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The Big Apple

FDM grad will be first female Native Hawaiian designer at New York Fashion Week

  • 1 December 2021
  • Author: Mark Berthold
  • Number of views: 753
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The Big Apple

New York Fashion Week is the epicenter for America’s new trends in clothing styles and materials. At the upcoming event in February 2022, the illustrious pantheon of collections will include Ola Hou Designs by Sharayah Chun-Lai.

“I am humbled and honored to be the First Native Hawaiian wahine to accept an invitation from Runway 7 to showcase Ola Hou Design’s uniquely modern Hawaiian vision at Sony Hall and represent Hawai‘i,” says the 2016 graduate of the Fashion Design and Merchandising program of the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences.

“Ola hou” translates to “new life,” and Ola Hou Designs reflects Sharayah's deep cultural roots and formative educational experiences at Kamehameha Schools and CTAHR. Since her childhood days on the Big Island, she “always aspired to share my love of fashion and Hawaiian culture with the world.” And now she’ll get her chance!

Under the New York spotlight, Ola Hou Designs “will bring Aloha to the world, as each design tells a story to see, wear and represent,” she says. “Each print represents a deeper meaning than what meets the eye. They are representations of my family, friends, culture, life, and love, intertwined together to create artistic and transformative experiences.”

Sharayah adds, “This is an opportunity to showcase not only my designs, but more importantly, the stories behind the designs, which have always revolved around family, friends, people, and my upbringing in Hawaiian culture and values.”

Read the UH News story.

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