Providing The True Island Look

Alana Folen
Wednesday - May 04, 2011
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Model Alaana Seno. Photo by Helene Delillo

Ralph Malani’s resume is extensive. He works as a stylist at Salon 808 three days a week and also serves as a wardrobe stylist for local and Mainland celebrities.

Malani has styled hair for premier models in the fashion industry at New York and Los Angeles fashion weeks, and has worked with several big-name Hollywood celebrities at that, including Rihanna and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. So, it’s only proper that he add owner of Hawaii Polynesian Model and Talent to that resume.

Malani founded the agency in August 2008, representing Polynesians of all ages and sizes, and since the agency’s inception Malani says his talent has been featured in every movie and television show that has been shot in the Islands.

“We offer the true island look that is unique to the Polynesian islands,” says Malani, who has been working as a stylist for 20 years. “We represent not only models, but dancers, musicians, costume makers, location scouters, hair/makeup and art directors. We always use local businesses and people first and try to keep as much money here in Hawaii as possible.

“Local casting directors have called me for local people for background and speaking parts in shows and movies like Soul Surfer, Battleship, The Descendants and Journey to the Mysterious Island,” he adds. “We also were hired to help coordinate the half-time show at this year’s Pro Bowl.”

Cliff Duldulao and Ralph Malani. Photo by Whitby Bierwolf

Hawaii Polynesian Model and Talent strives to showcase Polynesians not only for their beauty, but for their talent as well. Malani says his main objective is to create a sense of pride in young Polynesian people, while encouraging them to embrace their rich heritage and culture.

“The phone never stops ringing, and Hollywood is calling for these beautiful island men and women,” Malani says, adding, “I want to take these young people and make stars out of them and show the world that we are true exotic beauties.

“We hope that our events will continue to grow and share our culture with an even bigger audience, and that our young people will go back into their communities and be positive role models and leaders for our people,” Malani says, noting that he and his partner Cliff Duldulao created and produced the first-ever Mr. and Miss Polynesia Pacific Pageant last year.

“Every time I book someone and I see them smile, it makes all the hard work worthwhile,” Malani says. “The challenge is to break industry standards on what size models should be - I represent some of the most beautiful women and men in the world and they’re not a size zero.”

For more information on Hawaii Polynesian Model and Talent, visit

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