Michele Joy Thornton, Owner & Designer
808 283 5473
How many years experience in the industry?
As I’ve been designing and wholesaling original artwork on clothing for over 27 years, I believe I am the longest running Maui based clothing designer.
Please tell me about the textiles you use in your designs. Any specific fabrics and colors that you love to work with?
As there are 7 colors in a Rainbow, all of my colorful & original prints are hand silkscreened onto natural fabrics, steam
set, using no chemicals to set the dyes and French seamed for long lasting durability.
Where can your clothing line be found?
The Spring/Summer 2013 collection can be found at Maui Daisy Wear in Lahaina, Women who Run with Wolves in Kahana, Maui Java & Jagger’s in Paia & Goodies in Makawao. The children’s line can be found at Hale Zen in Lahaina and Designing Wahine in Makawao. I also have a retail store in Hilo on the Big Island and a website where customers can order for future deliveries.
What is your philosophy of design?
My design philosophy is that first and foremost I design prints that bring out the beauty in a Woman’s complexion rather than artwork which you would hang on a wall. Furthermore I have great fits which flatter all size figures and have sizes from XS to 3XL. I am a true resort line as sell beautiful children’s twirl dresses and Men’s shirts as well.
Tell me about your collection. What makes your line (and/or retail store) stand out from the crowd?
My customers keep coming back due to many compliments they receive when they wear the clothing and they wash and wear beautifully lasting many years. I’ve had several customers tell me that what they miss most about not being able to come back to Maui is being able to shop for Rainbow Jo. I take that as a very big compliment as there is so much beauty in the Hawaiian Islands. It is that beauty of these beautiful Islands that I try to capture in my 7 colors original prints.
What is your favorite piece from your collection?
My most popular styles are the simple bias strap dresses, children’s twirl dresses and sleeved blouses and beach cover ups. I believe the trend is to stick with the simple classic styles that wear so well in our casual island lifestyles yet updating to the newest and freshest print designs as they come out. My 2013 Spring/Summer line has a beautiful selection of florals in the classic blues which I’ve popped with apple green and turquoise for a light & fresh new look.