De­sign­ing Women

Founders of cloth­ing line Fight­ing Eel give us the scoop on their Waikiki lo­ca­tion.

Waikiki Magazine - - ILOVE WAIKIKI - By Brit­tany Atibur­cio

s their 10-year an­niver­sary ap­proaches, lo­cally de­signed cloth­ing line Fight­ing Eel con­tin­ues to ex­pand by open­ing a third store lo­ca­tion right here in Waikiki. The 820-square-foot bou­tique—lo­cated in the Royal Hawai­ian Cen­ter—opens this May and fea­tures the Fight­ing Eel col­lec­tion as well as their new­est line, Ava Sky. Own­ers Rona Ben­nett and Lan Chun—child­hood friends and old room­mates— started the com­pany in 2003. Fight­ing Eel grew over the years to in­clude a bri­dal line, chil­dren’s wear and most re­cently, a new re­sort col­lec­tion called Ava Sky. We got the tight two­some to take a few mo­ments out of their busy sched­ules to an­swer some ques­tions about the brand, the new bou­tique and give us the in­side scoop on their fa­vorite spots in Waikiki. Since launch­ing in 2003, what has been the driv­ing force to con­tinue the brand and ex­pand Fight­ing Eel? We love what we do and we al­ways want to move for­ward and grow. It’s like our child; we want to nur­ture it and make it bet­ter. What in­flu­ences and in­spires your de­signs? Can you tell us more about Ava Sky? Our cus­tomers re­ally in­flu­ence and in­spire our de­signs. All our de­signs are sim­ple, flat­ter­ing, and com­fort­able. We make your “go-to” pieces that you know you’ll look good in. The new­est line, Ava Sky, is our re­sort line. It is ca­sual enough for Hawai‘i, but can be dressed up for evening. We like to make clothes that you can wear again and again. Why did you choose to set up shop in Waikiki? We felt that it was time to open a store here, es­pe­cially with the launch­ing of Ava Sky. The two lines to­gether would be great for vis­i­tors and lo­cals. What do you love most about com­ing to Waikiki? We like the hus­tle and bus­tle of it. There is so much life there! What are some of your fa­vorite places to eat in and around Waikiki? Marukami Udon, for some­thing yummy and quick. Cock­tails at The Royal Hawai­ian for the best Mai Tais. Brunch at Or­chids at the Haleku­lani and happy hour at Rum Fire at Sher­a­ton Waikiki. What is your fa­vorite piece from Fight­ing Eel or Ava Sky? Rona: My fa­vorite is the Cardi­gan Nadine (from Fight­ing Eel). Lan: I love the Dress Ken­zie from the Fight­ing Eel line.

As for Ava Sky, we both love the smock pants.

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