Edit ModuleShow Tags

Shop Upcycles Vintage Alohawear into New Designs in Kailua

Mu‘umu‘u Heaven Boutique Quietly Resurrected Across Town.


muumuu heaven


Mu‘umu‘u Heaven—whose founder built a thriving boutique a decade ago with a vintage clothing reboot—is back in Windward O‘ahu with modern twists on turning discarded alohawear into contemporary styles.


The effervescent Deb Mascia opened the rebooted shop last year in Kailua after nearly three years away from the O‘ahu retail scene. A native of Melbourne, she gives away her Australian upbringing with her phrasing. 


“Crazy serendipity!” is how she describes the way she found and outfitted a newer smaller shop across the municipal parking lot from local breakfast favorite Cinnamon’s Restaurant. And she recently expanded to opening daily: Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


SEE ALSO: Inside HONOLULU: Confessions of a Kailua Resident



Fans will recognize familiar looks in some of the halter dresses and bags she was known for the first time around. But now they are joined by new styles, a baby doll, off-the-shoulder, short-sleeved dresses and jumpsuits.


And she just designed a more traditional long dress that reminds her of something that would look great on someone who teaches hula: “It’s really elegant,” she says. 


She’s also still whipping up pouches of many sizes, accessories, jewelry, along with some pieces she’s found on her travels.






The concept drew international coverage and celebrity clientele that included President Barack Obama—who wore an aloha sash with his formal attire— wife Michelle, and daughters, Malia and Sasha, as well as musician Jack Johnson, actresses Eva Mendes and Cameron Diaz.


Mascia remains passionate about repurposing mu‘umu‘u and aloha shirts that have been thrown away or donated into modern styles that give them a second life. She estimates that her customers areevenly split between residents and visitors.


This time she is focused on fashion and not adding artwork to the mix.  The new store is whimsical with painted clouds and a flamboyant headboard hangs above the shop’s counter. Mascia points out it had belonged to rocker Frank Zappa’s mother, then was donated to her by the Zappa family after the matriarch passed away.


SEE ALSO: The Best Boutiques in Kaimukī





Mascia has enjoyed the chance to connect with old customers and have new ones find her.


In 2015, Mascia moved out of the Davis Building near the entrance to Kailua after the rent soared. She likes the new place next to a curio/antique shop with other small businesses nearby.


“This is where the mom-and-pop shops are and the local businesses are with character and appeal,” Mascia says. Ever the entrepreneur, Mascia said in September that she’s checking out opening a new space, in Los Angeles.




326 Ku‘ulei Road, #2, Kailua


Read more stories by Robbie Dingeman 


Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine July 2020
Edit ModuleShow Tags



9 Greatest Honolulu Homes

Great Homes

Stunning, historic, extraordinary.


Can the Mainland Do Poke Right? Do We Want Them To?​


Martha Cheng, author of The Poke Cookbook and former line cook, talks about how a New York City publisher decided Hawai‘i’s favorite pūpū was for everybody.


50 Essential Hawai‘i Books You Should Read in Your Lifetime


The most iconic, trenchant and irresistible island books, as voted by a panel of literary community luminaries.


Everything You Need to Know About Local Fruit in Hawai‘i


Fruits are part of our history and culture, a way for us to feel connected to our community.


A Local’s Guide to Buying Reef-Safe Sunscreen


Five Hawai‘i brands have created reef-safe sunscreens that are safe for your ʻohana and the ocean. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags