Duke Kahanamoku, King of the Waves

21 01 2010
During the first half of the 20th century, Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku — known to most as Duke or The Duke, and as Paoa to Hawaiian and long time island friends — “emerged as the world’s consummate waterman, its fastest swimmer and foremost surfer, the first truly famous beach boy,” wrote biographer Grady Timmons. Duke Kahanamoku is best known to surfers as, “the father of modern surfing. As a sign of Duke’s importance to the sport, one of his early surfboards, with his name across the bow, is preserved in the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.

Duke Kahanamoku came to be known as the father of international surfing, but the Hawaiian native made his first splash as a swimmer at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.

Born in Honolulu in 1890, Duke  was named in honor of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and struck gold by setting a world record in the 100-meter free-style and earned a silver medal in the 200-meter relay. He won two more golds at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, a silver at the 1924 Paris Olympics, and a bronze at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

Kahanamoku’s swimming and surfing talents caught the attention of Hollywood, and over the course of nine years, he appeared in nearly 30 movies.

Kahanamoku went on to serve as sheriff for the City and County of Honolulu for 26 years. When the legendary swimmer and surfer died at the age of 77, he was remembered for his athletic talent and sportsmanship.





Japan’s top luxury fashion brand, international fashion icon, Anna Sui

23 08 2008

Anna Sui is a New York-based Asian fashion designer known worldwide for her playful creations and whimsical runway shows. She was born and raised in Detroit, but relocated to New York City after graduating high school to study at Parsons School of Design.

While attending Parsons, Anna found a collaborator and close friend in Steven Meisel, who has gone on to become one of the world’s top fashion photographers. In 1980, Anna showed a mere 6 original pieces at the Boutique Show and immediately received an order from Macy’s department store, who in turn one used of her designs in a New York Times advertisement.

That same fateful year, Anna launched her own label out of her apartment. Recently, Anna was named by Time Magazine as one of this decade’s top 5 fashion icons, a designer who “never panders.” With boutique stores in the US, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and a dozen stores in the planning stages for Western Europe, Anna has also added a cosmetics and shoes line. Check out her sites here and here. She continues to design from her NY offices.

At a young child, Anna dressed her dolls and her neighbor’s toy soldiers, and pretended they were at the Oscars. Growing up, Anna clipped fashion-magazine pages and began filing in what she now calls her “Genius Files,” an inspiration to her throughout her career.