This debut collection print is an homage to nohona Hawaiʻi (The reciprocal relationship between the Hawaiians and our environment). The bespoke toile was meticulously hand drawn with motifs depicting sceneries of ancient practices that are still perpetuated to this day along with some flora and fauna significant to Hawaiʻi. I have long seen illustrations of “Hawaiʻi” depicted on aloha shirts and other apparel that perpetuate a romanticized commercial interpretation of what Hawaiʻi is. I aimed to create a design that was more authentic to the lands and people they are inspired from.
With humble origins in the plantation industry, palaka has become the nostalgic vintage fabric that has been quoted by Goro Arakawa as being “more aloha than the aloha shirt...” Once a sturdy fabric of choice for Hawaiiʻs plantation workers, palaka has a deep multicultural history behind the simple block pattern. Its durability lended itself to the uses of many laborers in Hawaii before being adopted by the general public. In the 1930ʻs it was said that palakas “have their place in the wardrobe of every islander.” Eventually the palaka fabric was used in many different iterations: board shorts, play clothes, table linens, etc. Palaka has always remained a staple fabric for the kamaʻāina. In the present day, you can find people of Hawaiʻi wearing palaka as a badge of local identity.
Photography: ʻIlikea Snow
Models: Cheyenne Murray, Misty Maʻa, Maluhia Maʻa
Hair and Makeup Artist: Faith Bartruff
Hakus: Pamakane (Oceandreamerhawaii.com)
Mahalo nui to everyone who came together and gave me so much support in lauching this brand and collection. Special shout out to my extended ʻohana the Snows and my best friends ʻIlikea and Mariah for being my whole everything. Aloha nui wau iā ʻoukou!