After just two years on the local fashion circuit, MANAOLA is honored and humbled to announce it will debut an exclusive runway collection on the global fashion stage of New York Fashion Week 2017. Designer Manaola Yap is the first Native Hawaiian designer to present authentic Hawaiian culture at New York Fashion Week. Celebrated among Hawai‘i’s next generation of designers, Yap is lending a new voice as a storyteller, cultural practitioner and luxury fashion designer. 

Photo by Kaveh Kardan

“I am honored and grateful to have been invited to show my collection at New York Fashion Week,” said Manaola Yap, designer and founder of MANAOLA. “Sharing our indigenous culture through the medium of fashion on a world platform has always been a dream of mine.  I’m proud to share our Hawaiian fashion culture that encompasses centuries of intellect and visual imagery captured in design.”

At age 30, Yap has transformed the traditional method of kapa adornment into high fashion designs worthy of Hawaiian monarchs. Deviating from the vibrant floral prints often associated with Hawai‘i, his geometric patterns are redefining Hawaiian fashion for a global audience with his luxury line, MANAOLA. Trendsetters spotted wearing MANAOLA include Shailene Woodley, Colbie Caillat, Auli‘i Cravalho, and Louise Roe.

Yap is one of 24 designers selected by Oxford Fashion Studio to share his original designs at New York Fashion Week 2017. Yap will present his luxury Hawaiian label on September 8, 2017 at Studio 450 in New York City. A platform to support emerging artists, Oxford Fashion Studio highlights designers with original concepts for both national and international fashion shows around the world and from more than 8,000 designers worldwide.

Photo by Kaveh Kardan

As a Native Hawaiian fashion designer, Yap’s unique process showcases his experience as a hula practitioner, transforming the intrinsic beauty, energy and history of Hawai’i into visual art.  Utilizing the traditional Hawaiian stamping method known as ‘ohe kāpala, he hand-carves each design onto bamboo laths that embody repetitious patterns found in nature. Each print tells a deeply personal story significant to the designer which is elevated by intent. Through the lens of fashion, MANAOLA preserves these indigenous stories and ideologies through a medium that defies classification and perpetuates the rich cultural heritage and traditions of Hawai’i.

In 2016, MANAOLA left an indelible mark on Hawai‘i’s fashion history at Honolulu Fashion Week with his black and gold looks in honor of the ali’i (Hawaiian royalty) and their worldly travels. Each of his shows begin with traditional Hawaiian protocol including oli (chant) and hula as the foundation of his creativity. 

MANAOLA is humbled by this opportunity to represent Hawai’i with the brilliant artists who have supported his vision and hopes that this platform will open new doors to shine a light on the incredible creativity of our local community.  Your support of MANAOLA will allow us to represent Hawai’i through the many talented hands who will join us on this momentous occasion, including local hair stylists and makeup artists, models, musicians and more.


Click here for more information on how you can support this exciting endeavor and join us on on our greatest journey yet, far beyond our island home and onto one of the most prestigious fashion stages in the world.



Douglas Sniffen
RoseAnn Pohai Kealoha Crisafi-Scharfman
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John Doe