'Project Runway' star inspires HCC Students - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

'Project Runway' star inspires HCC Students

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

In the words of American Fashion Consultant Tim Gunn, a Hawaii fashion designer has managed to "make it work"! Kini Zamora is one of the finalists of the hit TV reality show "Project Runway". He returned to his alma mater Thursday, to share some inspiring words with students.

The 30-year-old earned the reputation as the fastest sewer on the show and won several challenges. Now, the Honolulu Community College fashion school graduate will showcase his best work in the finals at Fashion Week in New York.

"It feels amazing. It feels like, it's still surreal to me coming back to my alma mater where I've learned all my skills. It's been 7 years since I've been back so it's kind of crazy, kind of awkward in a good way to be back in school," said Zamora.

Zamora showed students which of his fashions made the cut and which didn't. He also offered this advice to inspiring designers.

"Follow your creativity and never let it block you and just be creative the whole way and the followers will come later. Just stick to your guns."

Zamora is following in the footsteps of former Hawaii Project Runway finalist, Ari South.

"Being a proud graduate of HCC, having Jay go before me, for me to go to fashion week and now Kini, we've said it all along. The talent is here and HCC is the program to be in, if you want to go into fashion design," said South.

Zamora doesn't take his once in a lifetime experience for granted. He said, "I'm just grateful and thankful that I have so many supporters here in Hawaii."

His biggest supporter is his mom.

"His name means king of the morning star. Kiniokahokuloa. When he left to go on the show, he texted me from the airport and said 'we finally made it. I'm gonna go and make you and dad proud of me' and I said Kini, that's why you got the name. We were proud of you from the day you were born," said Valerie Zamora.

The winner will get $100,000 to start their own fashion line and other prizes. It'll be announced on the show next Thursday.

Next month, Kini and his business partner will debut their new collection as part of Honolulu Fashion Week. Their show will be held on Friday, November 7th at the Hawaii Convention Center Exhibition Hall.

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