A lawsuit is pitting one Hawaii retail icon against another.
Mamo Howell, an extremely successful local designer, is suing Hilo Hattie for breach of contract.
According to Howell’s attorney, the designer entered into an agreement with Hilo Hattie allowing them to use her designs and patterns.
“Unfortunately, Hilo Hatties has not honored their obligations to her, have used her name her designs to make money for them, and they have cut her off from the contracts that they entered into with her. All she wants them to do is honor their contract, and pay her the money they promised to pay her for the rest of her life,” Howell’s attorney David Minkin said.
Hilo Hattie has not been served with the lawsuit yet as of June 17.
Hilo Hattie issued a statement to say that it was surprised to first learn of a lawsuit filed against the company by Mamo Howell.
Hilo Hattie’s President and CEO, Donald B.S. Kang said “During this difficult time, Hilo Hattie will continue to operate its business as usual. Hilo Hattie has been in business for over 50 years. We have always supported local artisans and will continue to offer the widest selection of made in Hawaii merchandise, including Mamo’s fashions to our visitors.”
Although more would like to be said, attorneys have advised the company not to say anything further at this time.