Kamalu & Kalehua Fung |
If you meet this sibling duo, there is an energy that is youthful yet deep. Kamalu designs Aloha shirts at Sig Zane Designs and his sister, Kalehua is a poet who was recently awarded as the 2022 Hawaiʻi Youth Poet Laureate. Being Native Hawaiian they both have integrated ways to stay connected with their culture through celebration and preservation which I've found inspiring.
I actually met Kamalu at my second or third market here in Hawai'i. He immediately gravitated towards our multi colored checkered rework pant and had went back and forth on whether he should get them. Even circled the market a few times if I remember correctly. ;) But fate brought him back and he purchased the pair of pants which from what I heard (and saw), he wore often and looked good doing so! I didn't get to know him too much in that interaction but the week or so after I got a text from a family member with a picture of Kamalu in his pants at her house... turns out he was a good friend of hers that enjoyed the frequent good music & vinyl hangs. It was a quick reminder that we live on an island haha.
I met Kalehua at First Fridays and the launch event of TCP at Bās Bookshop in Chinatown. She was shy but spoke with her youthful energy and eclectic style. I remember she expressed her excitement for our rework which these types of interactions I never take for granted. Later I found out she purchased one of our wavy pants from the bookshop and lived in them (as it should be!). So much so she messaged me one day that she got them stained and was devastated BUT we chatted through it (baking soda, white vinegar or even oxyclean will be your friend if this happens to you too) & hopefully she still found them unique and fully wearable (as they should be!)
When many people see TCP from the "outward" appearance it can seem heavily influenced by a youthful presence (maybe we're just young at heart? ;)) but I'd like to believe at the core, there is substance that is timeless. These two represent this side of TCP.
Below you'll find a short video clip of them and their journey of self-exploration.
Thank you both, Kamalu and Kalehua for authentically representing your heritage and pushing Hawai'i forward with your passions. I am grateful that you saw what was special in TCP when I first arrived back home. ❤️
Photography by Brandyn Liu