There are still four months left in 2013, but that doesn’t stop the fashion gods from dictating what color is going to rule in Spring 2014. Say aloha to DAZZLING BLUE, the hue that will reign at the top of Pantone’s list. For most of us this news is hardly relevant, but in the fashion world people are celebrating and rejoicing in this announcement. This blue reminds us of the ocean that surrounds these islands. It also reminds us of Facebook and Citibank. Whatever your connection or opinion on this color, you will definitely begin to see a lot more of it. Spring 2014 colors range from bold to neutral. Sand and Paloma both have a soft and neutral tone that men and women can relate to. We look forward to having these Spring colors decorate our store soon!
Webster Dictionary defines an obsession as, “a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.” I wouldn’t call this “disturbing” or “unreasonable,” but the Maui Hat Obsession is something I love witnessing. Back in November, a tall and wonderful woman named Julia stopped in our store asking if we would sell her hats. She was carrying a box of bright, colorful and unique trucker hats with the shape of Maui. Simple, cute and reasonably priced, we decided to “try” and sell her hats. We took eight to start off with. One picture on social media led to eight hats leaving our store in less than 24 hours. I knew we needed more hats, and fast. We were bombarded with phone calls, emails, and even customers waiting at the store. It has been almost a year since we began selling these hats, and the obsession continues. We have sold more than 400 hats. If you don’t have one yet, you need one and here is why!
5 Reasons You Need A Maui Hat
• It’s cute
• Protects you from the sun
• It’s affordable, so you can buy more than ONE to match your outfits
• They look good on everyone
• It’s a Maui Thing
Every design on our clothing has a story. Some are funny, sentimental or inspired by something we love. Whatever the reason, we believe design is powerful. It can change your day or bring back a childhood memory. We wanted to take you through the process of how an idea becomes fashion.
I love the water. It is healing, refreshing, and so many more adjectives. My girlfriends and I call ourselves the MAUI MERMAIDS (more about this later). For a couple weeks I would do an early morning swim at Waihe’e Beach. After work, I would head up to ‘Iao Valley and finish the day in the river. From salt water to fresh water. From ocean (makai) to mountain (mauka).
Mauka to makai is a popular saying in Hawaii. For Hawaiians, the significance of the two is sacred, meaningful, and is the foundation of Hawaiian culture. I thought it would be a great idea for a design.
Ash and I began sketching over and over. This process is fun, but also annoying. We can sit there for hours and it will never look “right.” So we gave it to the master herself, Saedene, to figure out. I knew she would bring my idea to life.
We tweaked the design a couple times. We weren’t sure if we wanted it horizontal or vertical. Little details are important in design. I was satisfied once it was complete. Ash found the perfect shirt to print it on. It was loose, breezy and absolutely perfect for summer! The idea was now wearable art!
When I look at this shirt, I feel the energy of the water and the land. Both are valuable and sacred. Without it we don’t exist, and that’s a great reason to respect it.
There is something rewarding and beautiful when you can create something using natural resources. When the models graced the runway wearing these vibrant, green skirts, you could see the energy and love that went in to making them. We wanted to share the experience of creating these beautiful skirts.
The “ALIVE” theme makes things a little difficult because most plants and flowers have a short lifespan. We couldn’t begin picking the kukui leaves until two days before the event. Celina and I met in Iao Valley at 7:00 a.m., and began collecting. Kukui nut leaves of all shapes, sizes and color line the famous road to the needle. When picking these leaves, your intent and energy needs to be positive and grateful. We scaled small cliffs, climbed on truck rooftops, and maneuvered through barbed wire fences.
Two hours later, we carried our two, hefty trash bags down to the river. The sun was shining and the water was flowing. We began washing every leaf, cleaning it with the most precious thing in life, water. Now it was time to create the skirts. The kukui nut stems are hard, so each stem had to be softened. One by one we massaged and twisted. Next, each leaf was tied on to the rope and then knotted three times.
Our wonderful friends took the time to help us complete the seven skirts. Each skirt took about 700 leaves. Our hands were raw and our nails were chipped. Ashley’s refrigerator looked more like a floral shop. No food, just leaves. She had to constantly spray them with water so they didn’t dry out. We were relieved when Friday came and they were “alive.”
The hours put in for just one minute down the runway was worth it. We got to hang out in the water, spend time with friends, and create something using the life around us. That experience is what makes us grateful to be ALIVE.
Back in March, Ash came up to me and said, “What if we got The Green for our five-year anniversary?” I gave her that excited/worried face for a few seconds, and then said, “Lets do it!” We both had this dream of what we wanted that night to look and feel like. Two weeks ago our dream became a reality.
Once we found out The Green was in, everything became real. We unveiled our “SECRET” plan to our friend Kawika from Native 92.5. His face and excitement reassured us this was going to be something Maui has never experienced.
The planning was endless. From stage construction to green lighting, we had to make sure every detail was covered. The “SECRET BAND” aspect made things a little more difficult. “The Brady Bunch” became the code word for anything green. The radio ads were intense. We will be the first to admit, they gave us a little bit of anxiety. “YOU WILL NOT BE DISSAPOINTED, TRUST US” echoed through our car, store and home radios as a constant reminder of what was coming up…
Besides planning the actual event, we had to make sure our new summer line was here on time. Design, order, print, ship, count, fold, tag, hang…..the long, but fun process of retail. Once the clothes were in, Ash could breathe a little?
Picking a fashion show theme isn’t easy. The ideas are endless, but the execution makes things a little complicated. It only seemed right to theme our show with the music. The Green’s hit song, “Alive,” became the inspiration for our fashion show. Sixteen models and 43 different looks… we had our work cut out for us. Ideas were flying everywhere, photos, inspiration boards, creative conversations, the show consumed our every thought.
We wake up and all of a sudden, it is Friday, July 5 - the moment where all you can do is believe everything you have done will work out. Stage and runway construction began early morning. Ken, John and Kanoa definitely got their workout in, and quite a tan from constructing our set. The flowers were driven in from Hana. David and crew set-up lights and sound. The band arrived, and during sound check, a heavy, grey cloud lingered in Iao. We needed a tarp, and fast. Thank you Mr. Beauchamp for coming to the rescue. The Carpenter’s Union constructed our backdrop and in a blink of an eye. Kanoa and Keone stapled their little hearts out as fast as they could. After a little mishap here and there and a couple small tweaks to the program, we’re finally ready for this.
After running around like a chicken without a head, I finally got to join the rest of the models for some hair and make-up. At 7:10 p.m., the party bus arrived, confining the secret band. After Kawika hyped up the anxious crowd, out stepped six talented guys that might be referred to as the Beatles of Hawaii. Once the first chord was played, everything fell into place.
Behind a black, tinted door, the models were anxiously awaiting for “Travlah” to begin playing. With ti-leaf masks disguising our identities, we all became “The Green Girl,” who adorns the cover of their albums. Each year Ash and I have this moment right before I walk on the runway. It is a moment of excitement, respect and appreciation for each other. We know everything, from the late nights to the stress, were worth this one night of excitement.
We cannot express how thankful we are for EVERYONE who helped make this night possible. Collaboration and cooperation are truly what makes things like this happen. Dreams become a reality when people work together with good intentions. This night was truly about celebrating with the people and community who continue to support our business and our hope to inspire through design.
Big mahalo to The Green! We are so proud of you guys and appreciate you sharing this night with us. See you in another FIVE YEARS!
• Alexander & Baldwin
• Native 92.5
• Maui Beach Hotel
• Goodfellow Brothers
• Takitani, Agaran & Jorgenson Law Offices
• Wailuku First Friday
• Rockstar Rides
• CK Cinema
• Tony Novak-Clifford
• The Carpenter’s Union
• Ry-n Shimabukuro
• Michelle Handley
• Yuki Lei Sugimura
• Uncle Alan, Ken, John, Kanoa, Keone, Cassie, Aunty Audrey
• David and the sound crew
• Mr. Priest
• Maui Police Department
• Aloha Poi
• Celina, Monique and Camille
• All the beautiful models
• Wendy and Denise
• Kelsen “Kihe”
• Heather, Tilly, Drea, Aimee, Jonathan, Royce, Grant, Jenna, Rachelle
• Scott at Enterprise