Image of Ward Village.
Photo: Kealopiko / Ward Village.

Yes, we love our aloha shirts, board shorts and slippers. But, Hawaiʻi is also a huge force in the creative movement. Drawing on native intelligence of the natural environment and harnessing inspiration from history and culture, it’s not hard to see why Hawaiʻi is a hot spot for fresh design, original style and all around feel good fashions. Here are a few local fashions that we love.

All Things Aloha

Image of Ward Village.
Photo: Kealopiko / Ward Village.

Aloha clutches. Aloha t-shirts. Aloha hats. Aloha is not just a fad; it’s a way of life. Staples at surf shops, pop-up events and boutiques, aloha apparel isn’t hard to find in the islands.

Pineapple Popularity

The pineapple plantation era of days gone by is commemorated with Hawaiʻi’s iconic fruit adorning everything from yoga tops to surf boards. Scour boutiques like Lily Lotus in Kaimuki and Soha Living in locations across the islands to find your very own pineapple apparel and home furnishing.

Beautiful Beach Bangles

Ocean inspired bangles have become quite trendy. Sea glass, shells and pearls adorn dainty bangles perfect for stacking or to be worn solo. Wire jewelry spelling out “aloha” and curved into creative designs has also come onto the fashion scene, and artists are getting more creative by the minute.

Geometric Shapes

Image of Honolulu Fashion Week
Photo: HONOLULU Fashion Week.

Hawaiians of old printed their clothing and their skin with geometric shapes representative of elements of nature. Today we see many of these same patterns replicated and used in modern ways. Native luxury line designer Manaola, who has been featured in Honolulu Fashion Week, is a prime example of a modern designer drawing on traditional detail. Also look for authentic designs inspired by native Hawaiian plants and cultural motifs from shops such as Sig Zane and Kealopiko.

Flower Crowns

Image of haku lei or lei poʻo
Photo: Hawaii Flower Lei.

Call it a flower crown or a head wreath, here in Hawaiʻi we call it a haku lei or lei poʻo.  These beautifully hand-woven lei worn upon the head will make any woman feel like a princess.  They are sold in flower shops in Chinatown, and Paiko  in SALT at Our Kakaʻako will occasionally hold workshops where you can make your own.