OluKai hosts grand opening for new Wailea store on Friday
OluKai, crafter of Hawaiian-inspired footwear opens its newest retail location in Hawai‘i at The Shops at Wailea. The new retail space marks the fourth location in Hawai‘i, joining Whalers Village in Maui, as well as at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Chinatown on Oʻahu.
For The Shops at Wailea location, OluKai weaves the mo‘olelo “Ua ‘elepaio ia ka wa‘a” throughout its design. “This bird was believed to be the goddess of canoe makers, hence the saying ua ʻelepaio ʻia ka waʻa, the canoe is [marked] by the ʻelepaio,” according to the Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.
The design focuses on the theme of observation and knowing, one of the most important steps in canoe building, according to a grand opening announcement.
In collaboration with Keola Naka‘ahiki Rapozo of Fitted Hawai‘i, the mo‘olelo references both the ‘Elepaio manu (bird) and history of Wailea. The mo‘olelo is inlaid in brass at the threshold of the entrance while six images of the manu ali‘i cascade behind the cash wrap, designed by local artist Noa Emberson alongside a custom mural created by Shar Tuiasoa of Punky Aloha.
With Le‘a, the Hawaiian goddess of canoe builders and her form of ‘Elepaio in mind, Wayne Goo of Workshop HI, ensured custom-made wooden fixtures and artisan touches throughout, such as hand-carved interior displays by local craftsman Dae Son of Wood Hi and exterior woodwork by Bellos Millwork.
The theme of movement was also a source of inspiration with the use of kaula and reference to the wind that fills canoe sails. Slatted wood flooring as well as mixed tile and wood throughout honor the manu ali‘i and great migration story.
“I am excited to help represent OluKai as the brand continues to expand its presence and engage with the community in Maui,” said Archie Kalepa, OluKai Konohiki (caretaker). “OluKai continues to honor the sense of place and culture of Hawai‘i with each of its stores, and I’m grateful to join them in welcoming guests into the new space and sharing the mo‘olelo of Wailea with visitors.”
The Shops at Wailea location will offer the brand’s exclusive OluKai Golf collection for Men and Women, Men’s Lava Rock Collection, Men’s and Women’s Wai Camo Collection, as well as the Hawaiian Lifeguard Collection. The purchase of every OluKai product supports Ama OluKai Foundation, whose mission is to perpetuate culture and the aloha spirit. On Maui, proceeds will benefit the Maui Nui Makai Network and Manaiakalani, each dedicated to the education of local communities and conservation.
The new OluKai store is located on level one at The Shops at Wailea. A celebration for the grand opening of the Maui store is set for Friday, April 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The community is invited to enjoy live music by John Cruz, complimentary pūpū by Chef Kyle Kawakami of Maui Fresh Streatery, lei making and talk story with select artists and talent who brought the store to life.