Manaola Makes Its Saks Fifth Avenue Debut
Get a sneak peek at the local label’s new Resort 2018 styles, available exclusively via the luxury department store.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MANAOLA
Island style has never been more on-trend, thanks in part to local designer and cultural practitioner Manaola Yap’s fashionable foray into the wider world of apparel. From HONOLULU Fashion Week to New York Fashion Week, online boutique to Ala Moana Center brick-and-mortar, Yap and his Manaola team are determined to take their cultural message global. The latest step in that journey? A partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue—the first department store, and first luxury retailer, to carry Manaola’s pieces—that will break new ground for the local brand’s access to fashion aficionados everywhere.
On March 11, the store debuts Manaola’s new Resort 2018 collection—exclusive to Saks Honolulu—which combines Yap’s penchant for fluid, elegant cuts with his signature ‘ohe kāpala markings. The geometric, Native-Hawaiian-inspired patterns are made from hand-carved bamboo laths used as stamps to transfer designs onto cotton, rayon and silk.
As with everything he does, there is a rich cultural basis that informs and guides each piece, making for work-of-art garments that pull from his experience, indigenous knowledge and art. “I am proud to share Hawaiian fashion culture as it encompasses centuries of intellect and visual imagery captured in design,” Yap explains. “It is inspired by ancestral knowledge and manifested between spirit-to-spirit relationships with man, animal, plant, God forms, places, objects and nature.”
Growing up in a creative household and as a hālau researcher, Yap was constantly immersed in antiques and cultural history. He would pore for hours over books and artifacts at Bishop Museum, his source of inspiration as an artist studying Hawaiian arts and honing his craft. Through the Saks Fifth Avenue partnership, he has a new opportunity to honor the museum.
On March 10, the Waikīkī store will host a private fashion show fundraiser showcasing said Resort 2018 collection—attendees can pre-shop the collection after the show, before it officially hits the sales floor the next day—along with Manaola’s Kōlani couture collection, being shown for the first time since New York Fashion Week. Proceeds go to Bishop Museum’s Ethnology and Archives Department, as well as The Hale Kua Project, Manaola’s new partnership with Kamehameha Schools that seeks to cultivate Hawaiian tradition and cultural heritage, and inspire entrepreneurial spirit. It’s all part of the Manaola mission to share Hawaiiana with the world—in one fashion or another.
Saks Fifth Avenue, International Market Place, 600-2500. To purchase tickets for the Manaola + Saks Fifth Avenue fashion show fundraiser call (808) 848-4169 or email Louise.firstname.lastname@example.org. Limited seating available, ticket price ranges from $350 to $1,000.