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Hawaii Goes to Fashion Week!

As New York and London Fashion Weeks end, followed by Milan and Paris, fashion enthusiasts from all over the world connect over the top trends, street style looks worn by influencers attending the shows, and up and coming designers making huge steps by showcasing their work at fashion week for the first time.

Photo credit: WestonMosburg

Two of Hawaii’s own made that step this year, and we couldn’t be more proud to watch as they make waves in the fashion industry while staying true to Hawaiian culture. Lotus and Lime’s team of all women left its mark on New York Fashion Week on February 10th , sharing their designs on stage that represent their Hawaiian and Japanese heritage, while teaming up with Maui Divers Jewelry.

Photo Credit: RachelCress

The brand notes online that they are all about “honoring the native people of Hawai’i and the āina they come from. It is a way we trace our lineage, and belonging to the land we inhabit. We build our families, and our lives to it. It is where we come from and where we go - the circle of life. Which is why we fight for Mauna Kea, our water and all our Āina. We are the sky, the mountains, the earth - the link to everything, and all that is Hawai’i.”

All eyes were on the pieces that they sent down the runway, including the Kalo/Taro with their

Genealogy print, which they say “represents the very DNA of this land from the oha to its keiki leaves which collectively become ohana.”

Photo Credit: GettyImages

Their models wore “lei hulu manu,” they share, “feathered lei or garlands which was worn by our ali’i and symbolizes our cherished elders.”

Photo Credit: ChrisBalidio

Also included in their looks were black pearls from Maui Divers Jewelry, which they say “signifies wisdom and everlasting love for our culture and our people.”

Photo Credit: RachelCress

Another brand that made its NYFW debut on February 10th is Ola Hou, meaning “new life,” that opened their first retail line in 2019. Representing Hawaii culture, their designs are made in modern Hawaiian style that they call “Aloha Wear”. Native Hawaiian wahine designer for the brand, Sharayah Chun-Lai, studied at The University of Hawaiʻi and was “the first kānaka ʻōiwi wahine to accept an invitation from fashion week producer Runway 7.”

KAPAMAG was not able to access original images from the designer but we are proud of them and want to highlight their successes.

Runway 7 Fashion, the production company that brought both brands to NYFW, deserves special

appreciation for giving Hawaiian culture a spotlight in one of the most monumental events of the year in fashion. They are known for “using the stage to raise social awareness and funds for Multiple Sclerosis Research” as well as “representing cultural diversity” which is what we have seen this year with our local community being showcased in such a way that onlookers can’t help but notice and take in the beauty of our homeland.

We look forward to the future of fashion week as Hawaii creatives share in taking center stage, one show at a time!

Story written for KAPAMAG by

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