Four Seasons Resort Lana‘i Debuts New Uniform Collection Inspired by the Island’s Rich Landscape

May 4, 2022,
Hawaii, Lanai, U.S.A.

The award-winning Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i introduces a new uniform collection designed specifically for the property by Manaola Yap. Inspired by his cultural upbringing as a native Hawaiian hula practitioner, self-taught fashion designer Manaola Yap translates Hawaiian spirituality and landscapes into prints that echo patterns found in nature. Colleagues throughout the Resort including from Front Office, Housekeeping and Love Lāna‘i teams will wear pieces featuring shades of umber and brick, breen, cream, blue and doeskin, reflecting special places across the island.

Manaola presents the Lāna‘ikāula design, an exclusive hand-carved motif inspired by the Makani Pāwili - the twisting and swirling wind of Lāna‘i that shapes the body of the land and vegetation. While visiting the island, Manaola observed the unique way the wind influenced the branches of the lama, wiliwili, and ‘ie‘ie trees to grow in a curled and twisted fashion resembling kaula (cordage) or a lei made of the island vine, kauna‘oa. As he listened deeply to the history shared with him of the sacred places and ways of the ancient ones, he began to weave Lāna‘i’s storied past with its flourishing present. Like the layered interpretations revealed in an indigenous-style of poetry, the spiral helix pattern found in this design has many interconnections and facets that create visual imagery with profound meanings.

The creation story shares that Lāna‘ikāula was born from the union of two deities, Wākea, sky father and Kāulawahine, a powerful and gifted prophetess. According to ancient mythologies, the Makāula (prophets) of Lāna‘i would use kaula in their ceremonial rituals to grant them the ability to establish connections to realms beyond this veil of time and space. The kaula is symbolic of a spiralling conduit of knowledge linking the people to the island like an umbilical cord. The Lāna‘ikāula pattern intertwines these living stories with artistic symbolism creating a design intended to honour the spirit and beauty of the land.

Wahi pana (storied places) across the island inspired the collection’s palette:

  • Keahiakawelo - Legend says that Kawelo, a famous priest of Lāna‘i, kept a fire burning as he offered prayers on behalf of Lāna‘i’s people, protecting them from another priest on Molokai. The people flourished as his prayers were so strong the area was named Keahiakawelo (the fire of Kawelo). Featuring lava boulders of all shapes and sizes, the area’s lack of vegetation creates stunning colours and shadows with the changing daylight.
  • Kānepu‘u – The preserve feature 462 acres (187 hectares) of Lāna‘i’s last remaining dry land forest, containing 48 native species that once covered the dry lowlands of all the main Hawaiian Islands.  
  • Kō‘ele - is interpreted as, “darkness drawn down.” It may be concluded that the name refers to the heavy, moisture-laden clouds that travel down the mountain gulches and settle in this region. Nearby guests ride on horseback near Kākaʻalani, interpreted as “tumbling heavens,” nodding to the banks of clouds that cascade over the sides of the mountains.

After creating a concept for a pattern, Manaola hand-carves his designs into bamboo laths, thin pieces of wood used in a traditional Hawaiian stamping technique called ‘ohe kāpala, which are used in a traditional Hawaiian stamping technique that is an art and practice dating back to the arrival of Peoples of the Pacific. In traditional Hawaiian artistic thought, these repetitious patterns emulate nature and create a powerful symmetry, which Manaola refers to as “sacred geometry.”

Four Seasons Resorts Lāna‘i is committed to caring for the land and understanding, preserving, and sharing the island’s culture, traditions and history throughout its operations. Conserving energy and precious natural resources, developing strategic partnerships, implementing sustainable practices and engaging colleagues in education and stewardship allow the Resorts to respect and care for its island home. Through Love Lāna‘i, guests can experience the island’s unique living environment and cultural-historical legacy that spans nearly 1,000 years of Hawaiian residency and a diverse cultural heritage though a variety of tours, demonstrations, and cultural experiences through unique, authentic and respectful programming.