(Hawaii Fashion Month Press Release)  Governor Neil Abercrombie will present the 2014 Governor’s Fashion Award (GFA) during HONOLULU Fashion Week at the conclusion of “HIFI Connects: The Business of Fashion”, which starts on Sunday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

And this year, we’re giving just one person the GFA award, Honolulu Community College (HCC) fashion technology Department Chair Joy Nagaue!

Nagaue was unanimously selected by a nominating committee that included Hawaii fashion and style leaders Dale Hope, Paula Rath, Nadine Kam, Amos Kotomori, and Paul Brown. The committee was convened and facilitated by HIFI.

The GFA honors an outstanding individual who has served as an exemplary professional and member of Hawaii’s fashion community for at least 25 years, and has demonstrated leadership and innovation in an area of the industry.

“Joy’s commitment to nurturing Hawaii’s fashion talent is unwavering,” said Kotomori. “She usually works quietly behind the scenes, but her undeniable contribution to Hawaii fashion speaks volumes.”

At the helm of HCC’s fashion technology program, “Miss Joy” has taught and mentored many of the islands’ foremost fashion talents, including three Project Runway contestants, designers behind brands such as Manuheali’i, and countless others who have flourished in successful fashion careers around the world.


Kini with Ms. Joy from the Honolulu CC Fashion Tech Program.  PC: Nadine Kam
Kini with Ms. Joy from the Honolulu CC Fashion Tech Program. PC: Nadine Kam

“Joy has been like a mother figure for many of us who have gone through HCC’s program, offering guidance when we need it and maintaining close relationships with us even after we’ve graduated,” said Project Runway alum Ari South. “She also has a keen eye for recognizing when a student is hungry to learn more, which I feel is important for educators at the college level, and will put in the extra time and energy for that student.”

The selection of one of Hawaii’s leading fashion educators is consistent with the GFA’s forward-thinking goal of supporting the infrastructure and individuals that set the stage for the industry’s future growth. In recognition of HCC’s contribution to Hawaii fashion, the public is encouraged to support HCC’s Fashion Technology Program fundraiser and fashion exhibition from HCC’s student designers and alumni, called “Full Circle, A Dining & Fashion Experience,” on Wed. Nov. 19, at 5:30 p.m. at Stage Restaurant in the Honolulu Design Center. Click here for more info or email hccrsvp@hawaii.edu.

“HIFI Connects: The Business of Fashion” is a morning of networking, presentations, and discussions about the business of fashion in Hawaii and abroad, hosted by the Hawaii Fashion Incubator (HIFI). Those interested in attending HIFI Connects and the awards presentation can purchase tickets here. Tickets are $25, and seating is limited. RSVPs are required. Tickets are free for members of the Hawaii Fashion Exchange, as well as for students and faculty of HCC and UH.