After founding his own company two years ago, Manaola Yap just completed his first history making runway show. Hawaiian Fashion Designer Manaola Yap showcased an entire exclusive runway collection during New York Fashion Week (NYFW) in collaboration of Oxford Fashion Studio in New York City, making this a first for a native of Hawaii.
Dominated by the commanding presence of black, the allure of luxurious gold, and bold prints, the collection brought the indigenous culture of Hawaii to life for a global audience with a high energy presentation of luxury.
The presentation included traditional Kakua Pa’u (a dressing ceremony) and other traditional Hawaiian protocol. Through self-discovery and drawing from the inspiration of nature and the knowledge his mother bestowed upon him, Yap is a self-taught fashion designer. Born in the majestic Kohala region on the northwest side of Hawaii island, Yap learned the technique and art of costume creation and styling from his mother.
Although Yap is the first native from Hawaii to showcase an entire collection during New York Fashion Week he is not the first native of Hawaii to appear at New York Fashion Week. Ari South and Kini Zamora both presented pieces as part of the reality TV show Project Runway.