Rex Breezy Hawaii Founder Alexis Aquiona working to get involved Hawaiioffering aloha wear to the younger generation with a unique modern twist on classic native Hawaiian designs. She is giving back to her alma mater with scholarships from her college in Honolulu and helping dozens of other students build careers in fashion.
Her five-year $50,000 gift to Honolulu CC Offer 20 scholarships each year to fashion and beauty students, with priority given to Native Hawaiian students.
Akiona said she wanted to give back to Honolulu CC Through the support she received during her school days, especially through a scholarship established by Native Hawaiian Aloha Wear Brands happy Thanks to that, she was able to quit her part-time job and concentrate on her studies. Receiving her scholarship made her feel like someone believed in her.
“That’s what I wanted to do for other future designers, whether they were doing Aloha Wear or not,” she said. “Because it is my mission to inspire the younger generation to embrace aloha wear and pursue their dreams.”
Honolulu CC president Karen Lee Akiona said she was a role model for students.
“She has developed her craft and skills through our fashion technology program, founded a successful local aloha wear company, and gives back to the university as a partner and scholarship donor,” Lee said. rice field. “We are honored to have an alumni like Alexis.”
Big Island roots
Fashion is the family lineage of Akiona. Her mother, Lola Miller, owns her Simply Sisters of Aloha Her Wear company, Lola Miller Designs, in Hilo where Akiona grew up.
After graduating from Waiakea High School, Akiona clothes and enter Cape Town CC Become a radiologist.while Cape Town CCshe began working for a local streetwear company that designed T-shirts and hats, and began building a following.
She found her passion and at age 22 launched LexBreezy, a brand of modern aloha and resort wear. Hawaii At the 2016 Merrie Monarch Arts & Crafts Fair during the week of the famous Hula Festival.
After experiencing early success, Akiona realized she needed a foundational set of skills to take her creative vision and business to the next level. She enrolled in the Fashion Technology Program in Honolulu. CCI learned how to design and manufacture clothes. She graduated from the program in May 2019.
“I did a little bit the opposite. I started a company and then went back to school,” she said. “But in the end it was very important for me to do it.”
in Honolulu CCshe learned the basics of the fashion industry.
“I went in there not knowing how to sew or make patterns. All I knew was what I wanted to wear,” she said. I can and I know what they’re talking about, I know what seams are, I know what all the fractions are, I know the language of manufacture. ”
Akiona, 29, is also a mother of two small sons. fishing When guard, with husband James Aquiona. She was pregnant with her second son when she opened her LexBreezy Hawaii Opening a boutique in Kailua in June 2021.
May 2022, LexBreezy Hawaii was among the seven Hawaii Companies selected from 138 applicants to participate in 7th cohort of regional accelerator Mana Up HawaiiBased on a business looking to grow to the next level, she participated in the Mana Up Showcase in November, prominently showcasing her designs on the main floor of Bloomingdale’s at Ala Moana Center.
Today, her company has 13 employees spread across shops in Kailua, manufacturing and fulfilling online orders from LexBreezy. Hawaii website and wholesale department. Her LexBreezy children’s line was recently featured by Nordstrom, and her designs are for sale at her House of Mana Up store in Waikiki and online.
“When I joined Mana Up, it was about taking my time and giving back,” says Akiona. “That’s what I feel is success. Just being able to give.”