, and Eastman said there are also a lot of women who like to have multiple prints in their favorite styles of bag—whether a hobo or tote—just to have wardrobe options to suit any outfit.

Eastman also shared some of their works in progress, including welcoming Kate Sutton as their next artist in residence, and collaborations with Swarovski and Mary Blair for Disney’s It’s a Small World due next summer. Can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Raiatea’s favorite LeSportsac piece is the Edna, whose namesake Edna Hechtman, right, came up with the design, which Raiatea says is the perfect size for her iPad. Which makes me wonder whether Edna is psychic. I remember when she came up with the design, years before the iPad was invented!

A closeup of the Mele print, includes musical notes in the back that don’t represent any particular song due to copyright issues. The ukes bear iconic imagery of Hawaii including a hula dancer, ocean sunset, flowers and rainbow.

There was a lot of media on Oct. 14 for the launch of Raiatea’s collection. In front in black is Rae Huo, who chose Raiatea as the main subject of her and artist Zakka’s online magazine Pop Iroiro’s latest issue, before she knew about the LeSportsac collaboration.

As for future collaborations, look for a design by Mary Blair for Disney’s It’s a Small World next summer. This is just an example of her work.

Vacation, Aulani-style

September 22nd, 2011

Nadine Kam photos
A visitor is photographed with a laidback Donald Duck at the newly open Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa at Ko Olina.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, celebrated its grand opening Sept. 21, but a group of us from the newsroom had the opportunity to tour the property Sept. 13 to see how this magic kingdom came together.

True to the company’s storytelling dynamic, they embraced the legends, culture and art of Hawaii, blending them to create a living storybook environment for visitors in search of escape.

A general store on property offers leisure apparel, as well as these Aulani Disney collaborative crossbody bags with Dooney Bourke, below. I already saw people walking around the resort carrying them.

For a look at the restaurants, visit

Aina Kam welcomes visitors with a cool drink of water at the entry to the property. There are other coolers sitting at other corners of the property. Perfect for Hawaii’s perpetual sunny days. I must have had four cups of water in two hours of touring the property.

Walking into the property, built in a U-shape looking out toward the ocean, with two towers on either side.

The resort is divided into two wings, and this is the entry to the female half.

The shallow end of the pool is made to look like ocean waves lapping sand.

Of course any place with the Disney name on it is going to be a fantasy land, and for those afraid to go into the ocean, you can snorkel within the Rainbow Reef, a partially glass-walled, manmade ocean eco-pool to view yellow tangs, angelfish and butterfly fish. If you don’t want to swim with the fish, you can simply watch them eat at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily.

Waikolohe Stream winds its way through Waikolohe Valley, the play area between the two Aulani towers. You can swim through it, or spend a lazy afternoon afloat in an inner tube.

There is also an interactive sting ray experience at 9 and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily at the Makai Preserve. Reservations required.

Inside one of the Disney Vacation Club suite bedrooms.

The living room with lanai that opens to the view below:

The suite’s kitchen and dining area.

Another familiar character.

The resort lighted at night.