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Ku‘u Home

Kuʻu Home is a collection inspired by my home, the islands of Hawaiʻi. Being born and raised on the picturesque shores of Haleʻiwa, my admiration for the beauty that surrounded me began as a small child. Spending most of my teenage and adulthood years in a transient lifestyle, I had the opportunity to travel the world and set my eyes on sights I had only ever seen in movies. Moving back home to Hawaiʻi in 2020 proved to be the inspiration I needed to begin a swim brand that had been long spoken about but never realized. Deepening my knowledge of Hawaiian culture has been a source of inspiration not only in my designs, but in my lifestyle as well. Kuʻu Home was created for those who also call Hawai‘i their home.

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.

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