Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Lei ChicPanda-inspired eye makeup. Gothic Lolita babydoll dresses. Suntans the color of Orange Bang.

Some Japanese trends are better off lost in translation. Others, are worth grabbing hold of — like the super kawaii bags from the newly launched Mei Vintage line.

Honolulu-turned-Los Angeles designer Alice Huang pairs vintage kimono fabrics with soft leather remnants to create handmade eco-chic wallets, clutches, hobos and shoulder bags.

Lei ChicHuang began collecting the ceremonial kimonos while studying graphic design at UH Manoa. Her penchant for Art Deco and geometric prints shows in her fabric selections, which range from interlocking squares and wave-like swirls to vibrant red cranes and traditional Asian flower patterns.

Huang offers solid colored options as well. Her braided-strap hobos and wooden-handle clutches are made of all-leather exteriors, in rich chocolate and cognac hues — the supple cowhide and lambskin swatches carefully selected from a factory near her home.

In true Japanese fashion, all of the designs are impeccably finished and come replete with stylish details — both aesthetic (kimono fabric piping, hemp linings and zipper trims) and functional (magnetic clasps and handy interior pockets).


Mei Vintage bags are available online at www.meivintage.com and at Super Citizen, 22 S. Pauahi St., Chinatown, 808.599.4333.

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 in Permalink

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About Lei Chic

Lei Chic is a daily email and shopping blog that plugs you into Hawaii's newest and hottest boutiques, designers, trends, spas and salons, and more. You'll also discover all the cool events, dinners and sales happening around town in our Weekend Picks every Thursday. With Lei Chic, you'll get the inside scoop on what everyone will be talking about tomorrow – in your inbox today.

Lei Chic associate editor Natalie Schack has been a cultural anthropology student,museum worker bee and dabbler in graphic design. When she isn't scouting new fashion, compiling to-do lists or crafting puns, Natalie spends her free time dreaming up elaborate picnic ideas; "researching" via YouTube tutorials, blogs and Instagram; and dusting off her pith helmet for the next adventure life throws her way.

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