Aloha Modern’s Beach Blankets for Culturally Conscious Consumers
Watch and learn, people.
Ready for us to lay down some knowledge? We think we’ll lay it down right there. Yep, there, in that spot on the beach.
What do you mean, “a beach blanket isn’t knowledge”? Take another peek. These are no ordinary beach blankets—they’re part of new local lifestyle brand Aloha Modern’s line of goods, and they’ve got a lot more to say than “stay dry.”
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ALOHA MODERN
Launched last fall by Mālia Ka‘aihue, founder of “Hawaiian strategy studio” DTL and former MANA Magazine editor, and architect Reyn Mukawa, Aloha Modern is not your typical retail company. Instead, Ka‘aihue and Mukawa are seeking to build a set of deeply rooted designs that uniquely reflect the Hawaiian perspective. That inspiration comes from both the present—think references to the Islands’ ocean, landscape and sky—as well as the past, with culturally conscious creations celebrating the duo’s inherited ancestral knowledge.
The result? Each piece has a story to tell about place, home and history—with simple, chic designs that are trendy and functional enough to tote along on everyday Island adventures. Take the Helu Pō beach blanket, a fringe-edged throw that beautifully illustrates the Hawaiian moon phases, which played a key role in how Hawaiians structured farming, fishing and gathering activities. Plus, the roomy, 100-percent cotton number comes in an ideal circle shape, perfect for lounging, or for pulling double duty as a kids’ play mat.
Look for the bright blue manta ray mat as well, or—our favorite—the soft green ‘ulu-themed one. Aloha Modern also makes sturdy, structured canvas totes with gorgeous, geometric patterns that represent Hawaiian stories or knowledge. And keep your eyes peeled for more: The team will be releasing six new pieces this summer.
Live and learn? Never looked better.
Read more stories by Natalie Schack