Hawaii, to New York, and back home; Manaola launches line at Saks Fifth Avenue

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A premier brand of Hawaiian fashion hit the shelves of an international luxury retailer.

Manola — once featured in New York Fashion Week — debuted an exclusive line for Saks Fifth Avenue at the International Market Place Sunday.

It's a major accomplishment for the advancement of island culture in mainstream fashion.

"Our mission for our collections is to perpetuate, sustain, cultivate indigenous culture not just here in Hawaii, but abroad," designer Manaola Yap said.

"Seeing how the culture is slowly diminishing, it was important for me to put my foot down and say, 'How am I, as an indigenous artist, going to make sure that our culture sustains the test of time?'" Yap added.

With a fresh style, Manaola blends traditional Hawaiian design techniques into a modern Hawaiian look.

On Saturday, VIP guests were treated to a private fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue Waikiki where Yap revealed his Spring Summer 2018 Resort Wear collection.

Since Hawaii is a top tourism destination, Yap says he hopes to make the islands the "capital for resort wear."

Looks included in the collection were tailored to both men's and women's fashion with a laid back style.

"I love that the story that Manaola is creating and sharing – not only with our Hawaii community but out with the entire world – is fabulous. We're sharing our culture, who we are, our spirit with the world and I love that. And the opportunity here at Saks is just the beginning," Miss Hawaii Kathryn Teruya said.

Shelley Cramer, Vice President and General Manager of Saks Fifth Avenue said picking up a local designer for the store appeals to the local community.

"My intention was to break down that invisible barrier between Waikiki and locals (and) bring locals back into Waikiki," Cramer said.

Proceeds from the fashion show benefited the Bishop Museum's Ethnology & Archives department, and Manaola's The Hale Kua Project, a community-based organization.

Manola's collection went on sale to the public Sunday at 11 a.m.

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