MANAOLA is pleased to announce it will debut an exclusive runway collection on the global fashion stage of New York Fashion Week 2017. Designer Manaola Yap is the first Native Hawaiian designer to present authentic Hawaiian culture at New York Fashion Week. Celebrated among Hawaii’s next generation of designers, Yap is lending a new voice as a storyteller, cultural practitioner and luxury fashion designer.
At age 30, Yap has transformed the traditional method of kapa adornment into high fashion designs worthy of Hawaiian monarchs. Deviating from the vibrant floral prints often associated with Hawaii, his geometric patterns are redefining Hawaiian fashion for a global audience with his luxury line, MANAOLA.
As a Native Hawaiian fashion designer, Yap’s unique process showcases his experience as a hula practitioner, transforming the intrinsic beauty, energy and history of Hawai’i into visual art. Utilizing the traditional Hawaiian stamping method known as ohe kapala, he hand-carves each design onto bamboo laths that embody repetitious patterns found in nature. Each print tells a deeply personal story significant to the designer which is elevated by intent. Through the lens of fashion, MANAOLA preserves these indigenous stories and ideologies through a medium that defies classification and perpetuates the rich cultural heritage and traditions of Hawaii.