Friday, July 23, 2021

From Waimea to the runway, a new Hawaii designer is about to take on NYC

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Kapa artist, kumu hula and designer Micah Kamohoalii of Waimea comes from a household of kapa makers.

His clothes firm, Dezigns by Kamohoalii, launched in 2005 along with his conventional kapa designs on trendy cloth. His model is fashionable among the many crowds notably on the Merrie Monarch Pageant together with numerous pop-up outlets.

However on Sept. 9, his designs will launch to a brand new platform as he prepares to share the stage with worldwide names at New York Trend Week. He’s mentioned to be the primary Hawaii designer on Runway 7 in Sony Corridor in Instances Sq..

Different Native Hawaiians who’ve taken half in New York Trend Week embody Kini Zamora and Manaola Yap.

Kamohaolii says the invite got here out of the blue and vogue executives instructed him that they had him on their radar for a number of years.

“It began with an e mail and I truly threw it away. I tossed it within the trash of my e mail after which one thing instructed me I ought to return and have a look at it,” mentioned Kamohoalii instructed Hawaii Information Now.

Kamohoalii says throughout his first zoom assembly with Trend Week executives, he was swamped with Hawaii occasions.

“I used to be cracking some jokes and I believe it took some time for them to divulge heart’s contents to me. They’re very New York so it’s very enterprise,” mentioned Kamohoalii.

“I’m simply too slammed proper now. There’s a lot issues happening. Large festivals. I actually can’t comprehend this dialog. Can we do that subsequent week? They usually simply began laughing. They mentioned no one ever tells us that, however we love you,” he added.

They known as once more and that’s when he bought the official invite.

“Very overwhelming. Thrilling. I began to get emotional. Simply being invited to one thing like that scale,” he mentioned.

Kamohoalii says his designs inform tales of his household, Hawaii island and the setting.

“Our vogue is not only coconut bras and grass skirts, however present deep connection that our clothes is non secular. It tells tales. It’s significant,” he mentioned.

He says his vogue designs first began garnering consideration when he made a customized costume for his cousin who went to the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

“Velvet on the highest. Kapa on the underside and folks went loopy for it. They cherished it so I began to switch these designs from kapa designs to trendy cloth,” mentioned Kamohoalii.

Earlier than Trend Week, Kamohaolii wants to boost at the very least $60,000 to cowl even charges, together with airfare to take his all-star members of the family to New York Metropolis. His entourage consists of cousin Amy Hanaialii, designer Nita Pilago, his aunty, and workforce of Hawaiian fashions.

He’s additionally engaged on an internet site revamp in anticipation of latest orders.

“I’m like sure. We’re prepared. We’re engaged on it. All of that,” mentioned Kamohaolii. “Partnering with Hawaii and taking all of Hawaii with us,” he added.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii Information Now. All rights reserved.

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