We ended our Hawaii trip with a bang, staying at none other than the Four Seasons Oahu! Even better was getting to relax in this resort paradise in an outfit by native Hawaiian fashion designer, Manaola Yap, who was also a wonderful spirit in person :)
Keep reading to discover the beautiful backstory behind Manaola's culturally conscious designs and the unique meaning behind his prints!
Crop Top & Wrap (Worn as skirt) c/o Manaola Hawaii
Handmade Arm Cuffs from Etsy
Vegan Cork Sandals c/o Bhava
Photos by Nate Bernardo
The Top & Skirt:
This set I am wearing is a crop top and wrap by native Hawaiian designer, Manaola Yap. Manaola's designs are inspired by nature and Hawaiian spirituality, which he then translates into prints that are imbued with deep meaning. For example, this print I am wearing is called the "uwila" or lighting bolt, which is believed to be the physical representation of the life force and raw power of nature. Manaola created the uwila print as a symbol that would bring protection for the wearer.
Manaola also employs a traditional Hawaiian, bamboo stamping method which is known as ʻohe kāpala. First, he hand carves his print designs onto bamboo laths, and then he stamps them and has them digitized into modern silhouettes. As a design student, I especially love the combination of older artisinal techniques with modern technology!
I love Manaola's designs—they are distinctly Hawaii and rooted in Hawaiian culture, but they have such a unique contemporary look to them! Manaola has a store at the Ala Moana center and he's often there interacting with his customers—another reason why he's so popular amongst locals!
As for the accessories, I'm wearing a handmade lei that the Four Seasons made for me upon my arrival, my go-to arm cuffs, and my artisanal cork sandals by Bhava!
May you all have happy holidays!
*All items marked "c/o" were received courtesy of the brand for review & promotional purposes