Last year, Hawaiian Airlines reached out to me to do a collaboration with them for International Womens Day in March. WHAT A HUGE OPPORTUNITY! When I met with their Marketing Team, it was clear that we somehow wanted to honor our culture and women who have paved the way for us as Hawaiians and Indigenous people. As I thought about where I envisioned this project going, three women came to mind. These women, these Mō'ī Wāhine, have done remarkable things for our lāhui and have set the course that leads us from our past through our future.
Queen Lili’uokalani was our last monarch before the Overthrow and persevered through much adversity during her life & reign as Queen (& even after). Her favorite flower was said to be Pua Kalaunu.
Queen Kapi’olani was Queen Lili’uokalani’s sister in law, married to King Kalākaua. Among her accomplishments is the establishment of what is now Kapi’olani Medical Center, which continues to provide the best care for women and children. Her favorite flower was said to be Pīkake.
Queen Emma saw what smallpox was doing to the population of Native Hawaiians and wanted to create a hospital focused on Native Hawaiian health. She founded Queen’s Medical Center, which has become a renowned hospital here in Hawai’i. Her favorite flower was said to be ‘ilima.
We took the favorite flowers of these Queens and weaved them into our print, which we've named Auali'i. Auali'i means "royal, chiefly".
Separately, these women have created legacies that have fought for women of their time, our time, and times to come. Together, they have shown the power of women to do good and create change.
I hope we feel this empowerment through this design & that we are reminded what we can do individually but also together. The future is wāhine.
Mahalo NUNUI to Hawaiian Airlines for partnering with us on this collection. It came out so beautiful and is filled with so much intention and meaning. I am beyond honored to be given this opportunity and hope that the impacts of this launch last far into the future.