Best of Honolulu 2015: Shopping
The 22 editorial and reader picks for the chic-est shopping in the city.
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Best Place to Buy Art
Photos: David Croxford
Brimming with original paintings and prints, turned-wood pieces, handcrafted jewelry and furniture, fused glass wares and office and housewarming gifts, Nohea Gallery is a veritable treasure trove of local art, a go-to for folks looking to pick up that next statement piece. Owners and mother-daughter duo Gail and Laurie Baron curate its collection with an exacting eye. “I look for originality and quality in design and execution,” says Laurie, an artist herself. The pair opened the gallery-boutique in 1990, inspired by the family’s matriarchs one generation back—Gail’s mother, a lifelong artist, passed down an appreciation for painting and ikebana, and Laurie’s paternal grandmother, who had worked at the Bishop Museum, spurred their love of the Islands. This summer, the Barons will be mixing things up a bit, adding a few new artists to their roster. “Roger Whitlock and Mark Norseth of the former Gallery at Ward Center are joining our painters Brenda Cablayan, Diana Lehr, Russell Lowrey, Fabienne Blanc, Cindy Conklin, Susie Anderson and gyotaku artist Naoki Hayashi,” says Laurie.
1050 Ala Moana Blvd., 596-0074
Best Aloha Attire
The Mainland may still be crowing about the novelty of aloha wear, but, here in the Islands, our attitudes have gotten a little ho-hum to this almost-cliché classic. Thank goodness for the breath of fresh air that is Manuheali‘i, a cool, contemporary take on a print tradition that’s still near and dear to our hearts. Owners Danene and Pono Lunn’s inspired infusion of Hawaiian spirit into a contemporary aesthetic has caused more than a few locals’ heads to turn, winning them a gaggle of fashionable enthusiasts. People can’t get enough of the brand’s menswear and women’s wear, in which well-loved Island flora get punched up in stylized prints, bold colored textiles and cuts that range from tight and edgy, to flowing and romantic. With two locations spanning either side of the Ko‘olau Range, shoppers can snag this stylish aloha spirit no matter which coast they call home.
Multiple locations, manuhealii.com
Best Jewelry Store
Yellow gold Maile leaf earrings, $359
Nowadays, its easy to throw on a trendy department store necklace or bracelet, but donning a Nā Hōkū jewelry piece, with 90-plus years of standout craftsmanship, expertise and history behind it, well, that’s an honor. At least, that’s how people describe it.
What we especially love is that all the breathtaking sparklers in Nā Hōkū showcases are classic, lifelong accessories created from premium gold and exquisite, flawless gems. They’re not six-month wear accessories, they have staying power, or more fittingly, star power.
Tahitian pearl necklaces, mosaic red ginger earrings, cascading waterfall pendants that resemble drops of liquid ice are a few radiant eye-catchers that attract daughters, mothers and grandmothers alike. And with new, Island-inspired pieces appearing from season to season, in Nā Hōkū’s signature romantic sculptural shapes and vibrant color ways, it’s time for women of all ages to play dress up.
Available at multiple Nā Hōkū locations, nahoku.com
Best Antique Shop
732 Kapahulu Ave., 737-3297
Best Beauty Department
Multiple locations, sephora.com
Best Furniture Store
Multiple locations, inspirationinteriors.com
Best Hardware Store
City Mill Co. Ltd
Multiple locations, citymill.com
Best Place for Home Accessories
Pier 1 Imports
Multiple locations, pier1.com
Best Place for Kitchenware
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 2220, 951-0088
Best Place to Go Shoe Shopping
1519 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Store #706, 953-6100