Aloha, friends … been a long time since I posted a blog so please bear with me. Lemme start with the New Year .. had a great time performing at JTB’s New Years event at the Sheraton Waikiki. The best part was that our green room had an unobstructed view of the fireworks show – couldn’t have asked for a better seat in the house! January was filled with trips – couple to Kaua’i for meetings, and one to Japan. Our return flight was a trip .. flight was delayed almost 7 hrs. due to mechanical problems which wouldn’t have been too bad except we had to be back in Honolulu to do a gig out at Turtle Bay that evening! Long story short, we made it to the gig with 10 minutes to spare – whew! Of all the years we’ve been flying back & forth to Japan, this was my first flight delay … and it couldn’t have come at a worse time! And speaking of Japan, Alx and Sarah will be heading up to Sapporo next week to perform at the Yuki Matsuri, or Snow Festival. I’ve never been to this festival before but I hear it’s awesome … especially the ice sculptures. Hope they bring back lots of pics ..
And as I’m sure you all know by now, ‘IOLANI announced its collaboration with retailing giant UNIQLO for its 2014 Spring/Summer Collection. This is huge for us and Hawai’i … UNIQLO is taking our brand and featuring it in over 1200 of their stores around the world … Japan, China, Russia, U.S., France, Germany, England, Canada … you name it, we’ll be there. Not only will this be good for our little company, but it’s going to be great for Hawai’i too. The collaboration has already received a lot of promotional hype, but this is only the beginning … stay tuned. What really surprises me, though, is the kind of reaction we’ve been receiving – it’s been either very supportive or very negative, with no in-between. To our critics, let me just say that this was an opportunity we could not pass up – and I truly doubt you would have either (let’s be honest, now). And contrary to what you so-called “fashion experts” think, our ‘IOLANI brand will endure no matter what happens. We’re not some slick marketing ploy trying to sell a fake or old brand with a made-up fairy tale – we’re the real deal; a 60-year old family-owned, kama’aina company with a history of quality and excellence that we’re damn proud of. End of story.