OUR PIÑA JOURNEY
The journey of our Piña Capsule is a special one. Each garment in our collection passes through many hands, and by happy coincidence – each of those hands are Filipino. We’re proud to share this capsule's journey and introduce the hands behind it.
Designed by co-founder Ivy Ocampo, this collection is inspired by the barong tagalog, the national garment of the Philippines. Made of piña, a delicately woven fabric made of pineapple fibers, the barong tagalog combines elements of indigenous Filipino and colonial Spanish styles and is usually adorned with elaborate embroidery detail. When developing things for MAAARI, we often look to our experiences as diaspora, how it defines our Fil-Am culture, and how we can tell that story through design. We envisioned the garments in this capsule to reflect our unique heritage – a version of the barong that aligned with our lifestyle. Being such newbs to apparel design, we sought guidance from our friend Gabriella Mozo, a fellow Filipina whose creative talent spans fashion, illustration, and furniture design. The result was four simple styles with multi-layering possibilities.
The designs were brought to life by friends and incredibly talented pattern makers, Clarissa and Bryan of HIPS Studio. An acronym for Hidden in Plain Sight, HIPS is a luxury design development studio that lives in the world of process and exploration, bringing their client’s vision to life with their skill and attention to detail. Clarissa and Bryan are a Filipino husband and wife duo who were recently featured in Vogue Runway for their work at NYFW.
Back in 2016 during a trip to the Philippines, we found ourselves on the back of motorbikes riding through fields of pineapple. It seems that piña was manifesting for us because on that same trip we met one of the founders of La Herminia, a family-run business specializing in piña weaving. Smitten with their beautiful fabric, we dreamt about what we could make with them one day. Several years later, when designing the capsule, we knew we wanted to use piña and La Herminia immediately came to mind.
Since 1996, La Herminia has been a steward of piña weaving in Aklan, Philippines (western Visayas) and has kept the tradition in its founding family for generations. With several fields of red bisaya (pineapples) at their Aklan base, La Herminia produces their own piña fibers from their harvest. First removing the leaves, a piece of porcelain is used to scrape and separate into fibers which are then washed and set out to dry in the sun. Once fully dry, the fibers are tied together from end to end to create a large bundle for weaving on hand looms. The result is a translucent cloth—soft, fine, and high in luster. Because the piña fibers are fine and delicate, carefully weaving with them can take 1-2 months. Janeth and Perlie are the masterful weavers behind our shifu (silk) blend and our custom tablero renggue (checkered weave).
When our piña fabric is finished, it makes its way to NYC, where our capsule pieces are sewn by Asunción Vidallo or “Tita Shonie”, an expert seamstress who has been sewing for over 40 years.
It is always MAAARI’s intent to produce with thoughtfulness, and we are grateful to be working with an amazing group of Filipinos on the Piña Capsule.
EXPLORE & SHOP THE PIÑA CAPSULE