By Rosemarie Bernardo / email@example.com
Doug Jago's eclectic sense of style drew the attention of many.
"Some would call him eccentric. Some would call him fashion-forward. Some would call him unique," said Al Tomonari, retired general manager of Neiman Marcus who worked with Jago since the inception of the department store's opening in September 1998. "Doug had his own sense of style. He was able to carry that off with his great personality."
Jago, visual presentation manager for Neiman Marcus, died in Honolulu on April 16. He was 64.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Jago earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Tampa in Florida. He worked at Bloomingdale's before he moved to Cincinnati and then Los Angeles where he got a job offer to work in visual merchandising at Liberty House in Hawaii.
Jago moved to Oahu in 1991 and worked at the department store before he moved to Neiman Marcus to be part of its visual merchandising team.
Friends and relatives said art was his life's passion. Along with his creative visual displays, Jago also loved fashion design and acrylic painting.
Close friend Carlos Trahan said he would take broken plate pieces that people typically would throw away and transform them into elaborate jewelry pieces.
Over the past several years, Jago painted more than 120 pieces. They have been sold at a gallery in Palm Springs, Calif., and at showings in Honolulu.
Jago's geometric and dimensional paintings can be viewed on his website,
babejago.com, named after his mother whose nickname was Babe.
Along with canvases, he painted on clothing, creating his own unique, personal style to match with accessories such as his huge eyeglass collection. Said Nei-
man Marcus' merchandise manager, Lucy Chelini: "He would find these great jackets and paint on them. Truly, he did wear his own art."
Said Trahan: "When he had a favorite piece of clothing he didn't want to throw away, he embellished on it by painting over it."
Jago also devoted his time to many charity events where he brought his artistic talent to centerpieces and decor.
"Doug was always a person that stepped up and had a positive attitude, whether it was store-related projects or whether it was helping out in the community with the nonprofits," Tomonari said. "He was always willing to help in any way that he could in the community."
Jago's cousin, Stewart, described him as fun-loving and carefree.
"He had one of those magnetic personalities," Stewart said. "Everybody he met seemed to like him immediately. I never knew of anyone who spoke badly about him or didn't like him. He just had that kind of vibrant personality."
Friends and relatives said he will be best remembered for his warm personality, willingness to help and personal style.
Services are pending.