Aupuni Space presents Nake‘u Awai (Tropic Editions)
Edited by Marika Emi
Saddle Stitch, 60 pp
7 x 9 inches
Edition of 150
Aupuni Space presents Nake‘u Awai is a zine commemorating a fashion show produced in July 2021 as a tribute to Native Hawaiian designer Nake‘u Awai. The show, which took place at Kaimana Beach Hotel’s historic second floor ballroom, featured a diverse group of models consisting of artists and friends of the organizers. The show was a re-presentation of Nake‘u Awai’s distinctive career through a contemporary lens, featuring garments, objects, and ephemera from his annual fashion shows over the last 45 years.
Nake‘u Awai and his Kalihi shop have been an important, if not underappreciated, staple in the local community and aloha wear industry for decades. The richness of his printed textiles and the narratives embedded in his garments were recontextualized in this show by a genderqueer, experimental, critical vision of what it means to don aloha wear in the 21st century. The show was an homage to Nake‘u’s sharp, exacting, ever-youthful eye, his playfulness and humor, and his willingness to push the envelope, creatively and stylistically.
Contributors: Photographs by Vincent Bercasio and Jason Chu.
A beautiful original sountrack for the fashion show by Ted De Oliveira (aka FRNTBZNZZ) is available to stream here.