Business Matters: Sig Zane

Business Matters

HONOLULU (KHON2) — They’re the fabrics and designs that tell the stories of Hawaii.

This is something Sig Zane has been doing out of his Hilo headquarters center since moving from Oahu in the mid-1980s.

They are designs, in their words, wedded to a place, nature and culture, and now they’re available on a limited basis here on Oahu.

“I think this is a new opportunity to show what we’ve been working on them to be able to show a new canvas to be able to display some of the artwork that he’s had for years now. But also new opportunity to be able to play on an Oahu playground,” said Kuhao Zane of Sig Zane Creations.

Up until recently, Sig Zane Designs have pretty much been exclusive to Hilo shoppers.

But now you can find their local men’s wear at Sig on Smith in Chinatown here on Oahu, Fridays only.

“We love the Hilo lifestyle to a certain degree,” said Zane. “We love the fact that we have our weekends but definitely for this one. Chinatown has been something that I enjoy. My popo used to bring me down here when I was a kid. So when the opportunity came up for this property, we thought he was trying something special for this one.”

“I’ve been looking for some new shirts and I really like the unique designs they have that are hard to find or something so special and unique,” said customer Joel Cosseboom.

And it’s not just the guys who can shop on Oahu now. Right next door, for the ladies, is a new pop up called “Kaiau.” The shop opened up just three weeks ago.

“I think we need to evolve but this is also such a new campus to be able to show some of the design elements that we’ve been working on over the years,” said Zane.

Like every family business, Sig Zane has seen its share of ups and downs. This new venture to Chinatown is part of the company’s desire to change with the times and look to the future, but always in a way that honors the past.

“I think for me, it’s trying to stick to some of the experiences I had as a child in my childhood, as well as some of the cultural practices that I grew up with and Hula. I think there’s a certain level of truth within those. If I can do my best to be able to portray those truths through our unique designs and I think it’s a relating point that hopefully, everybody will be able to feel.”

While Chinatown may be the latest canvas for Sig Zane designs, the heart, and namesake of the company and remain firmly planted, in Hilo.

“He’s still there day-to-day making sure the aesthetics stay sharp as far as keeping track of all the small details, as well as making sure he inspires the designers that we have — all of our employees and the rest of our ohana,” said Zane.

While Zane promises that the company will always remain true to its roots and values, it’s always looking for new ways to expand. From bags, pillows, and even skateboards, to the new classic flannel shirt that became an instant Black Friday doorbuster.

“Black Friday was crazy literally from here all the way to Hotel Street, around the block a little bit and we can only let in 10 to 15 people at a time because of fire rules. But besides this, we had of this final piece and it was just another way to stay current and definitely offer some comfort cloth, but at the same time with him our aesthetic in our artwork.”

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