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sierra dew spring 2010

kalo hippie mini * ginger leggings

after cruising around funky paia town while visiting maui last month, capturing the essence of the bustling beachside neighborhood has eluded me since my trip. and then it hit me: paia is like a hawaii version of venice (city of angels edition, natch) with its mix of cosmpolitan boutiques, indie eateries, and the occasional tourist trap squeezed along the rambling walkways of the former plantation town turned soulful hippie hotspot.

it turns out that little paia is the hometown of designer sierra dew who traded life on the neighbor island for the chance to explore the world of fiber arts at uh manoa. after a few years in honolulu, she opted to continue her design education in italy and nyc before returning home to paia to establish her own label. now based in kaneohe, her small collection of contemporary wearables feature screenprinted looks on a modern assortment of readymade garments that have been finished with handmade details ranging from organic lace embellishments to recycled fabric belts.

the little activist in me also loves how a simple t-shirt occasionally becomes sierra's canvas to juxtapose provocative designs which shine the spotlight on issues like genetically modified food crops (an ongoing debate for the islands' agricultural lands) on an unexpectedly flirty silhouette.

happily, sierra is committed to offering eco-friendly goods and produces her designs on organic & sweatshop-free blanks, and made the transition to screenprinting from custom stencils only after sourcing non-toxic printing inks. and, to complete the look, sierra also crafts a collection of beachy bohemian sparkle featuring handpicked seashells mingling with metals and exotic feathers.

dragonfish trapeze w/ recycled fabric belt * bad corn tunic
cowrie shell diamond * egyptian amulet * stripe feather hoop

opihi ring & cuff * seaweed ring

i thought it would be fun to give readers a chance to get to know sierra in her own words, and she kindly agreed to take part in the debut of h|h's q&a:

{designer notes}

how has growing up in hawai'i influenced your design process?
it has made me realize that i don't want to be a part of the "rat race". growing up in hawai'i we are naturally more relaxed; i let my designs evolve and take me on a journey. growing up here has also given me a design purpose to protect the beauty of my birthplace which has lead to more of my political artwork.

what is your definition of good design?
perfect chaos and intentional meaning. i love an exciting mix of color, print, and details. i think it is very important to begin with a concept. with the fashion industry being so "disposable" i think it is important to convey meaning, provoke thought, and create energy with every new design.

little moments of bliss that recharge your soul?
dancing, picking shells, my dad's cooking.

local delights that are a must in your beach picnic basket?
when i'm back on maui i live at my parents store mana foods and at baldwin beach. i love the raw food peppermint patties and the gluten-free "lizzie" cookies.

daily soundtrack:
goapele, loreena mckennit, matisyahu, nellie mckay, orishas, manu chau

pay it forward with a few words of wisdom . . .
remember to be young in your heart and to get out of your comfort zone!

mahalo sierra!

styles from spring 2010 are starting to find their way into the online shop as well as local stockists (fyi shop owners: sierra is currently on the lookout for new boutiques). custom design inquiries are also welcome.

this weekend brings your next chance to meet sierra who will be stenciling tees & bags during keiki earth day at baby aWEARness (which will also be stocking sd styles in their kokua festival booth next weekend).

take a peek at the collection and remember to report back with your favorite designs!

Reader Comments (6)

I'm loving the Maui post! I'm originally from Maui so it's great to see some of the locals being featured :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKat

I love the kalo hippie mini! i need to get me one of those. I love how Sierra Dew wants "to protect the beauty of her birthplace!" through her designs! Hawaii is such a special place...I totally agree! Aloha, Juanita @ www.iimsweb.info

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJuanita Aguerrebere

Sierra deserves this post! I have known her since she was just a tiny girl and to see all the things she is creating is wonderful! She a young woman who truly shines through her designs and is a joy to be around. Right on Hapa Hale! She is one to watch!

Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaile John

loving the new layout=)

Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbetty lee

I absolutely adore the opihi ring! So simple and elegant and yet so honest and beachy. :-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristin L

delighted everyone is appreciating sierra's thoughtful designs . . . she is definitely one to watch!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | Registered Commenterleigh

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