Designing What Your Kids Wear

Most talented young people must move away to make a living in the fashion industry, but Tamar Hassing and Cindy Chun are thriving as designers of Local Motion’s junior line

Yu Shing Ting
Friday - November 25, 2005
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Tamar Hassing cuts fabric swatches
Tamar Hassing cuts fabric swatches

You don’t need to move to succeed, as local girls Tamar Hassing and Cindy Chun have discovered. As designers for Local Motion, they’re doing what they love, and they’re good at it. But most importantly, they get to live in Hawaii.

“I was living in Seattle, designing for Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer up there, but it wasn’t the same,” recalls Hassing, who is now the designer for Local Motion’s junior girls line. “So one day I decided to move home. It ended on a spur of the moment. I didn’t have a job lined up or anything, but it turned out that Local Motion was looking to expand their juniors line. I used to work at the Waikele store when I was in high school, and now I’m back all grown up and educated.

“I love my job, and my favorite part of it is the fact that I can design and be here in Hawaii. I can surf and then come in to work. Yes, there are more opportunities in the Mainland, but the money you can make there is not worth giving up the lifestyle you can have here.”

For Chun, a graphic designer who heads the company’s junior screen-prints, the opportunity came at a perfect time - right after college.

CIndy Chun discusses the fall line catalog with graphic artists Kevin Ulep and Nick Hunsinger
CIndy Chun discusses the fall line catalog with
graphic artists Kevin Ulep and Nick Hunsinger

“I was going to school at Honolulu Community College for graphic design and working at Crazy Shirts in customer service,” remembers Chun. “I wanted to be an artist, but they didn’t have any openings. Then Local Motion gave me the opportunity to interview with them. I got the position and it was one of the most exciting days of my life.

“My favorite part of the job is going to trade shows. But I also like that what I design is around surf and Hawaii. And working with people here - everyone is warm and friendly. And we get to dress down.”

In the two short years that Hassing and Chun have been with Local Motion, they have proved themselves to be true island fashionistas. Their local roots, surfer lifestyle and fashion background can be credited for the success of their creations.

A success that is backed by impressive sales figures at not only Local Motion stores, but through major clients such as Macy’s, the Navy Exchange, and other surf retailers around Hawaii and the Mainland.

“It’s the most gratifying thing to know you’re doing this job that you love and there’s other people out there loving it also and appreciating it,” says Hassing. “It’s really neat to see people wearing your stuff. I usually won’t say anything, but I did one time. I was in Guess, and there was this lady wearing a top I designed, and I didn’t tell her I designed it but I just said that is such a cool top. And she said I know, I love it.

“Also, we do a lot of boardshorts. And this one time my friend called me and said, ‘Oh my gosh, Michelle Pfeiffer is wearing your boardshorts.’ She was wearing these plaid, kind of Burberry looking board-shorts at Lanikai.”

Hassing is responsible for all the cutand-sew items in the junior girls line. She creates collection pieces such as dresses, skirts, tops, boardshorts, and any “fashiony” items.

“I think my style is contemporary but

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