Hawaiian Airlines seat covers get a fashionable second life

The fleet of 18 Boeing B717-200s that Hawaiian Airlines uses for its interisland service received an interior makeover this year and, in addition to a fresh color palette and new tray tables, the jets got brand-new lightweight cabin seats.

The old seats didn"™t go to waste.

Hawaiian Airlines gave surplus leather and fabric from 19 first class and 23 main cabin seat covers to Honolulu Community College"™s Fashion Technology program and challenged current students and graduate designers to create wearable upcycled fashions and accessories.

"I accepted [the challenge]," said fashion program professor Joy Nagaue, "Our students can do anything! I"™m overjoyed they"™ve been given this great opportunity."

The work of seven designers who participated in the "Cabin [to] Couture" project will be unveiled Friday, as part of an exhibit for Honolulu Fashion Week.

Chai Lim created a flowing short skirt paired with a structured strapless top. Jacky Lau was inspired by the shapes of the seat covers and created a futuristic tail jacket paired with fitted cargo pants. And Randy Oribello constructed a corset mixing both first- and coach-class seat materials. Other designers created pieces ranging from a leather fanny pack and a simple tote to a cocktail dress…

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