WAILUKU, Maui — A clothing entrepreneur is set to become the first fashion designer to represent a Hawaiian collection in London, a report said.
Po-Mahina Designs owner Kanoelani Davis is scheduled to make her debut at London Pacific Fashion Week next month, The Maui News reported Monday.
The event beginning Sept. 13 is part of the prestigious London Fashion Week, considered one of the world’s premier fashion venues.
Davis began working with designs in her hula school and then made various clothing items before evolving the part-time venture into a full-time business around 2014-2015.
Her designs emphasize natural elements including rain, clouds and wind and draw from her life experiences on Molokai, she said.
“Being on Molokai, there wasn’t many jobs, and it was a choice I had to make as a single mother to either go full time or work three or four jobs to make ends meet,” said Davis, who has four daughters.
She was first featured in the 2015 MAMo Wearable Art Show on Maui and Oahu and was invited to New Zealand’s 2017 Pacific Fusion Fashion Show.
Last year, Davis was invited to New York Fashion Week and Miami Swim Week, but decided instead to put funds she had raised toward causes at home including relief for victims of flooding on Kauai and the Kilauea eruption.
The 15 fashion garments she plans to debut in London feature “four major feminine elemental forms of Hawaii,” she said.
“The most important part of honoring our elements is that we’re not here to change them,” Davis said. “We need to work with the elements themselves.”