I buried my dad the last time I was home. When I walked back into the house there was no one there. It was quiet and the feeling that dad was not home made me feel lonely. But shortly after that feeling, I could hear him telling me "It's good to see you but don't waste your time thinking about me. I'm fine! You've got so many other things to worry about. Did you come on business? I'm glad you stopped by to see your mom. How long are you gonna be here? Hurry and get back home to the kids." I like to get home as often as I can. It was great to see mom again. Get back to see your folks. They will appreciate it. Those bonds and feelings will last long after they are gone. Hopefully they are happy ones. Fortunately for me, they have been.
Before launching the IKUNA line, we thought long and hard about the direction it would take. It would have been easy to throw designs together that were funny, got a good laugh, aesthetically beautiful but empty, etc. It was important for us to make sure that the feel and the message of the line reflected progression, history, culture, direction, and of course some urban style. We hope those things are encompassed in what we've delivered and what we will continue to deliver.
IKUNA means victory, the ability to overcome; to win and achieve. Our parents taught us to take advantage of opportunities that are available. The knowledge they came with from the islands were very advanced in some ways and very limited in others. Even though I am Tongan by blood, I was born and raised in the US. I am very proud of both cultures and feel blessed to be able to look from both sides of the glass and share both perspectives. I am amazed at how far we have come and where I am today but I know we can do better.
The story behind IKUNA began in Oakland. Polynesian roots mixed with that Urban Oakland flavor. I am a product of that mix, that culture, that heritage. Our expression of it comes out in the pieces we put out. Each piece has a story and we'll share those stories as we go along. We know our stories aren't unique to us. We all have them. Pretty soon, we will provide a platform for each of you to share your story.
Our next release date coming sometime during the Spring but before Summer 2013. New colors, new designs. Women's and most likely a few pieces for the youngsters.