There is a special place in my heart for our opio. It's because I can remember so vividly when I was that age! I don't remember a lot of the details, but I remember all the feelings and emotions from that period of time in my life. What a rollercoaster?! Heartbreaks, disappointments, feeling alone, wanting to belong, succeeding, being in the spotlight, failing, leading, having fun, dreaming of my future, scared of change, the list goes on and on! It's some exciting and tough stuff and my heart goes out to all these 2021 seniors who are dealing with all of that AND covid! Wow. How strong they must be and how they need to be celebrated which is why I dedicated this whole collection to them!
Ka Papa 2021
This design is of 4 intertwined ti leaf lei. The significance of ti leaf is that it was used in ancient times to ward off bad spirits. While I don't personally practice ancient Hawaiian beliefs I think the imagery holds meaning in what our Kupuna believed. The ti leaf lei symbolizes unity and safety in today's world. The words, "Ka Papa 2021" can be read on the lei along with Ka Pule a Ka Haku which you can read in full by clicking here. The reason why I chose to write the Lord's prayer on one of the lei is because when I was a student at Kamehameha, we often recited this prayer together as a class. I would feel strong when I would say it with my classmates and protected. I want our Seniors to feel strength and protection as they head out into the world. I want there to always be a prayer over their heads.
Ka Papa Poni
While this design carries similar meaning with the first ti-leaf lei design, it is unique in that it honors the current KS Kapalama class of 2021. I really do wish I could have created a print for every school, but I stuck with my alma mater because it's authentic to me. I loved going to Kamehameha and am proud of to be an alumni. I wanted to give extra love to these seniors by designing this print that is close to my heart and hopefully to theirs.
This is actually not the first thing I've designed with the Kamehameha Statue! The first was when I was a senior at Kamehameha. I designed our class's t-shirt and I drew the Kamehameha statue for the front! This design has the word "IMUA" written on it which means, "forward! onward!" May our seniors stand tall and proud, ever pressing forward through all the challenges that life will continue to throw at them.
Aalii Ku Makani
These prints are of the native Hawaiian plant: aalii. This plant is known by an olelo noeau, "He aalii ku makani mai au. Aohe makani nana e kulai." Which means (by my own interpretive translation) - I am an aalii that can stand in harsh winds. There isn't a wind that can knock me down. The class of 2021 has stood strong in the face of the world's recent events! We don't need to revisit all the events of 2020, but we do need to recognize their strength! They have surely overcome!
Thank you for reading about why I designed these prints. I hope some of the things I created and why resonates with you. If you're interested in purchasing this fabric, it will be available on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 5pm HST.