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Monday, August 23, 2010



Reise Kochi, 22 year old fashion student, presented his “Blackout” collection during Honolulu Community College’s annual fashion show. The show proved to be successful for Kochi; he walked away with the night’s top honor- the Designer of the Year award for his senior collection.

What’s your inspiration behind the clothes you design?
Kochi: My inspiration for this collection and my future collections was/is WOMEN. Women have always been my inspiration and fascination. For this collection, I wanted to show strength and femininity. I represented strength by making wide and dramatic shoulders and femininity by accentuating the hips. Currently, I think the modern woman is strong, bold, and fierce.

RED: Do you see a place for yourself in Hawaii fashion?
Kochi: No, I don’t see a future for myself in Hawaii fashion, but rather in Europe, Japan, Australia, or China. Events and occasions here in Hawaii don’t really call for my clothes. Nor are they what women in Hawaii wear. It’s really sad.
RED: Do you plan on staying here, or do you want to pursue bigger things in the future?
Kochi: For now, I want to continue to grow as designer by taking more classes at HCC. I have a lot of techniques and skills that I still need to develop. I’m still a baby who is crawling, but pretty soon I’ll be cat-walking, out of this country!

RED: What can we expect from you down the road?
Kochi: You can expect something a little more wearable. A lot of separate pieces that you can mix with each other. I’m still going to keep things structured, but add softness to my pieces.
RED: Who do you look up and draw inspiration from?
Kochi: I look up to women from the entertainment world. I grew up watching female idols such as, Barbra Streisand, the Spice Girls, Disney princesses, Madonna, and Aretha Franklin. I owe them a lot, because it has shaped my artistic development to cater to women‘s needs.

RED: What do you see yourself doing in the next 5 years?
Kochi: I hope I’m still doing fashion. I’ve been fascinated with fashion since I was little, so I don’t think ill get tired of it. I hope I am in the mainland or out of country where my fashion can be more appreciated and sought after.

Story by: Tyson Joines
Photos by: Olivier Koning
Model: Daniela Voicescu
Makeup Artist: Kapua Inglis