Ceremony and tradition surround Merrie Monarch, and this includes a live fashion show, held mid-week during the festival and hosted by the Grand Naniloa Hotel. This year, the crowds had to watch video from their living rooms, due to Covid. Thankfully, the beauty and excitement didn’t lose a beat.
Featured on Hawaiʻi News Now, the first-ever televised Hawaiʻi Fashion Showcase was an inspiring visual journey. Under the theme, “Mauka to Makai,” it showcased seven local designers amid the beauty of Hawai'i Island – including CTAHR’s very own Sharayah Chun-Lai, alum of the Fashion Design and Merchandising program in the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences.
“Director Noel Ross envisioned putting together a Fashion Showcase so that Hawaiʻi designers could still be part of the Merrie Monarch celebration this year,” says Sharayah. “This was an amazing experience for me. To be able to see my designs, clothing, bags, and more on the runway was very surreal. It was such a wonderful way to get myself out there and show the meaning and story behind what I love to do most.”
Watch the Hawaiʻi Fashion Showcase on HNN (fast forward to 9:40 for Sharayah’s segment).
Ola Hou Designs
by Sharayah Chun-Lai, Class of 2016, Fashion Design and Merchandising
Ola Hou Designs tells stories. Stories that you see, wear and represent. These designs convey my heart. Each print represents a deeper meaning than what meets the eye. It’s a representation of family, friends, culture, life and love, intertwined together to create artistic fashion collections.
Since I was a young girl, fashion has always been a passion that never grew old with age. From dressing up in my motherʻs shoes and grandmotherʻs skirts, and “shopping” in my older sisterʻs closet, it’s a love that I decided to turn into a career. So I pursued my dreams by enrolling in CTAHR’s Fashion Design and Merchandising Program, earning my Bachelor’s degree in 2016. I am forever grateful to CTAHR and Fashion Design and Merchandising. It has truly paved the path for me and continues to do so for my future.
After becoming a mother to my daughter, I made it a priority to become a positive role model in her life and show her that if you set your mind to it, work hard, and dedicate time and effort in what you do, you can truly achieve anything.
In the Hawaiian Language, which are my cultural roots, Ola Hou translates to “New Life.” My goal, through this business, is to bring forth new styles and designs that fit into the modern Hawaiian-inspired clothing that we call Aloha Wear.