GYPSY HAWAII: PARADISE FOUND

Directed by Daeja Fallas
Directed, edited and shot by Sunanda Sachatrakul
Model: Michelle Vawer
Graphics by Jordan Higa

Kate Ruggiero of Gypsy Hawaii, a colorful lingerie line, moved from New York to Hawaii six years ago. Everything is hand cut and hand sewn. Kate describes Hawaii as, “a source of inspiration and the perfect place to daydream.” 

When asked when she decided to start selling her underwear, she said, “I have a background in fashion and photography and when I moved out to Hawaii I spent a lot of time daydreaming and sketching and for some reason I felt like learning to sew again. I knew a bit when I was younger but wanted to really learn again. For my birthday, a few close friends gifted me with a cute little vintage machine. I wanted to make bikini bottoms and started working with jersey fabric and creating my perfect pair. I cut apart several different designs and kept testing out the fit until I created a style I loved.

Slowly my friends wanted pairs, and then with the help of my very talented friend, Daeja Fallas, we decided to photograph the pieces for fun for a lookbook. I honestly had no intention of starting a business. I really didn’t decide to do so until I tried them out on a First Friday event in the Arts District of Chinatown. A small boutique there called ETown Studios did a launch party for the pieces and it was the first time I could see how people would respond. They sold really well and sold out within the first few weeks in the boutique. It has been such an adventure and I love that I try to really hold onto the truth of it, that I never really started it with the intention of making money. Simply put, I just want to make beautiful things and enjoy it. And that being said, my friend Daeja truly pushed me to follow my heart and start the business.”

You can visit the Gypsy Hawaii site, here. Also Daeja Fallas’, here and my interview with her, here!

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