Beautifully crafted with an interesting point of inspiration and a unique use of materials in footwear. The techno bohemian in all of us wanted a pair!
My design solution was reached by keeping the construction of the shoe simple, the
materials used raw, and the design as “native” to the ancient Hawaiian lifestyle as possible.
The primary upper materials used: Hair-on Cow leather, Camel leather, Coconut shell and crushed red velvet. The sole: Hard leather and rubber topped with a anatomically shaped compression molded midsole made of an EVA and natural cork composite material. This component along with the shape of the upper maintains the high level of fit and support inherent in all OluKai footwear styles.
I set out to answer this question – “If the Hawai’ian Ali’i were still in power today. If their beautiful
and majestic nation with it’s unique customs and style was still thriving in the context of
today’s modern world, what would their royal style of dress, and specifically their
footwear be like and look like?”.
My process that went into the design of this shoe was to clearly understand the simple
and minimal nature of the Ali’i’s unique style and then transport that essence into
today’s modern context.
Initially we researched the Ali’i. Their style, customs and culture. What we found was
a unique “Apua’a” system in which everyone lived and worked in harmony with their
incredibly comfortable and fertile natural environment. This is also where we found
the phrase “Pupukahi I Holomua” (Unite in Order to Progress) which is engraved of the product.
the product. We also researched the Ali’i ruler’s clothing and adornments. Things such as
their beautiful feather cloaks, their necklaces made with hair, bone, teeth, shell, plant fiber,
fiber, wood etc.. Other important requirements that were addressed by the team though out
the development process were to keep intact the durability and high construction quality
that OluKai products are known for.
This collection is limited to only 300 pair produced of each color and is sold only through
the OluKai website and in select boutique’s. For every 3 pair Box Set purchased, OluKai
will plant an endemic Koa tree in Maui’s Honokowai Valley restoration project.