I’ve eagerly awaited this year’s release from Kanilea Pen Company, the Aolani, because the rumors turned out to be true and this pen is a departure from previous Kanilea releases: a darker-colored pen, and purple to boot! “Aolani” means “heavenly clouds,” and it’s a fitting name. Swirls of purple, silver, dark blue, black, and gray are all visible throughout the acrylic. As my interest in pens and stationery has matured, I’ve become increasingly drawn to unique materials, as opposed to new shapes or design profiles. While occasionally a new design will move me, I feel that most innovation these days comes on the materials front, which is where Kanilea really grabs me. They nailed the acrylic on the Aolani, and the pattern and color combination evokes the transition between night and day that’s only visible at dawn.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
I haven’t yet seen a pen from Kanilea that I don’t like, and Aolani is certainly no exception. Purple pens sell extremely well, and I expect that Aolani is going to sell out quickly at next week’s upcoming D.C. Pen Show, much like the Hanauma Bay and Haleakala Silhouette pens have in the past. If Aolani has piqued your interest, I’d make plans to jump on it quickly!
Kanilea Pens can be purchased directly from Kanilea Pen Company, either through their website or in person at a pen show. Though it may not be an option for everybody, if at all possible I strongly recommend attending a show and picking out your pen in person. Not to ensure you “get a good one” - they’re all good - but to pick the material that speaks to you the most and to have the opportunity to work with Hugh to tune your nib and ensure that it writes exactly the way you want it to write. All of my Kanileas have been purchased in person and write to perfection. Check out my prior reviews of the Kanilea Mauna Kea, as well as my Nui Nalu and Hanauma Bay Fountain Pens.
The Aolani is available now, starting at $395.00 for a pen with a steel nib, $520 with a gold. Since all pens are handmade, online orders typically take 14-16 weeks for fulfillment, but Kanilea always comes to shows with a healthy stock of pens, and you’ll get one as long as you make them one of your first stops in D.C.!
Disclaimer: Kanilea Pen Company loaned me the pen featured in this post for review purposes, free of charge. Many thanks to Hugh, Karol, and the rest of the team at Kanilea for making this review possible.