This Local Boutique Lets You Travel Across the Globe Without Leaving Hawai‘i
Set course for this Kaka‘ako fashion destination.
Owners Yuki Peterson (left) and Mayo Kawamura.
Photos: aaron K. Yoshino
A funny thing happens once you’re in Here, the chic little womenswear boutique that opened on Auahi Street. You suddenly find yourself dreaming about everything out there. Way out there, off in the far corners of the world.
That’s because owners Mayo Kawamura and Yuki Peterson have curated a truly unique assortment of artisanal small-batch wares, culled from around the globe, that induces major (and we mean major) wanderlust at every turn. “We wanted to create a place where people could discover something new every time they visited,” says Peterson.
The Japan natives are particularly well-suited for the task. Kawamura moved to O‘ahu in 1999 to study fashion design and merchandising at UH Mānoa, and went on to work as a buyer-designer for trendy Honolulu boutiques Marqet and Le Grand Marqet. At the same time, Peterson was building up her own résumé in Tokyo as a designer and assistant buyer. She arrived in the Islands in 2011 and the two became fast friends, bonded by their shared love of style and surfing.
At Here, Peterson handles all of the buying. “Yuki has a knack for finding up-and-coming independent brands,” says Kawamura, who in turn takes care of daily operations. “We try to find ones that no one else knows.” To avoid anything too mainstream they skip the standard tradeshows, reaching out directly to designers. “Often they’re also a team of just one or two, so we actually get to talk to them and get to know them,” she says.
Sparsely decorated, the space exudes the same modern resort vibe as the shop’s eclectic merchandise. Kawamura and Peterson softened its industrial elements—the concrete floor, exposed ceiling and sleek garage door that acts as a retractable exterior wall—with earthy textural touches, including straw floormats, supple leather loungers and a massive live-edge wood table, all brought over from Bali.
Leven’s sculptural porcelain earrings.
designer paloma wool does all of her own artwork.
Currently, a spin around the room whisks you away to Spain, Indonesia, Australia, the U.S. Mainland and back. From Barcelona, scoop up Leven’s sculptural porcelain earrings and designer Paloma Wool’s serpent-print tops. “Her pieces are really interesting—she does all of her own artwork,” says Peterson of the latter. Helmed by twin sisters, Gimaguas (a favorite of Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine) offers comfy hemp tees and raffia sandals. Hanging on the back wall are Bali-made market totes and basket bags, which pair perfectly with Byron Bay label St. Agni’s handmade leather slides.
U.S. stopovers include J. Hannah, the nontoxic nail polish line from L.A. fine jewelry designer Jess Hannah, and First Rite Clothing’s cropped knit tanks and high-waist cotton pants. From Maui, snag Altar Ceramic’s rustic cork-topped canisters and cleansers from organic beauty line Oshan Essentials, created by a surfer to care for her sun-ravaged skin. “We both love the ‘Ele face wash,” says Peterson.
Next month, who knows? You’ll have to come back to check out the brand-new travel itinerary.
685 Auahi St., #2-115, (808) 369-2991.