Native Hawaiian fashion designers collaborate for London festival

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Three Native Hawaiian designers will be featured in REDValentino’s submission to a prestigious London arts festival in September as part of an ongoing collaboration between the Italian luxury fashion brand “Maison Valentino,” and the Native Hawaiian community.

Kēhaulani Nielson of Kahulaleʻa, Manaola Yap of MANAOLA  and Kini Zamora will each produce a specially designed textile pattern to be incorporated with REDValentino’s ready-to-wear collection.

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The collection will debut in REDValentino’s display at the Chelsea in Bloom Festival in London.   

“It’s exciting to have our culture and art featured alongside some the most respected and famous fashion designers in the world,” Zamora said. 

“The opportunity to showcase our work at the Chelsea in Bloom Festival raises the profiles of Native Hawaiian designers as well as the growing fashion industry in Hawaiʻi. Hopefully, this will open more doors for us internationally and inspire other young kānaka to chase their dreams,” Zamora said.   

The Chelsea in Bloom Festival features a renowned floral art competition among the affluent area’s hotels, restaurants and retail stores, which includes some of the most influential international fashion brands. 

With the theme of “Extraordinary Voyages,” the 2021 festival is scheduled for Sept. 20 through Sept. 25.  

“It has been a real extraordinary voyage towards appreciation and knowledge,” says Alessia Vannetti, chief brand officer of Valentino.

“Collaborating with Native Hawaiian creatives was not only a way to foster creativity, but also a means to raise awareness over a mesmerizing and intriguing culture; giving the right recognition, voice and the right meaning for a mutually beneficial exchange,” Vannetti said. “This capsule collection is a dialogue made of common respect – a new language made of the traditional and the contemporary that can definitely be positive and enrich our souls.”

“We extend our warmest mahalo to REDValentino for this incredible opportunity,” Nielson said.

“Our designs may be contemporary, but they follow a long and rich cultural tradition held by our kūpuna of incorporating our observations of our environment, our spirituality and our moʻolelo into our artistic expressions. The ability to share this aspect of culture with the world is very exciting.” 

To find out more about Chelsea in Bloom Festival, click here.

For more on Kini Zamora, click here.

For more on Kahulale’a, click here.

For more on Manaola, click here.

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