Yvan Rodic has more air miles than you’ll ever have. Global fashion blogger, he’s that one-in-a-gagillion that made an impossibly simple concept into a career. And by career I mean he flies around taking pictures of the most beautiful and well-dressed people in world. Terrible, right? Hailing from the ranks of fashion photography revolutionaries such as Hans Eijkelboom, Amy Arbus and Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist, Face Hunter, as he is known through his blog, shows us what’s happening on the street. And now, for the first time, he’s showing Honolulu through his lens.
This past Sunday, at the behest of University of Hawai‘i’s fashion program, Face Hunter covered its senior fashion show at the campus. “I think it’s incredible how diverse it is here,” remarks Rodic as he cruises in a pair of skinny white jeans and a fitted chambray shirt. “I mean I kinda expected it, but it’s even more than that.”
In between bites of fruit salad and blueberry scones from Diamond Head Market and Grill we discuss the style landscape of the islands. “Style wise I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on here. Obviously it’s very casual because of the spirit of the island and the temperatures, but I still hope to find some kind of uniqueness here.” When I ask him what he thinks Hawai’i could offer the insatiable beast that is fashion he says, “Maybe some sort of ‘hee-brid’ (Rodic has a very noticeable French accent) and mixed aesthetic…show that we can look extremely laid back and casual in a very cool way.”
And you can see what he means as he shoots two of the designers that will be featured in the show. Feliz Salas moved to Hawai‘i from the Philippines when she was 14 and Anna Tomita is a direct transplant from Japan, but they look just right standing on the lanai of the penthouse at the Aqua Lotus Honolulu in Diamond Head. The girls appear effortless: short dresses, tanned and inked arms, ombre-tinted hair. “I think you expect it to be just a beach and a bunch of surfers. You don’t expect a lot of civilization; you don’t expect an urban lifestyle. I knew there was a capital that was kinda developed but it was slightly bigger, slightly more than I expected. I know it’s the only actual city in the whole islands but it’s kinda spectacular to see that level of development that far way in the Pacific.”
As we gaze over the railing at Kaimana beach and down into Waikiki he compares the city to Cape Town or Sydney, while the girls lay out the plans for the rest of his evening. Booze cruise, fireworks, The Modern Honolulu and then another party. Rodic is going to see Hawai’i, even if it kills him. But judging by his instagram he is still very much alive and hunting somewhere near Waimea.