Photos and Creative Direction by Vincent Ricafort// Words by Aaron Katzeman
One of the many creative groups located in Kaka‘ako’s Lana Lane Studies—only a block away from ARVO—is Hawaiian Blue, a two-person team consisting of Tokunari Fujibayashi and Donna Miyashiro. The duo uses real indigo grown in Hawai‘i to hand-dye fabrics, shirts, and even OluKai shoes. Indigo dying has a long tradition, and it’s truly special that it is still being practiced today, especially locally here on O‘ahu.
Donna is like a mother figure to everyone at Lana Lane; she’s warm, wise, and busy but still always has time to make you feel positive and inspired. It should come as no surprise, then, that we wanted to collaborate with such caring and imaginative people.
We have worked with other artists on previous cups, but the cups we made with Hawaiian Blue are probably the most special because of the hands-on involvement. Literally! We hand-dyed cups until we finished one we liked the best, and then proceeded to print a batch of cups from that original mold/scan. Hawaiian Blue also worked with us on creating small picnic bags perfect for the beach (or for bringing more oranges to the shop when the OJ machine runs out). Donna hand- dyed every single bag, making them each one-of-a-kind and made with love.
Along with everything else, Donna is also very humble. Too humble to even let us take a photo of her with her beautiful creations. However, her hands are shown in some of these photos, and they tell just as powerful of a story.
Give support to Hawaiian Blue, read more about their process, and see what they’re up to on instagram.