Yu Shing Ting
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Wednesday - August 03, 2011

Since she was a little girl, Kei Kinoshita knew she wanted her own clothing line. So, she went on to earn a degree in fashion design from the Osaka Gakuen Fashion Institute, and worked at Japanese apparel company Renown, Inc. and then as an assistant with Japanese colorist Setsuko Yamada in California before moving to New York City, where she created made-to-order high-fashion clothing for individual clients.

In 1992, she moved to Hawaii and launched Designed by Kei Corporation and later the brand Be Aloha. In 2009, she debuted a new brand, To kei, which she describes as mod and style with Island flavor. She also opened a boutique at 619 Kapahulu Ave. (suite 201) in March, and plans to have a retail outlet in Kailua.

“When my children left for Japan for college in 2008 and 2010, I really wanted to put all my efforts into making my dream come true,” explains Kinoshita on creating To kei. “Armed with all of my skills and knowledge from my career as a couturier in New York, I decided to create a new concept sophisticated yet enjoyable wear that is well-made.”

Kinoshita also offers “semi-customized” orders. For an extra fee, customers can choose any style from her line, and have it made to their specific measurements.

For more information, visit or or call 735-9827.

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