Love at first sight: the LookBook: Making of a dream

Since the beginning of this journey, I’ve been encouraged to share more of my behind the scenes’ stories. Pleased that I even have behind the scenes’ stories to share, I hope you all enjoy taking a closer look at the making of Collins & 8th. Enjoy. ^_^


If the world could be audience to my mind’s slideshow, flashes of makeshift glamour shots I took of my younger sisters would play, with Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” streaming in the background. I grew up in a family of 3 girls, with myself being the oldest. Many of our summer days were spent sifting through our parent’s closet, in search of the perfect outfit to style and photograph with our 35mm camera, yes … actual film. (side note … if I can find theses masterpieces, I will post them.) Bless my parents for developing our rolls and rolls of photo play, mostly consisting of my youngest sister dressed up in my mother’s ribbed tank, cinched with a butterfly belt, and her short hair slicked back doing a couture pose. With Collins & 8th as my creative outlet, I now have the opportunity to relive my childhood dreams of dress-up and fashion photo shoots through the making of my very own LookBooks. (available for your viewing pleasure at


Based on all the circumstances leading up to my first ever LookBook shoot, the most fitting name I could think of was “Love at first sight.” The moment I laid eyes on every item featured in the looks, my heart just melted. Everything from the delicateness and femininity of Joie; the youthful edginess of MinkPink; the second skin quality of iT! Jeans; the playful artistic flair of Jeffrey Campbell; and the unexpected comfort & chic of Lovers + Friends brought all my shopping senses to life. All that wonderfulness mixed in with my favorite accessory finds just yearned to be photographed by the right artist, in the most charming setting, and on the most perfect model.


With the organized effort of the many talented people fate has brought into my life, the “Love at first sight” LookBook became a reality. I’ll begin with Sami, my co-stylist and one of the most talented & unique eyes to fashion that I know. She was my manager at Arden B (my first ever clothing retail job) and with her down-to-earth and goofy character, we have been friends ever since. Next there’s my dear friend Kerry, whose home fit perfectly with the “most charming setting” idea. If I haven’t already mentioned, I was and still am a nurse for the past 10 years, and Kerry, though slightly more golden in age than I am, has been one of my most trusted and true friends in nursing, not to mention the provider of many of my lunches at work. Her shabby chic home, perched high up on a hill like a pedestal overlooking the beautiful Kaneohe Bay, truly deserved to be photographed. The very talented souls to complete this task were the members of PacWest Studios: John, Shannon & Jeff, coolest photographers I know. Six degrees of separation would reveal that I met John & Shannon through Jeff, whose relation to my husband brought him and the whole group to join efforts with my husband on various projects, with the most recent being Aquastar (up & coming all natural sparkling energy drink). Coincidentally, it is through an Aquastar event, Paradise cup (a bodybuilding competition), where we first discovered our fresh face, Kaimana. Through the crowd of tanned built bodies, I spotted Kaimana with her family and there was something about her whole look that made me believe in her and her modeling potential. To our surprise, she was just 15 when we met. With the support of her mother Jos, she helped us in the promotions of Aquastar and displayed such great character and willingness to succeed that I was determined to help her reach her dreams of modeling. My gut feeling told me that Kaimana was destined for fashion, with everyone’s efforts, we ended up playing an integral part in the launch of her modeling career. Everything came together with the help of Zairrah, master of beauty and truly talented makeup & hair stylist. With Zairrah’s talents, Kaimana was able to put her best face forward and her natural beauty (thanks Jos) radiated in every shot. My meeting with Zairrah was truly by chance and definitely another “small world” moment (I found out that she works for the makeup artist who did my wedding makeup). Her initiative and true care of her craft, paired with her bubbly personality, helped to make the shoot as successful as it was. Lastly, thank heavens for the graphic design talents of my husband, Joey, and the logo designs of our long-time friend, Tony, both of whom helped to complete my whole daydreamy concept .


At the end of the day, four looks were beautifully photographed, happily on their way to being shared with the world. Some time after the shoot was complete, the magic continued and we received great news! With a brand new portfolio showcasing solely the Collins & 8th LookBook photos, Kaimana interviewed with Wilhelmina Hawaii and won them over. Congratulations again to our fresh face, Kaimana! From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the whole team for contributing to the fruition of not just one, but two dreams. As this story unfolds, I am realizing that everyone has a “Love at first sight.” If I can play some part in helping people find their way to that “love,” it makes the journey towards my ultimate goal even that much more worth it. Cheers! XOXO

Makeup & hair styling by Zairrah :

Kaimana : Sweetest sixteen year old I know!

A few of my favorite things.

Touch ups in between looks. Zairrah is so amazing!

Quick makeup break for Zairrah & Kaimana : ProBowl score update for John and Shannon.

Featured as a prop in "La dolce vita" shots: Kerry's bundt cake, looks & tastes amazing! Call it a wrap and let's eat some cake!


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