Empowered Women Empower Women: A Look at the Valia Collection

Kailanianna Ablog

Posted on June 21 2022

Empowered Women Empower Women: A  Look at the Valia Collection

Written by Kailanianna Ablog 

Cover Photo Taken by Austin Bennett (@ausbennett) ll Model: Priscilla Wang (@thepriscillawang)

As a small, local, woman-owned business, we at Valia Honolulu believe that “empowered women empower women.” From uplifting our fellow small, woman-owned brands to sharing their products with our communities, we want women to be proud of their strength, feel confident, support each other, be comfortable in their skin and be kind to themselves.

It is with this desire that we created the Valia Collection, which has been in the works for over a year, powered by many years of dreaming and countless pivots and edits. On April 27th, we released the three styles for our first collection: the Sanae Maxi Dress, Mia Wrap Top, and Naomi Jumpsuit.

Making an Impact: From Print to Fabric

Photo Taken By Austin Bennett (@ausbennett) ll Model: Priscilla Wang (@thepriscillawang)

The Valia Collection would not have been possible without the amazing people we connected with throughout our journey as a small, woman-owned business. To make this dream a reality, we worked closely with like-minded, value-aligned businesses to ensure we honored and respected our mission as a women’s boutique.

The Valia Collection is handmade in the USA. Each style was designed with petite women in mind as most of us in Hawai‘i are vertically challenged and finding pieces being too long while shopping is a frequent disappointment. Styles come in sizes ranging from x-small to large (up to a size 16).

Photo Taken By Austin Bennett (@ausbennett) ll Model: Priscilla Wang (@thepriscillawang)

Since the beginning, we wanted to keep most, if not all, of our Valia Collection operations as local and USA-based as possible. This includes our pattern maker, who Camille made a connection with years ago at one of Valia Honolulu’s entrepreneur meetups. The Sanae Maxi Dress, Mia Wrap Top, and Naomi Jumpsuit are currently available in a Natural Black color, with more prints coming soon.

Along with our efforts to collaborate with fellow local businesses, we also sought to mitigate any damage done to the environment as a result of creating textiles. This is why our clothing is made with modal fabric. According to Jennifer Okafor, BSc. in an article for Trvst, modal fabric is “a semi-synthetic fiber and bio-based textile made from beech tree pulp” and an eco-friendly alternative to other rayon types, such as viscose. Jennifer mentions a few pros of modal fabric, which include fabric durability, pill-resistant, biodegradability, water absorbency and shrink resistance.

Our manufacturer is aligned with us on our eco-friendly mission as well, as they offer free mending on all pieces that come from their factory; this is in an effort to be more sustainable and prevent textiles from ending up in the landfill. The only cost to you is shipping. Please contact the shop for more details. 

Speaking of our manufacturer, we’re truly honored to work with them! As we mentioned, we wanted to ensure that we were able to work with Hawai’i- or USA-based businesses. Our manufacturer is based in Seattle, Washington, women-operated and social enterprise-aligned: they give jobs and training to refugees. Know that when you shop from the Valia Collection, you are also supporting the earth and small businesses working toward positive change for folks in the community.

The Inspirations Behind the Valia Collection

Photo Taken By Austin Bennett (@ausbennett) ll Model: Priscilla Wang (@thepriscillawang)
 

Each style was carefully designed and our motto through this process was to “take our time and get it right”. Each of the pieces released are named after three inspirational women that have helped our founder and owner Camille Heung along her entrepreneurial journey.

The Sanae Maxi Dress was named after Camille's mother, who has always encouraged Camille in all aspects of life. Camille says that without her mother, Valia Honolulu would likely not exist.

The Design of the Sanae Maxi Dress 

The maxi dress features a v-cut back with a tie, and can be dressed up for a night out on the town or dressed down for a comfy WFH day. The waist on the dress is between an empire and true waist with a flowy bottom. For our petite ladies, this dress is a true maxi. For our taller babes, the Sanae Maxi Dress will fall to a midi-length.

Photo Taken By Austin Bennett (@ausbennett) ll Model: Priscilla Wang (@thepriscillawang) wearing the Sanae Maxi Dress.

When Camille was designing this piece, she wanted to create something that could be semi-formal or somewhere in-between. The maxi dress combines Camille’s love of flattering features like flutter sleeves, v-neck lines and tie-backs. For those who love the cut of this dress, you may enjoy some new styles coming in the future! *hint*

Our Mia Wrap Top was named after Mia, Camille's colleague from her days working retail in Waikiki. According to Camille, Mia "reminded me to smile when I wanted to cry and constantly encouraged me to think beyond what I thought were my capacities to look at the bigger picture." The top is meant to be paired with your favorite pair(s) of pants. She’s great for a business casual look or days off!

The Design of the Mia Wrap Top

Camille wanted to create each piece in this collection for the “Girl on the Go”. This top offers the perfect amount of shoulder coverage for those who prefer sleeves. The top was designed to wrap across nicely so no camisole underneath is required. The cut of the piece is meant to fall where you can highlight your pants (or bottoms) of choice and has a nice tucked in look to it without the bulge of a tucked in top.

Photo Taken By Austin Bennett (@ausbennett) ll Model: Priscilla Wang (@thepriscillawang) wearing the Mia Wrap Top.

 

The Naomi Jumpsuit was named after Naomi, one of Camille's first bosses and mentors. Camille worked with Naomi in a small boutique at Manoa Marketplace, and helped Camille achieve that first stepping stone toward every other opportunity she had in retail (including opening Valia).

The Design of the Naomi Jumpsuit.

This is the first piece of the collection to be designed, and Camille’s personal favorite. When designing the jumpsuit, Camille wanted to make a flattering fit for most body types. The jumpsuit features a flattering cut with a v-neck, halter racerback with a back tie and cropped wide, flowy pants. It is made to be taken off easily (so no more fumbling with your outfit during bathroom breaks!), and has a shorter crop length and wide leg.

 

Photo Taken By Austin Bennett (@ausbennett) ll Model: Priscilla Wang (@thepriscillawang) wearing the Naomi Jumpsuit.

If you want to wear clothing designed and inspired by women, then you'll love our first collection. We have a lot of exciting additions planned (and in different prints), and hope you’re as excited as we are! Stay connected with us on our Instagram, Facebook and e-blasts for more information and updates regarding future releases.

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