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Anne Namba fashions at Hawaii Japanese Center Dec. 8

The Hawaii Japanese Center will host the annual Anne Namba Fashion Show and Sale from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday at 751 Kanoelehua Ave. in Hilo. Admission is free.

“Everyone is invited to the sale and a fun fashion show at 10 a.m., which will feature both men’s aloha shirts and women’s designs from Anne Namba’s various collections. Commentary on each of the garments will be provided by Ms. Namba,” said HJC spokeswoman Gina Hara Chun.

“The mission of the Hawaii Japanese Center is ‘Preserving the Past to Build the Future.’ The center seeks to serve the community as a bridge for diverse generations to understand the triumphs and struggles of Japanese immigrants to the island of Hawaii through its educational and cultural activities and access to its collections of resources,” Chun said.

A portion of each sale will benefit the center, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

“Numerous items will be on sale for 50 percent off,” she said.

Namba was born in Hawaii and graduated cum laude from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. For five years, she honed her design and technical skills working in New York’s garment industry. Her last year in New York was spent working in the costume department at Radio City Music Hall.

In 1985, Namba returned to her native Hawaii and spent a year working for Malahini Hawaii, one of the state’s largest garment manufacturers.

After leaving Malahini, and while working out of her parents’ home, she started designing her own line of one-of-a-kind garments made from vintage Japanese kimonos and obis. Finally, in 1989, she opened her Honolulu boutique in Manoa Valley and Anne Namba Designs was born.

In the years since, Namba has taken her “Kimono Couture” to new heights, including adding to her kimono and obi designs by creating exclusive silk print collections using Asian themes.

For additional information contact the HJC at

Her collections have appeared in Bergdorf-Goodman in New York, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s West, the Saks Fifth Avenue Folio Catalog, Nordstrom, Liberty House and I. Magnin stores. She has shown her designs in Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and many mainland U. S. cities.

In 2009 Anne created 120 costumes for the Savonlinna, Finland Opera Festival’s 2009 production of Madama Butterfly as well as costumes for 2010 Madama Butterfly production in Malmo, Sweden.

Namba is a 2007 recipient of the Roselani Medallion of Excellence from The National Society of Arts and Letters. Anne Namba Designs was selected by Ernst & Young as Hawaii’s 2000 Retail Entrepreneur of the Year.


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