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Entries in hawaiiana (48)


introducing manaomakani

it's an unfortunate fact that styles for the lads are few and far between in h|h's dressing room, so i was quite happy to find a note from manaomakani designer jamie makani aldaya in my inbox. a precursory peek at the handful of designs in the newly launched collection was a delightful discovery since the label mixes screenprinted and embroidered native hawaiian motifs on 100% certified organic cotton tees and jackets.

the socially responsible line is made in the usa which altogether is the practically elusive, almost impossible shopping triumph in our household. a win-win-win for the hubby's 808 tee collection, i say!

the design process is a bit more intricate since jamie, who was raised in the bay area and started manaomakani after a 30 year style career, looks to his native hawaiian ancestors for both inspiration and permission. the latter entails returning to the islands to offer chants and a pule (prayer) to the gods and then waiting for a sign before proceeding with each collection. he sought out windswept ka'ena point for the 2010 collection which honors native plants like koa and ohia lehua for their cultural value to the hawaiian people.

koa embellished tee
ohia embellished tee
organic french terry jackets

designs are screenprinted with water-based inks and the embroidered details add an eloquent flourish. price tag ranges from $44 for a tee to $110 for a hoodie (organic french terry = happiness!). for those used to fast fashion prices, it may sound a bit high for basics but remember there is a hidden cost of cheap, throwaway fashion from underpaid labor to a garment's environmental footprint (especially not cool when other countries' citizens must deal with the consequences to quench america's neverending desire for a closetful of disposable bargains).

manaomakani is also committed to the 1% for the planet philosophy and donates 1% of purchases to kahea, the hawaiian-environmental alliance.

a w's line is in the works and, fyi island shopkeepers, jamie is currently on the lookout for local retailers. the full line-up can be shopped online (knock 15% off with the secret code below) while sf readers can scoop up styles at aloha warehouse in japantown.

  • secret code: HAPA15
  • expires: sun, oct 31st

{mahalo jamie!}


new peeks: sig zane

lihiwai * mikioi

goodness, it's been quite some time since the last sig zane roundup and so many new designs have arrived in the past year that i had a difficult time editing down all the sz goodness.

here's a quick recap - eco style is now available with the addition of bamboo fabric aloha shirts and the introduction of the w's organic mohala tee. m's board shorts are now offered in more patterns and the collaboration with the waikiki aquarium is now online. you can style up your kitchen with quilted mikioi hot pads while hawaiian style minimalists will want to take a peek at the new lihiwai canvas bag with a cheery solid exterior lined in the big island designer's lovely fabric.

one of my favorite new patterns is the hilo one which interprets the town map into a wearable design. definitely a great find for anyone whose heart remains on the big island.

and, reiko from the sz 'ohana posted peeks of fujitsu's limited edition aloha express netbook rocking sig's 'ulu pattern. it is, alas, available exclusively in japan but the gorgeous design makes me wish sz offered a macbook skin. lucky japan!

hilo one * welo * waiuli
w's organic mohala tees
aloha express in 'uluwehi keaukaha

select styles are available in the online shop or hele over to the sz flagship in downtown hilo:


new peeks: kealopiko ku collection

ke aloha aina

the lovely ladies behind kealopiko are definitely to be admired for their dedication in sharing the hawaiian culture with the modern world and their commitment to good design. i like to think of the descriptions that accompany all of their designs as continuing education . . . little histories which help folks (re)connect with their ancestry while clueing in kama'aina and others who may not have been immersed in all things hawaiian learn more about hawaii's native culture. more knowledge is always a good thing!

happily, kealopiko recently introduced their ku collection for spring 2010 and are showing more love for our 'aina by expanding the number of designs printed on organic cotton and eco-friendly fibers. one of the most striking designs is the ke aloha aina tee which mixes a variety of typefaces and serves as a printed reminder of the wearer's "deep love of the land":

"aloha aina is a very old concept . . . although it may change and adapt, it is a part of us that will never go away. we remain kupa‘a in our love for our place, which is challenged all the time by things that are not in the interest of the land or the people. more than a century of occupation may have produced a lot of confusion, but it can never break our aloha aina. so no matter what our different political persuasions might be, wherever we are on our journeys of learning, or wherever we find ourselves in the struggle, we must never forget our common bond of aloha aina."

in addition to tees and tops, pretty strapless dresses are now being offered which i suspect will be very popular this summertime. and, the kealopiko 'ohana also kindly shared a few of the custom looks created for one of the lucky wedding parties who have walked down the aisle wearing some of the most gorgeous designs for an island wedding.

lehua makanoe * lau amau & palai a kamapuaa

are you sharing my swoon over these lovely wedding looks from lauren and mason's wedding? the muted colorways are so pretty and this is certainly one of the most stylish ways to share the aloha spirit on such a happy day.

if you would love to order a custom design, be advised that kealopiko suggests a minimum of 8 weeks notice to conjure up something made just for you.

the ku collection is currently stocked in the online shop and you can find select styles at boutiques around the islands. oahu readers can also say hello to the kealopiko 'ohana during this weekend's e malama i ke kai festival:

  • when: sat, may 15th - 10a to 3p
  • where: kapiolani park bandstand, waikiki

{photo credit | lauren & mason's wedding: joanna tano photography}


design date: kapa mua

sand dollar

two summers have gone by since the gorgeous quilted designs of kapa mua were featured on h|h and oahu readers finally have a chance to take a peek at the elegant island inspired blankets.

simply find your way to place, the nu'uanu atelier of interior designer & author kaui philpotts, which is hosting a summer exhibit featuring kapa mua quilts plus artwork from studio kaea and decorative island finds during its pacific interpretations show.

niho mano + feather cape

longtime readers may recall how san francisco designer michael pechinski distills traditional hawaiiana motifs and objects from the sea into kapa mua's modern bedding crafted with bold contemporary graphics with a delightful nod to the tropics. definitely crushworthy, no?

{mahalo amy!}


new peeks: kealopiko

ahole banded tank

it's been far too long since the lovely designs of kealopiko made an appearance, and a quick click revealed a number of new looks plus the welcome addition of organic styles to the mix. kealopiko continues to educate wearers via hand screened tees which always offer up a lesson into hawaii's past and present by honoring all of its many inhabitants.

no matter how long you have called the islands home, there is always something new to learn and i love reading the descriptions of how each kealopiko design came to be. now wisdom once passed down from generation to generation can be found thoughtfully splashed across a simple t-shirt be it a closer examination of the history of a popular surf break to a quick study in island botany.

more peeks below . . .

moon phase dress * lanikuuwaa * ke'elikolani
manu o ku * kalehuawehe * moi

find all the featured styles over in the online shop (be sure to take a peek at the sale section for discontinued designs) or support your neighborhood stockist which now includes whole foods in kahala mall, na mea hawaii / native books at ward warehouse, and the imiloa astronomy center on the big island.