Maui-based fashion brand Pulelehua Maui’s 10-person team heads to New York Fashion Week on Thursday.
Owner Gemma Alvior has put together 30 looks for The Model Experience event on September 11, 2022 in Brooklyn, NY.
Alvior said other Hawaiian brands have attended New York Fashion Week events, but this is the first time a Maui brand has been invited and the first time a Hawaiian brand has hosted an event in Brooklyn. is.
The fashion show will take place at 3:30 PM ET (9:30 AM HST) and will feature approximately 60 designers. You can buy a ticket and watch it virtually, but your friend can also watch the pre-lehua portion of the event live on his Facebook and Instagram.
Pule Lehua Maui was launched in 2016, drawing inspiration from the fashion featured at the annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo, Hawaii. Alvior was there as a member of her Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi.
“When I was younger I always wanted to be a designer. I later embraced her ability to visualize and embody any design I wanted.
After finding a seamstress, she found a company on Oahu that could print her designs. First, she chose patterns and materials and used existing designs. However, in 2018 she began using her own designs and selling her products at Swap Meets and local craft fairs.
“The Lehua was our first design for Merrie Monarch. We wanted to honor the year we competed,” Albior said. At the time, the effects of RapidʻOhiʻa Death had doubled over him in two years and spread to his 30,000 acres on the Big Island of Hawaii.
“My seamstress couldn’t keep up. We kept selling out,” says Alvior. In addition to her meet swaps, she also sold clothes at fundraising events and craft fairs. “She told me if I wanted to continue, she would have to outsource. She had no intention of outsourcing. She wanted to stay in Hawaii and Maui. “
One of her designer friends said, “People will buy your stuff because it’s your design, no matter who made it. Alvior decided to do just that because it needed to fulfill an order.
In 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alvior took a furlough from his job as a guest service agent for Hawaiian Airlines so he could focus on his clothing brand.
“I found a great graphic designer who understood my vision of how I wanted my designs to look,” says Alvior. Birds such as lehua, caro, orchid, rai and iwa were designed in this collaboration.
On Mother’s Day, Pulelehua Maui unveiled rock, rye and orchid designs as part of the Kuleana collection, which stands for resilience, protection and honor. “The reason is that his third eldest daughter died due to COVID-19, and his nephew died the following year. Life is passing and you just have to keep going,” Albior said.
Rye, or ti leaves, were chosen for their protective properties. Ran was chosen to honor Albior’s mother, who is battling stage 4 cancer.
Alvior was born in the Philippines, raised in Northern California, and moved to Maui in 1999. She started hula dancing at the age of 10 and continues to do so today. “Hula has always been a part of me. I have always loved the language of hula and carry it with me…I am so honored to be able to support and embrace the culture and share meaningful design.” Albior said.
Alvior’s daughter, Faith, has also launched her own swimwear line called Kulunakinis, which has been featured in Pulelehua Maui pop-ups and online. The Baldwin High School senior launched a brand during the pandemic with designs that included Protea, Puakenikeni, and Gardenia.
Once on the East Coast, Halawai, a New York-based nonprofit committed to helping people with common interests in Hawaii and the Pacific, will help transport and guide the Maui contingent. The group chose an iconic location for the Pule Lehua photo shoot and scheduled a gig for Maui musician Hoaka Music to accompany her group.
Featuring Kalani Miles and Kason Gomes, Hoaka Music will be sharing live music at a free event at The Bryant Park Hotel on Saturday, September 10, 2022 from 6-8pm.
Their music will also be featured as part of the fashion show, along with an ori about Maui composed by Luana Kawaa and shared by Reinaala Vedder.
The Brooklyn Event’s mission is to create opportunities for models and talent. Founded in 2012, past participants have modeled for her Vogue, HBO Max, Guess, and more.
A total of 25 female models and 4 male models will be offered in the Model Experience, with the goal of signing a contract with a modeling agency. USA 2021-2022, Kawena Kanhai, Marie Meena.
For the rest of the models, Alvior shared her vision with a group, many of whom had never been to Maui or Hawaii. “I sent them a long email about who I am and what the design means. It’s not just flowers… I want them to understand what they’re wearing.” she said.
Pulelehua Maui was also invited to LA Fashion Week in October, but has yet to attend the event due to limited time to prepare.
For the holiday season, Pulelehua Maui will host a pop-up shop in the old Forever 21 store at the Queen Kaahumanu Center, and Albior will introduce three new designs. The event will take place from December 15th to 20th, 2022.
Pulelehua Apparel LLC’s website is temporarily in ‘off’ mode while Alvior concentrates on her NY fashion show, but will be back up soon as new runway fashions hit the online shop. It’s a schedule.