Sig Zane to Deliver Keynote Address at UH Hilo Fall Commencement

Hawaiʻi Island artist, dancer, cultural practitioner and clothing designer Sig Zane delivers the keynote address at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo fall commencement on Saturday, December 21 at 9 a.m. in the UH Hilo New Gym.

The Zane Family celebrates Kuhao Zanes Na Hoku Hanohano Award presented by the Na Hoku Festival for Best Graphics

The Zane Family celebrates Kuhao Zane’s Na Hoku Hanohano Award presented by the Na Hoku Festival for Best Graphics

Students have petitioned for a total of 262 degrees and/or certificates from the colleges of Arts and Sciences (174), Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (19), Business and Economics (21), and Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language (18), while 30 others are candidates for various post-graduate honors.

Zane, an O`ahu native, moved to Hilo in the mid-1970s in search of an unhurried life and to study the Hawaiian culture. He joined Hilo’s Halau O Kekuhi in 1981, and immersed himself in the art of hula under the direction of Edith Kanaka`ole along with her daughters Pua Kanahele and Nalani Kanaka`ole, who he would later marry. Through hula, Zane developed a deep understanding of the relationship between native plants and the Hawaiian culture.

He opened Sig Zane Designs in Downtown Hilo over 25 years ago, featuring a line of aloha shirts, dresses, bags and tees with popular motifs that reflect native Hawaiian culture, heritage and practices. Zane, Nalani, and their son, Kuhaoimaikalani, have been working together for more than a decade on special projects which combine their unique designs with fundamentals rooted in culture and place. They have produced iconic images for jewelry, hotel rooms and airplanes, and most recently created the traditional bamboo stamp design ohe kapala for Hawaiian Electric Incorporated.

Amanda O’Farrell, a Hawaiian studies major, is student speaker. O’Farrell was born in Hilo, raised in Puna, and graduated from the Kamehameha Schools Kea`au campus. She has maintained a 3.6 GPA at UH Hilo and made the Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani Dean’s List four times.

O’Farrell has been an active participant in numerous cultural and environmental initiatives throughout the island, taking part in invasive species removal around Hale Pohaku on Mauna Kea, collecting native species seeds at Hualalai, and participating in a heiau clean-up in Keaukaha. Her immediate post-graduate plans are to care for her two young children, but hopes to return within two years to pursue a masters degree in ethnobotany/ethnomedicine. Her dream is to be a traditional Hawaiian healer, practicing the art of la`au lapa`au and lomilomi. She also expressed interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in traditional medicine or public health.


Hawaiian Electric Companies Introduce New Logo

The Hawaiian Electric Companies today introduced a new logo that represents the companies’ roots in the islands as well as their commitment to developing a better energy future for Hawaii.


“We’re proud of our long history of service to our islands. At the same time, we know we need to continue to change and do better,” said Dick Rosenblum, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “We’re working hard to lower bills for our customers, improve our service, and develop more low-cost clean energy. The logo is a symbol of those commitments.”

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company have initiated ambitious projects to deliver on these commitments. Some of the latest actions include:

  • Pursuing, with Public Utilities Commission approval, five new low-cost renewable energy projects on Oahu – including four solar farms and one wind farm – with a combined capacity of 64 megawatts
  • Making it easier, faster, and cheaper for customers to install photovoltaic projects (as of August 2013, there were more than 34,000 installed PV systems across the companies’ service territories with a combined capacity of approximately 250 megawatts)
  • Planning the deactivation of older, less efficient utility generating units on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island for a combined 226 megawatts – about 14 percent of generation owned by the utilities

In the coming weeks, the companies will be announcing more projects to lower bills, improve service and develop more low-cost renewable energy.

“With oil prices driving up electric bills, we know how tough it is for our customers. Through projects like these, we’re working to bring customers some relief,” Rosenblum said. “This won’t happen overnight, but these are steps to help get us there.”

An estimated 18 percent of the electricity currently used by customers on Oahu and Hawaii Island and in Maui County comes from renewable resources, already ahead of the state’s goal of 15 percent by 2015. So far this year, this use of clean energy has saved customers an estimated $243 million by reducing oil use by 1.9 million barrels.

The new logo was developed by respected designer Sig Zane of Hilo and combines traditional Hawaiian design elements with a modern look. Zane worked on the design with his wife, cultural expert Nalani Kanakaole, and their son Kuhao. They drew upon Hawaiian Electric’s 122-year history for their inspiration.

“From the very beginning, when King Kalakaua pioneered electricity at Iolani Palace and chartered Hawaiian Electric, the company has played a key role in Hawaii’s growth. We wanted to create a design that captures that history and reflects the way the company connects our communities,” Zane said.


Our New Logo:
A Symbol of Where We’ve Been, Who We Are, and Where We’re Going


At Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company, we’re proud of our long history of service to our communities. But we know it’s not enough for us just to look back. Looking forward, we know we can and need to do better. At the top of our priority list:

  • Lowering bills for our customers
  • Improving service
  • Developing more low-cost clean energy

As we reaffirm our responsibility to our customers and communities, we’ve introduced a new logo – one that represents our deep roots in these islands as well as our commitment to creating a better energy future for Hawaii.


The new logo was developed by respected Hilo designer Sig Zane and combines traditional Hawaiian design elements with a modern look. Zane worked on the design with his wife, cultural expert Nalani Kanakaole, and their son Kuhao. They drew upon Hawaiian Electric’s 122-year history for their inspiration.

“From the very beginning, when King Kalakaua pioneered electricity at Iolani Palace and chartered Hawaiian Electric, the company has played a key role in Hawaii’s growth,” Zane said. “We wanted to create a design that captures that history and reflects the way the company connects our communities.”

Learn more about the story behind the logo by watching the video on this page.

The cost of designing and introducing the logo is not included in customers’ electric rates. To save on costs, the logo is being phased in gradually through the normal course of business.


Today we reaffirm our commitment to our customers – to lower bills, improve service and develop more renewable energy. To deliver on our commitments, we’re taking a number of important steps:

  • Pursuing low-cost renewable energy projects to reduce our use of high-priced oil
  • Continuing to help customers to install solar power
  • Planning the deactivation of some of our older power plants
  • Modernizing our systems and electric grids to improve reliability
  • Improving customer service with new technology and added staff

While the logo is an important symbol of our commitments, we know that, in the end, our actions will speak the loudest. So each and every day, we’re working hard to live up to what our logo represents. And we look forward to working with you, our customers and communities to achieve a clean energy future for Hawaii.

In the coming months, customers will begin to see the logo on company websites, signs, vehicles, uniforms, ID badges, and mailings. To save on costs, the logo will be phased in gradually through the normal course of business. For example, existing inventories of materials will be used up before replacement items that carry the new logo are ordered.

Winners Announced of the 7th Annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival

Winners of the 7th Annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival were announced Saturday night to an enthusiastic crowd at Waikoloa Bowl in Queens’ Gardens.  Awards were presented to Makua Solo, Wahine Solo and Wahine Hālau, after three nights of competition in ancient Kahiko and modern ‘Auana divisions.  (Kupuna Hālau and Solo winners were announced on Friday).

Sig Zane, Mary Jane Kamoku, Nalani Kanakaole and Kumu Alberta Nicolas

The top-scoring Wahine Hālau was Hui Hula Naleikalākupua (1,102 points) from Japan, under the direction of Kumu Hula Yukiko Hanayama.  In second place was Hawai‘i Island’s own Beamer-Solomon Hālau O Po‘ohala (1,089 points), Kumu Hula Hulali Solomon Covington.  Covington’s niece, Leiomalama Solomon, won the Wahine Solo title; she performed “Kimo Hula,” composed by her great-great-grandmother Helen Desha Beamer, for the ‘auana selection.

Hulali Solomon Covington, Leiomalama Solomon, Nalani Kanakaole and Kuhao Zane

Fourteen hālau—seven from Japan, six from Hawaii and one from Mexico—competed in the three-night event, which also featured Hawaiian cultural workshops and Made-in-Hawai‘i Marketplace during the day at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

Kuhao Zane. Sig Zane, Kumu Yukiko Hanayama and Nalani Kanakaole

WINNERS 7th Annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival:

  • 2nd Place Makua Solo Hula: Kyushu Hawaiian Association Kamalu Lani, 490 points, Kumu Hula: Keiko Ito Soloist: Sanami Hayashi
  • 1st Place Makua Solo Hula: Hula Hālau Kahula O Hawai‘i, 545 points, Kumu Hula: Kyoko Kubokawa, Soloist: Miyuki Iota
  • 3rd Place Wahine Hula: Kyushu Hawaiian Association Kamalu Lani, 1,084 points, Kumu Hula: Keiko Ito
  • 2nd Place Wahine Hula: Beamer-Solomon Hālau O Po‘ohala, 1,089 points, Kumu Hula: Hulali Solomon Covington
  • 1st Place Wahine Hula: Hui Hula Naleikalākupua, 1,102 points, Kumu Hula: Yukiko Hanayama
  • 3rd Place Solo Hula: Koga Mamina Hula Studio, 1,009 points, Kumu Hula: Mamina Koga, Soloist: Hiromi Sato
  • 2nd Place Solo Hula: Hula Hālau Kahula O Hawai‘i, 1,018 points, Kumu Hula: Kyoko Kubokawa, Soloist: Megumi Toyosawa
  • 1st Place Solo Hula: Beamer-Solomon Hālau O Po‘ohala 1,086 points, Kumu Hula: Hulali Solomon Covington, Soloist: Leiomalama Solomon
  • 3rd Place Kūpuna Hula: Hui Hula Naleikalakupua, 598 points, Kumu Hula: Yukiko Hanayama
  • 2nd Place Kūpuna Hula: Hula Hālau Plumeria Kamalu Lani, 618 points, Kumu Hula: Harumi Soejima
  • 1st Place Kūpuna Hula: Hālau I Ka Wekiu, 634 points, Kumu Hula: Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is sponsored by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts.  Sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/County of Hawai‘i CPEP Program and others.  For information and tickets to events, visit

ITO: Interisland Travelwrights an Exhibition and Pop-Up Shop by Sig, Nalani and Kuha‘o Zane of Travel Goods, Fashion & Art

Media Release:

Turning its curatorial eye on towards the Big Island, Interisland Terminal’s next program highlights the Hilo-based creative and design powerhouse triumvirate Sig Zane, Nalani Kanakaole, and Kuha‘o Zane.

Kuhao, Nalani and Sig Zane at the 2010 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards after Kuhao won for Best Graphics for an Album Cover

This program will highlight the unique and beloved approach of that the Zane Family brings to their creative work as cultural practitioners, designers of contemporary aloha attire.  It is an approach that truly rooted in Hawai‘i.

The inspiration for the exhibition title and concept, “ITO,” comes from the idea of “Interisland Living.” Of this, Sig says, “Hilo to Kaunakakai, between Lihu‘e to Hana, or going to Lana‘i and then to Honolulu, each unique locale offers its own stamp in your passport of memories.  Traversing between islands are a distinct part of Hawaiian life as in the past and especially today.”  Son, Kuha‘o adds, “ITO is our point of origin!  Home base, return to sender, the three-letter cluster that ends a mirage of airport codes on our return flight.  ITO is the code, representing our “Point A”- Hilo, Hawaii.”


This exhibition will feature installations by each member of the Zane ‘Ohana.  All three will be leading talks and discussions about both their individual and collaborative creative work.  A pop-up shop of Sig Zane Designs will run concurrently, and will debut a new, limited-edition line for the occasion.

Sig Zane Designs

Thurs June 2 – Sun June 12, 2011
Regular store hours will be 10:30am – 7:30pm, daily
At the Waikiki Parc Hotel
2233 Helumoa Road, Honolulu
Free, validated parking at the Waikiki Parc hotel will be provided for all ITO visitors and event attendees

Program related special events include:

June 2, 6:30 – 8:30pm
ITO:  Early Board – Opening Night, ticketed event

June 4, 5:00 – 7:00pm
ITO:  Nalani – Discussion of installation with artist

June 5, 4:00 – 6:00pm
ITO:  “Piano & Bubbles” – Champagne Talk Story, ticketed event

June 7, 6:00 – 8:00pm
ITO:  Sig – Lecture / Q & A at Hau Terrace at Halekulani, ticketed event

June 10, 5:00 – 7:00pm

ITO:  Kuha‘o – Discussion of installation with artist

For more information, please visit

Kuha’o Designs (‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola 27 Kep. 2010)


Hilton Waikoloa Presents… Hawaiian Elegance Brunch

Sponsors Note:

The Vanguardist

She’s done it for many years. Dressing bodies has been part of Nalani’s life, over and over. There were performances back in the 60s that required calls to feature color, movement, and form. The use of natural materials like hau, lauhala, and raffia, brought added dimension to the silhouette. Each year at the Merrie Monarch Festival, costuming at Wednesday night’s ho`ike is her creative idea.

With all things, Nalani has been a trendsetter. She is capable of new applications to bridge tradition and contemporary and become the modern example. Often times, the simple twist of a decades old idea becomes the canvas for the twenty-first revolution. The ability to be the forefront is best described as part DNA and part visionary.

This weekend we feature Hoku Malama, the first fashion show featuring Nalani Kanakaole. Designed for the women of substance, we celebrate styles that are fresh, architectural, and totally flattering. I am tickled. Again. I love the creative genius that Nalani is.

September 5, 1:00 pm, Monarch Ballroom, Hilton Waikoloa – See you there!


Wordless Wednesday – Kuhao, Nalani and Sig

Kuhao Zane (left) celebrates his recent Na Hoku Hanohano Award presented by the Na Hoku Festival for Best Graphics with his parents Nalani and Sig Zane,

From the New York Times:

…Mr. Zane opened his first store in 1985. With its emphasis on Hawaiian design elements, this shop on Kamehameha Avenue is, in its way, the cultural epicenter of Hawaii’s retail world. Dramatic new prints of plants important to the Hawaiians appear in pareus, or Polynesian sarongs. They also show up in aloha shirts, dresses, handbags and even baseball caps…

…Mr. Zane’s background reflects his affinity with Hawaiian culture. He is an accomplished hula dancer, known as a kuma hula, as well as designer. His wife, Nalani Kanakaole, is one of the most revered hula masters in the world. And their son, Kuhao, a vital force in the family business, represents the urban-chic element of a family otherwise rooted in tradition…

Big Island Candies & Sig Zane Designs Box Collaboration

Media Release:

Ka Lei `Ahinahina

Noho ana `o `āhinahina kūpaianaha i ke po`o o ka `ohu!

Wreathed in mist, the extraordinary Silverswords dwell with the summit clouds!

Ka Lei `Ahinahina

The Silversword chooses to live in the Wao Akua. This region is where the gods dwell and is near the summit of our tallest mountains. On Hawai`i island, the `ahinahina is a close relative to its cousin on Maui isle. “Lei `ahinahina” is a metaphor that there is nothing greater, as no other plants grow closer to the heavens. This is compliment given often to a wise person who has accomplished much in their lives.

Ka Lei `Ahinahina Print on a Big Island Candies Box

This special version of the esteemed Silversword is dedicated to Allan Ikawa and Lance Duyao. Both have been inspirational creating anew for every season and for their unique products.

Sig Zane with Allan Ikawa and Lance Duyao

Established in 1977 in the bayside town of Hilo, Hawaii, Big Island
is world renown for their Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Nut
Shortbreads, decadent brownies, exotic truffles and more. The
award-winning Hilo chocolatier is equally famous for their outstanding
product packaging.
Boxes are available at Big Island Candies Hilo location or through their mail order catalog.

Looking for the Worst Dressed Woman on the Big Island


Hawaii Visitors Convention Bureau was contacted by What Not to Wear.

The popular TLC show is looking for candidates for the Worst Dressed Woman in America for their 250th episode. Feel free to nominate anyone and contact the producer directly if you wish. All info is in the attached flyer. Wouldn’t it be fun to get some Hawaii mileage out of this and spotlight great local designers like Sig Zane on national TV?

If you think of someone who is a fantastic candidate from Hawaii’s Big Island and wouldn’t be offended by a nomination– then let me know and I will get you in touch with the person that will be making the pitch here locally.

What Not to Wear

For the first time ever, in celebration of its 250th episode, What Not to Wear is doing a national search for The Worst Dressed American (open to WOMEN only). Email to nominate yourself or secretly nominate a friend, and you or she could appear on the 250th episode of the show and get the royal treatment, compliments of Stacy and Clinton! Send at least 2 pictures that show her style, her name, age, size, height, occupation, describe her style and tell us why we should pick her! Deadline for submissions is September 25th so email today!

About the show:

“WHAT NOT TO WEAR” provides fashion intervention to people nominated by friends/family/co-worker as someone who desperately needs a style overhaul!  Fashion experts, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly then confront the person and reveal their plan to teach them “WHAT NOT TO WEAR” sorting through the person’s current wardrobe and providing them with rules for maximizing their best assets and personal style. They are given a Visa card worth $5,000, and it’s time to hit the shops.  After a consultation with Stacy and Clinton on these new clothing choices, along with a dramatic hair and makeup revamp, viewers will see a complete transformation and a stunning reveal.

Connect with the TLC Audience:

TLC is in 85 million homes in the US

23.3 million viewers tune into TLC each week

83 million viewers tune in to watch TLC each month

TLC ranks #1 in concentration of upscale adults 25-54 and 18-49 in prime time

Big Island Hawaii Stories: Sig Zane


Aloha clothing designer Sig Zane explains talks about the Big Island, the environment, and how he chooses some of the designs for the shirts.


Don’t forget to also check out Sig’s son Kuhao Zane’s Twitter site for other updates regarding the ohana.

Ali`ipoe… Update

A couple of weeks ago I asked what this weed was:


Kuhao Zane was able to identify it:

…Its called ali`ipoe…. Its used in the uli uli(rattle) for hula. wait for the pods to turn brown”

Well I just noticed that the bottom pod has turned brown:



I also notice that we have a bunch more  of them starting to grow.  I wonder if they have any value?

Baby Ali`ipoe

Baby Ali`ipoe

Anyone want to buy an Ali`ipoe

What EVERY Father Wants for Fathers Day…

Did you know that Sig Zane has a pretty active website.

Anyone that knows me… knows I love my Sig Zane shirts. I hope my wife is reading this post! ;)

I hope your reading this honey

I hope your reading this honey

The site recently announced a Father’s Day sale:

…For online shoppers, please be sure to input the coupon code DAD after adding your first item to the cart. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the box. The discount will be applied at check-out. Sale begins at 9:30am on the 12th and runs until 4:00pm on the 13th.

Hilo store hours are Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm, and Saturday, 9:00am – 4:00pm. Webstore is open 24hours. Because the shopping cart will only allow for one coupon code at a time, the HILO coupon code will not work. All orders will have to be shipped. We apologize for the inconvenience…

More info here

Storytelling in Hilo With Sig Zane… The Video

Merrie Monarch time is probably one of the busiest times of the year for clothing designer Sig Zane and his ohana.

Watch renowned Hilo fashion designer Sig Zane as he shares Hawaiian traditions and culture in his unique aloha wear designs. See him at work and follow him through a walking tour of Hilo, the town that inspires his work.


Big Island’s Sig Zane and Nalani Kanaka’ole to Receive Dukes 2009 Hoʻokahiko Award Tomorrow in Honolulu

Hat tip to Reiko:

Two renowned island treasures, who also happen to be husband and wife, Nalani Kanaka’ole and Sig Zane, will be presented with Duke’s Waikiki’s 2009 Hoʻokahiko Award for their dedication and contribution to perpetuating Hawaiian culture and tradition. Nalani will be honored for continuing ancient Hawaiian Hula and Sig will be recognized for maintaining Hawaiian values and culture through his clothing designs. The private ceremony will take place on Thursday, March 19, 2009 at Duke’s Waikiki.


“Nalani and Sig deserve recognition for their work that perpetuates Hawaiian culture,” said Ross Anderson, senior general manager at Duke’s Waikiki. “The Hawaiian ways would be lost if it wasn’t for people like them and we’re proud to honor them with this year’s Ho’okahiko Award.”

Kanaka’ole is the daughter of the late Edith Kanaka’ole – one of the most regarded Hawaiian cultural leaders of her time. She is a renowned choreographer, cultural consultant, educator of Hawaiian practices, and Co-Kumu of Halau O Kekuhi.

Dedicated to perpetuating ancient, traditional-style hula and oli (chant), Kanaka’ole and her family started the Edith Kanakaole Foundation in 1990. The Foundation seeks to increase indigenous Hawaiian cultural awareness and participation through educational programs and scholarships. Today, Kanaka’ole serves as the Artistic Director of the Foundation and also as the Director of the Native Hawaiian Art School.

Kanaka’ole has directed many groundbreaking musical pieces and stage performances throughout her lifetime. In 1998, she and her sister, Pualani, documented Halau O Kekuhi’s roots in ancient Hawaiian myths with the launch of the album “Uwolani,” which received Hoku Awards in the Hawaiian Language Performance and Haku Mele categories. In 2003, Kanaka’ole also collaborated with Peter Rockford Espiritu’s Tau Dance Company to produce ”Hanau Ka Moku: An Island Is Born“ at the Hawaii Theatre. She also co-directed “Kamehameha Pai’ea,” a drama about the warrior Chief Kamehameha, and “Holo Mai Pele,” the first hula opera to be broadcast to a national audience on PBS.

In addition, Kanaka’ole co-founded two organizations: Hika’alani, a Hawaiian Cultural Protocol Group, and Puana, a Native Hawaiian organization established for stage and film production scriptwriters. She also judges the Merry Monarch Festival in Hilo and teaches Hawaiian studies at Hawaii Community College.

Kanaka’ole’s husband, Sig Zane, is an artist and cultural practitioner who designs and creates elegant, Hawaiian floral clothing that is printed and cut by hand. A native of O’ahu, Zane moved to Hilo and became a student of Hawaiian culture in the 1970s. After joining Kanaka’ole’s Halau O Kekuhi, he developed an understanding of Hawaii’s plants and their uses in Hawaiian culture.

Zane eventually married Kanaka’ole. The taro planted in Zane’s garden for his son’s first baby luau inspired his first clothing design because the new taro shoots are called ‘oha and symbolize ‘Ohana in Hawaiian culture. When his designs became popular amongst friends and family, he integrated other plants valued by Hawaiians including taro, hala, ‘ie’ie, and kukui into his fabric designs. With success at his fingertips, Zane opened his first retail store, Sig Zane Designs, in Hilo in 1985. His second store opened in Wailuku, Maui in 1999. By using symbols significant to Hawaiian culture in his clothing line, Zane perpetuates Hawaiian culture and tradition teaching others to appreciate Hawaii’s agriculture and heritage.

Duke’s Waikiki believes strongly and sincerely in Aloha, because it believes that the spirit of Aloha is the best of Hawaii’s traditions. The Hawaiian word “hoʻokahiko” means “cling to the traditions,” and the Duke’s Hoʻokahiko Award was established to honor those who, today, live and exemplify those traditions.