This large forest fern known in Hawaiʻi as the ʻamaʻu, is one of the first species to grow from the barren lava landscapes that make up most of the Big Island. This incredibly harsh landscape is no match for the ʻamaʻu which is just as much at home in these water-starved habitats as it is in wetter forests. It is one of the most wide-spread species that can be found on almost every island in the archipelago. One of the most beautiful and distinguished characteristics of the ʻamaʻu is its new fronds unroll in bright red, orange and yellow gradients.
About the Artist
Designed in collaboration with Malia Heimuli, a fine artist based in Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu. Inspired by her experiences in mālama ʻāina, her artwork focuses on showcasing native species, wahi pana, and their importance in Hawaiʻi. Through various types of fine art mediums, especially line drawings and block printing, her art shares her love of native plants and animals.
It was a winning combination of creative conversations during pau hana, ingenuity and a desire to honor the culture of Hawaiʻi that Aloha Modern came to be. The designs of the brand’s products from its beach towels to bedsheets are inspired by the stars, ocean and landscapes–as seen from an island-rooted perspective. Through their brand, founders Mālia Kaʻaihue and Reyn Mukawa offer products that can be used in daily life, but have the heart of an heirloom. The duo’s prints authentically share island stories, honor the past, all while offering a genuine product for generations to come.
By day, Kaʻaihue is president of DTL, a strategy, design, and communication studio grounded in Hawaiian culture. The architecture firm, where Mukawa works, specializes in environmentally and culturally appropriate designs that add value to the community. Aloha Modern began as a creative project for Kaʻaihue and Mukawa to dive into after their day jobs. However, the ethos of their work—to develop and foster authentic Hawaiʻi stories—pulses through the heart of their shared business.
The brand started with bags and round towels as its owners found that locals sought something that was more in line with their taste and not designed for tourists. Aloha Modern designs are intimate, as its founders say they design for their families. While Aloha Modern inspiration remains close to home, the genuine reflection of local culture is an aspect of its brand that has attracted other international markets. Today, the company has even earned a significant interest from customers in Japan.Within the last four years, Ka‘aihue and Mukawa’s collaboration has led to a thriving lifestyle brand. Apparent in its prints, the original desire of Aloha Modern's founders has materialized. These days, their line of products includes apparel, beach blankets, towels, bedsheets and totes. Each item on Aloha Modern's shop is accompanied by amoʻolelo (story) in the product description, which explains the meaning behind the item’s name and design.