I love Hawaii. Everything about it — the beauty of the island, the blue of the ocean which seems to go on forever, the food, the aloha spirit (which does exist). I also love the inspirations behind the various jewelry collections from Vicente Agor (who, incidentally, grew up in Hawaii). Vicente is one of the designers who, in my opinion, really thinks about what he wants a specific collection to represent before he sets out to create it. It’s not just about pretty stones and pretty design — it’s about using those things to tell a story.
In his most recent collection, called Hokule’a, his inspiration is the story of how the first Hawaiians — Polynesians who traveled by double-hulled sailing canoe from Tahiti — arrived at the islands. Hōkūleʻa means star of gladness in Hawaiian and is also the Hawaiian name for Arcturus, the brightest star in the northern hemisphere. The voyage was reenacted in 1975, without use of modern navigation equipment to honor those initial expeditions by the islands’ ancestors.
According to Vicente, “In the 1970s, the Hawaiian people had become a caricature in hula skirts and loud printed shirts, and this voyage was empowering to the people. It reminded them that their ancestors had the wherewithal to navigate the oceans and use natural elements like the sun and stars to sail these long distances. And the interesting thing, in my mind, is that it motivated an entire generation to believe ‘you are greater than what you have been told.’ ”
In the Hokule’a collection, there are stylized gold versions of stars, water, moon and sun,the elements used to navigate the ocean, combined with conflict free diamonds and recycled 18K gold and gemstones. It’s a beautiful way to tell this story. We invite you to see it for yourself at our trunk show and Max’s 10th birthday celebration, this Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21. In keeping with what has become tradition at Max’s, a portion of the proceeds from the sales of Vicente’s jewelry will be donated to Life-Source and the University of Minnesota Transplant Fund.