In this issue, we celebrate those who follow the beat of their own drums, or define what aloha means in Hawai’i today.
Editor’s Letter: Five and a half years ago, I launched FLUX Hawaii during what’s now known as the Great Recession of 2009, the nation’s worst since the Great Depression in the ’30s. Of course, starry-eyed with optimism, this was of no matter. I was convinced that the market would bear a magazine of this kind—the kind that told stories others wouldn’t; the kind that reflected Hawai‘i’s vibrant culture both past and present; the kind that derided perceptions of lackadaisical living and instead promoted a people and place always moving forward, never stagnant—constantly in flux.
Of course, everyone around me balked. Traditional media scoffed. My biggest supporters were also my harshest critics. The magazine, which I consider an extension of myself, has been called despicable, fluffy, frivolous, irreverent, violent, and shocking. Yet here we are, five and a half years later, about to take this show on the road, with distribution expanding nationwide and to Japan. Looking back at a folder on my desktop labeled “My Future,” filled with ideas, budgets, competitive analyses, marketing strategies—all the essentials of business planning 101—I found an early version of a media kit from February 2009 that noted our vision: “At the very center of the Pacific, Hawai‘i serves as a place of influx, as a bridge between the East and West. Given this unique positioning, our vision is to reorient both how our city, as well as the rest of the world, conceives of our islands.” While we’ve evolved and grown up a lot over the years, our vision remains the same.
This Aloha Friday issue is reflective of our journey. Born in the 1960s, during a time when aloha attire was not allowed in the workplace, Aloha Fridays became a movement that grew out of a spirit of rebelliousness and personal style, popularized by those who wanted to promote Hawai‘i’s burgeoning fashion industry, as well as buck social norms. The people featured in this issue, who capture this spirit, found success by doing things their way, against all odds.
Making FLUX Hawaii what it is today could not have happened anywhere else. The support of people we’ve met along the way—who eventually turned into friends who turned into staff—is why FLUX Hawaii is possible. This place, the loneliest, most isolated landmass in the world, is teeming with opportunity, with swerve and verve, with those who were crazy enough to take the leap. As we move into exciting new stratospheres, my hope is that you, Hawai‘i, will keep doing what you’re doing. Our future depends on it.