Meet Heliaki

Founded by Community Organizer Celina Tupou-Fulivai, Heliaki is Breaking Barriers With Apparel to Create Representation for Pacific Islanders and Bring Awareness to Pacific Islander Issues.

Heliaki, by definition is a Tongan poetic device that makes use of metaphors and layered meaning, circumventing a direct approach for one that repeatedly speaks from different angles to achieve a goal. In this, hidden meanings must be unraveled layer by layer for them to be understood, for, at times, one cannot comprehend poetry by simply examining it. Heliaki derives meaning from experience, from culture, family, neighbors and community. Heliaki is uncompromising and is felt wholeheartedly. 

At the intersection of art and activism is storytelling. Using Tongan Heliaki, our garments are a form of storytelling that promotes critical thinking, sparks conversations, and inspires empathy when you unravel their hidden meanings.

Pacific Islanders have long suffered intergenerational trauma and racial inequities due to colonization, militarization, climate change, and nuclear testing. Our collective survival and healing is dependent on our ability to disrupt the historic invisibility of Pacific Islanders. Achieving representation, leadership, and influence allows our community to build power and mobilize to advance justice, equity, and self-determination for our people.

Heliaki was created to be a vessel of restorative justice and healing for indigenous Pacific Islander’s through streetwear.

Rooted in Black Liberation, streetwear is a visual manifestation of culture and society, utilizing accessible garments like the t-shirt, streetwear acts as an incredibly visible vehicle to evoke social change.


 Join The Movement. Save The Pacific.