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Click to view the Jalene Kanani for Duralee Contract Collection
1. If you had a signature color, what would it be? Siena. As one of the first pigments used by humans, it draws yet another element of commonalities between the art and design of primitive cultures spanning the globe. I am continually drawn to it to ground a piece or palette and express age or warmth. I can‘t think of a better color to express my aesthetic and persona. In further celebration of the color Siena, I named my first born Sienna Kanani ‘O Kalani.
2. What is your favorite pattern from your collection & why? Kua which I feel is a foundational piece that exemplifies my desire to always incorporate design dualities in every pattern. I love that Kua plays its powerful geometric strength off to an asymmetric organic staccato. The scale is perfect for both small accent seating or larger statement pieces. We‘ve also done it as a custom tone-on-tone Print for a Hospitality drapery project. Beyond fabric, Kua has been interpreted in to Wallcovering and Area Rugs. Just changing the scale and palette gives rise to a whole different aesthetic.
3. If you weren’t a designer, what would you be? The first female fighter pilot, well at least that‘s what I thought in High School 20 years ago. Now I would be a Travel Journalist. I have a deep curiosity about people and places. I love what can be shared through stories, music, food and art and then sharing what I‘ve been blessed to learn with others.
4. What was your favorite part about working with Duralee on your collection? Traveling four times from Honolulu to NYC to work with the Design Studio team was the highlight of this evolution. The studio is such a great place to turn inspiration in to function, challenges in to triumphs and communication in to collaboration. Working from Kapolei, Hawaii, I design quite independently so it was such a treat to engage and collaborate with a whole team of seasoned professional from whom I received wonderful direction.
5. If you were to pick a song as your anthem, what is it? Dancing Queen by ABBA. Social dancing is a passion and a great way to meet people and break the ice. While traveling you may not be able to meet and engage people easily when you don‘t speak the language, but you can surely share a dance and then build upon those few moments of fun.
6. Design trends tend to be cyclical, what trend would you like to see make a comeback? Which do you wish would never return? I‘d love to see more oversized patterns and furniture pieces. Avocado and burnt orange wall to wall berber carpet, the shag has already come back!
7. If you were to collaborate with any fashion designer, who would it be? Tory Burch. Her pattern and color play is so much fun and collaboration should be fun! The cuts and lines are classic with a contemporary edge which I think acts as a balance to the whimsy. I think there is an awesome duality in her work which totally resonates with me.
8. Where is the most inspiring place you’ve ever been? My Island Home and the Aloha Spirit that exits here is so inspiring, however, if I‘d have to choose from my travels, I‘d say The Cook Islands. To see the Maori people speak fluently in Rarotongan and English while keeping so much of their cultural heritage alive daily was very inspiring and joyful to experience.
9. If you could live on any movie set, which one would you pick? Well let‘s see, Hawaii 5-0 is a Television show...so that‘s out. I think I would like The Shire from Lord of the Rings, sans any Villains, of course. I‘m a country girl at heart and love wide open spaces, simple pleasures and white picket fences.
10. What is the best advice you could give a new designer just starting out? Be unique but true to yourself. Design from all types inspiration but add experience and familiarity so it’s personal. Then when you stand back and look at the body of your work in totality there would be cohesiveness and that element is your perspective or voice. I would also advise to go where others are not. Work in colors or mediums that have relatively new and open markets. Once you are able to find a niche you can build a brand.
11. Do you have any hidden talents? Well, I dance Hula, however I‘ve done it professionally for many years so it’s not quite hidden. I started when I was three and I worked on the Don Ho show at the age of 5. I also know how to command a trained Dolphin to give me a ride on its back. In college I worked as a Dolphin Swimmer in a show at Sea Life Park. Can you believe I was actually paid to swim with Dolphins?
12. What’s on your wish-list right now? Besides the obvious like good health, world peace and happy children, Travel is on the top of my wish list. I love South America and hope to return soon to explore Peru and hike the Inca Trail. A trip to India to swoon over textiles for colorful inspiration and Africa to explore indigenous cultures and develop new perspectives.
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