Sig Zane Designs partners with Converse, Kicks Hawaii

HILO — Sig Zane Designs has teamed up with Kicks Hawai’i and Converse All Stars to create a limited edition shoe featuring Sig Zane’s hand printed fabric.

The “Uluwehi Keaukaha” print on the 84-year-old “Chuck Taylor” Converse shoe makes its debut Saturday.

The Uluwehi Keaukaha print is significant, for it represents the leaves and fruit of an ulu (breadfruit) tree in the backyard of the Zane/Kanaka’ole Keaukaha home. 

The tree was a gift to Nalani and Sig Zane’s son Kuhao for this first birthday. At 24, Kuhao has come to be the chief operations officer of Sig Zane Designs and the inspiration behind the deal with Kicks Hawaii and Converse.

The ulu design is typically the first for traditional Hawaiian quilt making apprentices, Sig says.

The first assignment Kuhao received when he joined the company upon graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising was to create something with ulu. Being the first endeavor with Kicks Hawaii and Converse All Stars, it’s especially fitting that Converse chose the ulu.

The Zane’s favorite image is printed in tonal grey on a black background.

In Sig’s handwriting, “Uluweha Keaukaha” is written on the inside of the shoe that is the typical Chuck Taylor style, minus the rubber atop the toe box. 

The shoes are to be available at Sig Zane Designs (Hilo, Wailuku), The Cutlery (Hilo), Kicks Hawai’i (Honolulu), and Saint Alfred (Chicago).

The limited shoe came about by a friendship forged between Kuhao Zane and Ian Ginoza, Kicks Hawaii part-owner and creative director.

Kuhao has a shoe fetish, along with an interest in independent clothing brands. 

He took an interest in Kicks Hawaii after learning about their innovative work with Nike to create a shoe called, “Aloha Dunk,” capturing Hawai’i on a shoe using dark brown, lime green, and lauhaula-esque materials. 

At first, Ian and Kuhao discussed Sig Zane Designs working with Kicks Hawai‘i to create T-shirts and aloha shirts, and even baseball caps.

The shoe idea surfaced when Converse asked Ian to create a Chuck Taylor All Star for “Product Red.”   

The “Product Red” initiative led by philanthropist and U2 singer Bono means ten percent of the proceeds from the Sig Zane Chuck Taylor will go toward a global fund to eliminate AIDS in Africa.

For more information visit www.sigzane.com or www.kickshawaii.com.

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