Generation Ave x Koahware Collaboration

by Renee Flanders
Most of y’all know that in addition to being the owner of Generation Ave, I am also a photographer and have been for over 10 years. Everything I do is intentional and with a purpose, so fusing my love for photography and my love for fashion under one entity was a natural step for me! With that said, I enjoy conceptualizing projects that keep my creative wheels spinning! I was inspired by Ronnie Fieg and his ability to design his collections at Kith in partnership with his favorite brands. I wanted to find a way to showcase some of my favorite local entrepreneurs, while simultaneously providing them an opportunity to step in front of the camera and model Generation Ave pieces that reflect their business. So without further ado, I am stoked to introduce to y’all Camille from Koahware!
Camille is a Filipino-American mother of 4 based out of Salinas, California. Known in the 831 for her highly-sought after baked Mochi Donuts, Camille’s goal is to introduce her customers to unique Asian flavors while elevating familiar flavors. One Koahware box contains 6 different mochi donuts — each one thoughtfully designed and baked to perfection.
For this project, I thought “What if I styled 6 looks inspired by 6 donuts?” The thought was so obscure (and kinda corny lol) but then I was like hold up… this could be a fun and interesting way to connect with another business owner *and* have fun with fashion! And if it’s one thing I know about Camille, is that she loves fashion and thrifting! She is always dressed super stylish and she also sells pre-owned clothes and housewares (@koahwarethrift). So I hit her up and we made it happen!  This first look is inspired by the Fruit Pebbles Mochi Donut!
I first met Camille in 2021 when we both participated in a pop-up hosted by our homegirl Ashley (@saloneightseven). We were both so busy working our booths and didn’t have much time to chat— but I could tell right from the jump that she was hella cool and someone I could vibe with! She was also the first person that came to mind when I thought of collaborating on a curated collection.
Camille grew up all over the place - Hawaii, San Francisco, Vallejo - but she always comes back to Monterey County. After her oldest child, Koah (hence Koahware), was born in 2017, she and her husband founded Koahware which began as a t-shirt screen printing company. In 2020, Koahware was rebranded and they introduced the bakery aspect of the business.
“Quarantine Eats” is the main reason Camille started baking. Bored during the shut down, she started trying out new recipes. She made the mochi donuts for friends & family and then started getting purchase requests from strangers. That is how Koahware Mochi Donuts came to be! “It started out as just a fun way to put money on the table” says Camille, “but it's turned into my passion, my creative outlet, & most importantly, an example for my four kids”. Camille’s children mean everything to her. With the support of her husband, in addition to the cheering from her kids, she helps foster happiness among other families with her donuts!
This look is inspired by the Koahware Thai Tea Mochi Donut. Camille is wearing a Boohoo Button-Up Tunic, Aldo Desmarais Bootie, and Coach Polished Pebble Leather Wristlet all available at Generation Ave. 
As it turns out, Camille and I have so much in common! Like me, she, is self-taught and has learned many lessons through trial and error. We both come from creative families. My grandmother, Dianne Lyle (Ms. Dianne as she’s lovingly referred to by the community), has been a dance instructor in Monterey County for over 30 years. My dad is musically gifted. My late-mother was super crafty and loved making hand-made gifts. One of my grandfathers was a poet. My other grandfather is a film and digital photographer. My daughter (who happens to also be named Camille lol) is only 7-years-old— but has a very promising future as a visual artist. Photography, like fashion, has always been a form of self-expression for me. This is what baking is for Camille!
Camille is the first in her family to have her own business and though she has no formal education or prior baking experience, she takes pride in her taste-testing skills! Camille credits her creative family (especially her parents) for allowing her to be herself while growing up. She pours her creativity and passion into her baked mochi donuts and she loves all of the support she receives in our community.
This look is inspired by the @koahware Cookie Butter Mochi Donut. This treat has a butter mochi donut base dipped in a cookie butter glaze. It is dusted in crushed biscoff cookie bits and topped with a Lotus Biscoff Cookie.
I wanted to represent the monochromatic aspect of this donut by styling Camille in different shades of brown. She is photographed wearing a Rare Vintage Michael Kors Brown Houndstooth Blazer (most likely produced in the late 80s), a Kangol Tweed Peebles Hat, and Leather Ankle Boots. 
I wasn’t surprised to learn that fashion is a huge influence for Camille. She is a walking representation of her brand. I love how she uses her style as motivation when creating new flavors and details for the glaze on the Koahware Mochi Donuts!
Camille’s love for thrift stores began when she was a kid. She would go with her mom to Savers in South SF and that’s where the creative light bulb went on! “I was 4-years-old turning necklaces into headbands” says Camille. Her favorite way to style her outfits was to mix dressy high-end pieces with casual cheaper priced clothing. Camille believes second-hand shops are the best way to achieve that because they have something for everyone— and I totally agree!
I styled Camille in a look inspired by the Koahware Cookies n Cream Mochi Donut! She is seen wearing a White/Black Trench Coat made from 100% silk, black patent leather pants, a Deadstock Vintage White Button-Up Shirt, Sam Edelman Hadlee Suede Studded d'Orsay Pump in black, and a white Michael Kors Ciara Saffiano Leather Satchel. 
Also as a side note, this is my favorite Koahware mochi donut so when you see me scarfing one down at the pop-up mind your business lol
The last two looks from our #generationavexkoahware collab are inspired by the S’mores Mochi Donut and the Cookie Monster Mochi Donut!

The S’mores look features a “one size fits all” Jones New York Shawl, Frye Company Brown Leather Riding Boot, Guess Grey Crossbody Bag, and New In Box Hunter Boot Socks that were gifted to Camille after the shoot (lol).

The Cookie Monster look features one of our wall pieces- a New With Tags Oscar de la Renta dress from their Fall 2013 collection. This sleeveless dress has a rich teal color, v-neckline, notched lapel, and flares at the waist. Made from 100% Silk Brocade. The dress is styled with a Brown Leather Knee High Boot from Sesto Meucci and Leather Tote from Steve Madden.
Getting to know Camille this week has been more than just a business opportunity— It has been a breath of fresh air! So dope to work with someone I can relate to!  Thank you for all of the love this week as we rolled out this fun campaign on Instagram and Facebook! Looking forward to meeting everyone October 16th when Koahware pops up at the shop! Be sure to get here at 11 because treats will be available to buy until 2pm or until they sell out! They will also be introducing a *new* mochi donut flavor in collaboration with Generation Ave! Follow @koahware on Instagram to place future orders and check out the full menu!
- Renee Flanders (@reneeflanderss)