Behind the Design | Sig Zane | ALOHA Collection


Deeply immersed in the traditional Hawaiian teachings of dance and ritual, Sig and his wife Nalani Kanakaʻole opened the doors to Sig Zane Designs in 1985 with a mission to educate and share their Hawaiian culture through beautiful, wearable designs. Today, their stories continue with every product and hula they perform while their son Kūhaʻo carries the torch further into the next generation.

behind the design

“I feel that this print is an embodiment of generational presence.” - Kūhaʻo Zane

Ka Uluwehi o ke Kai is a mele (song) composed by Edith Kekuhikuhipuʻuoneokohala Kanakaʻole, a cultural icon in Hawaiʻi and grandmother of COO/Creative Director Kūhaʻoʻīmaikalani Zane of Sig Zane Designs. The first verse expresses some of her favorite past times: “Such a delight to see, the great big ocean - so familiar and very cherished with its fragrance of the līpoa,” which is a type of seaweed that she remembers washing up onto the sand. Hawaiʻi was her home, which taught her what she shared with the world - the importance of knowing who you are and where you come from.

Her stories continue to live on through her lineage of hula at Hālau o Kekuhi and this mele in particular, through her ʻohana. Kūhaʻo shared with us that “ there’s a really cool parallel that exists between handwritten language and choreography of hula.”

 “The design work we do at Sig Zane Designs honors and embodies some of these lyrics and words.” - Kūhaʻo Zane

His father and Owner of Sig Zane Designs, Sig Zane himself, hand cut the līpoa in this print and paired it with another element from Ka Uluwehi o ke Kai, the maka ʻupena (eyes of the fish net), representing activities enjoyed by beachgoers. Its liner strips reflect the ocean waves washing up onto the sand or rocks at the beach. And what better way to line these bags than with the very lyrics being illustrated?

We are so honored to have been able to collaborate with and give back to this ʻohana by sharing their story with ours!

Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation

5% of profits from the ALOHA Collection sales of this collaboration will go back to the Edith Kanakaʻole foundation.