Social Encore: A new ‘Market’ opens

Jul. 26, 2012 | 8 Comments

<em>More Farmers Market Hawaii designs. (Courtesy Geoff Mau)</em>

Farmers Market Hawaii is the latest clothing company to open in Honolulu. (Courtesy Geoff Mau)

BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Many people say that Chinatown has become the “it place” when it comes to shopping at local clothing stores. However, If you walk around the Ala Moana area, you will find it home to a number of local clothing shops including Butigroove, The Firm and Fitted Hawaii. The neighborhood will welcome one more shop, Farmers Market Hawaii, on Saturday, July 28 at 1430 Kona St.

<em>The exterior of the building that houses Farmers Market Hawaii. (Courtesy Sean-Paul Wilkerson)</em>

The exterior of the building that houses Farmers Market Hawaii. (Courtesy Sean-Paul Wilkerson)

When you think of the words “Farmers Market,” you probably think of items fresh and homegrown. Farmers Market Hawaii is made up of four guys who had a dream of forming a clothing company that truly embodies Hawaii’s culture. It all started with artist Keoni Payton, who always had a passion for art and apparel. He helped start the Defend Hawaii brand a few years ago and wanted to return to the retail scene with a new and exquisite vision.

Payton asked friends Raliegh Robertson and Sean-Paul Wilkerson to help assemble the foundation of the new business. Along with Payton, Wilkerson had previous experience forming and designing a clothing line. Both wanted to design a brand that didn’t need to conform to a certain trend or specific style and felt if they joined together their designs would be versatile like their target markets.

All three gentlemen were born and raised in Hawaii and say that their line is inspired by their surroundings. Home is where the heart is — and that is here in Hawaii.

(Photo By: Geoff Mau)

Sean Wilkerson wearing one of his company's T-shirts. (Courtesy Geoff Mau)

“We are a product of our environment,” said Wilkerson. “The design ideas come from our experience through everyday life and the knowledge we know and have discovered about Hawaii.”

Payton added, “Our line is about taking fresh artwork, paintings and making it wearable for others to enjoy.”

Standing true to their name, the brand buys and prints their shirts locally. Wilkerson and Payton told me a story about how Hawaiians were able to maintain stability within the islands because they helped each other.

“We feel strongly towards supporting the local community and shopping within the islands,” said Wilkerson. “We are all about supporting local artists with dreams and goals alike us to make it and become successful. We can all help each other get to where we need to be.”

The face of their brand is a tiki, or what Hawaiians called a ki’i. The tiki represents faith, hope and miracles within Polynesian culture and mythology around the world. Believing that Akua chose them to represent this brand, they hope their symbol will encourage others to always have hope and to take the initiative to contribute to the better good of Hawaii.

<em>The tiki is a predominant design element in Farmers Market Hawaii\'s designs. (Courtesy Geoff Mau)</em>

The tiki is a predominant design element in Farmers Market Hawaii designs. (Courtesy Geoff Mau)

The shop will celebrate their grand opening from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday with entertainment by Jimmy Weeks Project, Kapu System and CTLGD. To kick off things off, Farmers Market Hawaii will also give away 200 “Homecoming” shirts.

For more information about their merchandise, check out www.farmersmarkethawaii.com.
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Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.

  • Anonymous

    So stoked to see Keoni doing his thing again after all that hes been thru. How Defend Hawaii was stolen from him is wack. I personally will never ever wear something from that brand even though I like the name and what it stood for when Keoni was involved.

  • Anonymous

    So stoked to see Keoni doing his thing again after all that hes been thru. How Defend Hawaii was stolen from him is wack. I personally will never ever wear something from that brand even though I like the name and what it stood for when Keoni was involved.

  • Anonymous

    Keoni Payton didn’t “help start” the Defend Hawaii brand. He CREATED it. I am undoubtful he will flourish with this new line.

  • Anonymous

    Keoni Payton didn’t “help start” the Defend Hawaii brand. He CREATED it. I am undoubtful he will flourish with this new line.

    • http://twitter.com/jermel_lynn Jermel-Lynn Q.

      Thank you for your comment, the words in the article is what came from his responses.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not so sure Keoni CREATED the Defend Hawaii thing, he just modified a concept that had already been done in Brooklyn. See http://www.tikaro.com/features/defend_brooklyn//.

    • http://twitter.com/jermel_lynn Jermel-Lynn Q.

      Thank you for your comment, the words in the article is what came from his responses. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m not so sure Keoni CREATED the Defend Hawaii thing, he just modified a concept that had already been done in Brooklyn. See http://www.tikaro.com/features/defend_brooklyn//.