The work of three Tufuga close Hawaii’s first INKED Island Fashion Show

Photo Credit: 
Iris Domingo/IRIS Images
Dress by SINA. Model: Tian Savusa.

INKED set for Sept. 15 in San Diego, California

(MEDIA RELEASE) – The work of three Tufuga, traditional Samoan tattoo artists Su’a Suluape Alaiva’a Petelo, Su’a Peter Suluape and Su’a Suluape Tau Ah Keni closed Hawaii’s first INKED Island Fashion Show that debuted December 2011 at The Waterfront at Aloha Tower.

INKED II will show in San Diego, Calif. Sept. 15. Tatau Brand and Selah International are working with the INKED team to produce the 2012 show.

“The purpose of the INKED Island Fashion Show is to showcase the work of the world’s tattoo artists and the hottest fashion from the island community – all on one runway,” said Ronnie Russell, publisher of 808Ink which presented INKED. “Why tattoos? Over 78 percent of the population in Hawaii has tattoos and tattooing in Hawaii is rich with tradition and culture with strong bloodlines.”

Talents in cutting edge fashion with island flair, t-shirt graphics incorporating Hawaiian, Samoan, Tahitian and Polynesian designs and tank jerseys representing Samoa, Hawaii, Tonga, Philippines, Guam and various Pacific islands rocked the stage at the historic site. Aloha Tower is likened to New York’s Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants and newcomers to Honolulu Harbor. Special guests from California were Tatau Brand and Selah International.

Tattoos by many artists graced the INKED catwalk. The tatau, Samoa’s traditional full body tattoo for men, and the malu, the Samoan traditional tattoo for women, took center stage during the closing by Faletuiga, a Samoan fashion, Siva Samoa and media entity. Faletuiga and its cultural dance group Mitamitaga O Samoa, regular performers at Samoan Heritage Week, were founded by choreographer Lorita Fuamanuao Achica, 64, of Utulei, Vaimoso and Alamagoto.

Tina Mata’afa-Elise, Waipahu native, Faletuiga Editor and senior writer, associate editor and advertising sales executive for 808Ink, directed the show which drew the support of sponsors: Apia-based Lotonu’u Samoa and Hawaii-based, Samoan-owned LaLaLove It Designs; Wadalife! and Kokomoni Shirt Kompani.

FSF Designs (Fa’aseila Vaela’a Fruean), Missing Polynesia (Meilin Vitale Vae) and Masina Imports (Adriana Fuamatu-Ma’afala), Samoan-owned clothing retailers in Hawaii, were among the 11 designers who presented their newest creations on the 32-foot INKED runway.

T-shirt designs by Tatau, Selah, Tapu Clothing & Tattoo, The Mighty Eighty: Eight, Limited Addiction and Hawaii’s Finest graced the INKED catwalk. Le La’ei and Polynesian Creations pulled out of the show due to a family fa’alavelave in Samoa.

Samoan fashion – from the pre-colonial era, to puletasi, to the basic ‘ie lavalava – were showcased by Faletuiga. The ie lavalava is a basic, very intimate part of the Samoan wardrobe, its noted coolness and simplicity perfect for muggy island weather. The ie lavalava (more commonly called a sarong) also plays an integral part in the tatau (while in progress) and during the sama, the ceremonial blessing of a completed tatau and its wearer.