Native Hawaiian fashion designer heads to London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks

October 1, 2022
Clothes & Fashion
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Native Hawaiian fashion designer Kumu Micah Kamohoali’i is about to make history. In September, Kamohoali’i’s designs will be hitting the runways of Europe, making him the first ever Hawaiian designer invited to present in three European Fashion Weeks.

Kamohoali’i will bring the essence of Hawaii to Europe through a three part cultural showcase featuring Hawaiian runway models (including his immediate family members), kapa pounding, chanting, and performances by award-winning vocalists Amy Hanaiali‘i, Kainani Kahauna’ele, musician Jeff Peterson; and dancers from his Halau Na Kipu‘upu‘u performing ancient and modern dances.

First up is London Fashion week on Sept. 17, 2022 at the UK’s Hyde Park. The immersive cultural presentation is themed Hulu Ali’i – The Royal Feathers.

After London, Kamohoali’i and his team of 30 Hawaiian models and musicians will travel nearly 800 miles to Milan, Italy for Milan Fashion Week on Sept. 24, 2022.

The Milan show taking place at the famous Sala Barozzi is themed Hale Kua – The Kapa beating house, where Kamohoali’i will enthrall the audiences with his family’s bark cloth fabrics.

Finally, the group will trek to the Eiffel Tower and the American Cathedral of Paris, France. The European Fashion Tour will end at Paris Fashion Week with Ulana Ho’oheno – The elegance of plaited leaves, showcasing Hawai’i’s lauhala woven fibers.

In his one-of-a-kind apparel, Dezigns by Kamohoaliii, brings indigenous Hawaii to life through traditional designs, bold colors, metaphoric imagery, and strong cultural symbolism.

“Our clothes are spiritual totems, they recount our history,” said Kamohoali’i. “There are so many deep connections in our designs and it is who we are. We are honoring the breath of life from our ancestors by perpetuating, preserving, and retelling our stories in the designs we wear on our clothing.”

By participating in Fashion Week Europe, Kamohoalii hopes to provide insight and education into authentic Hawaiian fashion, arts and culture.

Kamohoali’i’s Hawaiian lineage is at the heart of his designs, an art that encompasses Hawaii’s natural environments and honors their rich legacy. Kamohoali’i’s passion for art led him to study graphic design, and his family’s legacy in Hawaiian kapa led him to discover his passion for fashion. Kapa, a soft bark cloth, is an artisan tradition that dates back to ancient Hawaii and is now considered a rare art form. The process of creating kapa includes gathering the bark and beating it to loosen the fibers, and the end result is an incredibly soft fabric that can be dyed to create unique looks with vibrant patterns. Dezigns by Kamohoalii feature layers of “ike kuʻuna,” or traditional Hawaiian knowledge, embedded in each design.

And it’s been an exciting year for the designer, having just opened two new stores on O’ahu at the Pearlridge Center uptown location and at The Windward Mall in Kane’ohe.

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