Saks Fifth Avenue hosted the launch of Manaola Yap’s Spring/Summer 2018 resort collection on Friday with a fashion show that also reprised the designer’s black-and-gold Kolani collection inspired by Hawaii’s monarchy.
Before the show, the designer, who was born to a hula family and is being groomed to one day become kumu hula of Halau Manaola, told the audience that his 2-1/2-year-old fashion brand Manaola stems from his desire to continue perpetuating indigenous culture.
He said he wanted to find a way to ensure “our culture survives the test of time and that all the rich stories continue to be told.The answer was pop culture, and at the top of pop culture is fashion.”
Through his ohe kapala (bamboo stamp) prints, Yap shares the imagery and stories of his heritage, a visual language that he saw as being lost over time.
His resort collection includes the Pewa design, based on the double-wedge “fishtail” markings found in traditional Hawaiian woodworking, used to prevent wood from splitting or to patch holes in broken calabashes. Also key in the collection is the Mauna design of triangles
that honor the four goddesses of the mountain: Poli’ahu, Waiau, Lilinoe and Kahoupokane.
The resort collection is available at Saks.