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Fashion Rx

Stylish doctor-turned-designer Rupal Gohil has luxury down to a science.

Dr. Rupal Gohil

As she sits by the pool at The Modern Honolulu—shiny black hair, sultry smoky eyes, her dress flowing in the wind—one might think she’s just another pretty face, but Dr. Rupal Gohil is anything but. The Midwest native of Indian heritage is taking the word interdisciplinary to the next level. Not only is this talented multitasker an internal medicine physician, she is the owner/designer of MAIA Hawaii, a local handcrafted luxury resortwear line using fabrics and techniques from India.

Though her doctoral duties satisfy the left side of her brain, blending intricate Indian couture with the easy style of Hawai‘i exercises the right side. Her perfect attention to detail is apparent in all of her designs, producing about 10 pieces for each creation. “I want people to have that one-of-a-kind experience, and appreciate that each piece is meticulously crafted and handmade by expert artisans,” she says. Fans are taking note: Her collection is now carried at The Modern and The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. Gohil hasn’t forgotten gentlemen either, and is already at work on a new line of shirts with a touch of aloha.

Gohil’s inspiration for MAIA comes from the vibrancy of colors and rich cultures she’s found in both India and Hawai‘i. In fact, she learned traditional design techniques while living in the subcontinent as a teenager. As for the islands, she came upon a position at Castle Medical Center in Kailua while finishing her residency in Chicago. Ready for a change, she agreed to a one-year stint. Five years later, she has no plans of leaving and is busier than ever.

With an obvious eye for beauty and an innate desire to help people feel their best, the doctor just opened a new boutique medispa in hip Chinatown, offering Botox and collagen treatments. Between her practice and her business, Gohil amazingly finds time to paint, scuba dive and do some major jet-setting. Her usual itineraries? To India, for business and family, and London, to see her fiance. As for the future, Gohil is enthusiastic about taking MAIA abroad, with hopes that proceeds will one day fund a nonprofit in Hawai‘i. “I’ll always have one hand in medicine,” she explains. “It would be a waste of knowledge to not use my training. I know I can help people, so I will.”

Gohil’s Hots
Bright colors, Marchesa, Sriracha, Stevie Nicks, peonies, Lake Como (where my fiance propsosed)

Gohil’s Nots
Wedge sneakers, beer, fast food, the desert, baby’s breath flowers