Best of Honolulu 2014: Shopping
The 23 editorial and reader picks for chic-est shopping, plus one readers’ pick from our Best of Honolulu 2014 issue.
Best Place To Find Locally Designed Swimsuits
Known for its well-rounded collection of swimsuits and bikinis, Rebecca Beach tightly focuses on stocking local designers. Browse through its tropical-color-coded racks and find every shape imaginable from sexy Letarte monokinis to Acacia’s wildly tribal-printed cutout bikinis and bottoms. Bonus: The extremely friendly and helpful staff gives the best recommendations for suits that stay within your comfort zone and still make you feel irresistible.
Rebecca Beach, Multiple locations, rebeccabeach.com
Best Modern-Style Boardshorts
Aloha Sunday Supply Co.’s lineup of vintage-inspired boardshorts is crushing the surf-wear competition. The San Diego-based company, helmed by Kamehameha alum Kahana Kalama, is known to cut its surf trunks right above the knee, slim down leg openings and add fun details that include a secret credit-card pocket. Out this season is a new ingenious style that can be worn cruising the city and hitting the surf. Made from ripstop, a nylon fabric that is durable and fast-drying due to a special weaving process, the two-in-one shorts cut down on changing time and are available in a variety of Hawaii-inspired prints. Matsumoto shave ice, anyone?
Aloha Sunday Supply Co., Available at Oliver Men’s Shop, 49 Kihapai St., 261-6587
For townies, getting to the Mikinola boutique, tucked away in Koko Marina Center, may be a bit of a trek. But to fans of the popular clothing shop, the drive is well worth it. At the end of that asphalt rainbow is a pot brimming with fantastic fashion finds hard to come by anywhere else on the island. Owner Dara Fujio thoughtfully curates the mix, which has recently included breezy, tribal-print maxis from Indah, flirty frocks and jumpsuits from Australian labels Style Stalker and Mink Pink, and Mara Hoffman swimwear. Fujio also handles all of Mikinola’s social media. Its Instagram account specifically has developed a cult following among shoppers, thanks to frequent posts showcasing new merchandise, photographed by Fujio on sale people turned impromptu models. New images go up daily, sometimes every few hours, offering enticing sneak peeks, styling ideas and just enough incentive to hit the road.
Mikinola, Koko Marina Center, 394-6666, instagram: @mikinola
Best Place to Start a Succulent Garden
With the succulent craze growing, many newbies are heading to the know-it-alls at Paiko. Here’s why: Owner and plant junkie Tamara Rigney has turned her years of landscaping experience and deep-rooted passion for floral designs into a dream storefront. Inside, find an array that includes common cacti, hardy hens and chicks, and sansevieria plants for those with a black thumb. Selecting a home for your succulent is easy, since the shop carries a wealth of ceramic pots made by local artists. We die for the animal-shaped pots from Dee Olivia. And, for a really hands-on experience, in July, the shop will open a fully supplied DIY succulent bar, which will help limit the amount of pricks in your budding new adventure.
Paiko, 675 Auahi St., 988-2165, paikohawaii.com
Best Housewarming Gifts
We don’t want you to be that friend who always gives gift cards. Borrring. For your next housewarming gift, head to Quince, a home-decor-slash-gift shop. Imagine having all the best homeware items and knickknacks from bona fide cool cities, including Honolulu, in one room. That’s Quince. Richly patterned deer heads and birdhouses from Italian-based company Miho Unexpected hang out alongside mid-century-inspired paper mobiles by Artecnica of Los Angeles, and stylish tabletop picnic games from Working Class Studios rub shoulders with colorblocked throw pillows handmade by local gal and owner Marissa Selders. Need help finding an extra-special something? Ask Selders. Her interior design background and educated eye for style have you covered.
Quince, 687 Auahi St., 371-4413, quinceathome.com
Best Place to Find a Coffee-Table Book
Is your coffee table feeling a little bare? The naked truth is that bookstores are becoming a thing of the past. So we’re extra happy that the Honolulu Museum of Art Shop remains a great resource for conversation-starter books. An impressive wall of multileveled shelves supports eye-catching covers that belong to art-inspired literary works. Popular page-turners include books that reflect the museum’s current and permanent exhibitions as well as manga, graffiti and street art, most for less than $50. Out-of-town visitors tend to gravitate to the house stash of locally influenced reads including Gardens of Hawai‘i by Stephen Haus and Doris Duke’s Shangri La, A House in Paradise.
Honolulu Museum of Art Gift Shop, 900 S. Beretania St., 532-8703, honolulumuseum.org/shop
Best Consignment Shoe Store
Sneakerhead Heaven might be a more accurate name for shoe store Truest, evidenced in the gleefully glazed-eye look that comes over aficionados when taking in its walls of ultra-rare, limited-edition deadstock, which makes up around 65 percent of the store’s supply (the other 35—new styles that are sprinkled throughout). A mix of pre-owned and mint, all are inspected for condition and authenticity by owners John and Elise Ohm, who count Nike Dunk SB Tiffany, Air Jordan 1 and Nike Air Yeezy 1 styles among their more unusual items. The rarest to come through? A never-released, sample Air Jordan 4.
Truest, 2011 S. King St., 946-4202
Best Kids’ Apparel
While it may be a little trickier to get to than its big-box counterparts, Petit at the Royal makes up for its stealthy location in spades with a whimsical assortment that delights at every turn. The locally owned children’s clothing boutique eschews the same-old for the chic, skipping the standard onesie packs for handmade star necklaces, gingham bunny-ear headbands and artsy, graphic-print tees.
Petit at the Royal, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, 921-2125
Best Minimal Gear
We’ve developed a bit of a Mono habit, an addiction, really, to the shop’s clean-lined finds. After all, what’s one Japanese notebook when you can have five? Owners Cassy and Dean Song fill the shelves with items that perfectly balance simplicity with thoughtful design, from minimal staplers and utilitarian pouches to rustic bottle openers. Keep an eye out for the shop’s next delivery, which will include alarm clocks that flip over to snooze and sleek leather wallets from Tokyo label Porter.
Mono, 2013 S. King St., 955-1595, monohawaii.com
Best Boutique for Hard-to-Find Brands
If you’re not much of a people person, then We Are Iconic may not be the clothing boutique for you. Because, without fail, once you start shopping there, strangers will start approaching to ask, “Where did you get that?” Owners Shie and Nate Clark are mindful to bring in smaller, under-the-radar brands that are directional but still within the sweet-spot, mid-range price point. In the current lineup are flirty peplum numbers from Australian-designed Cameo The Label, Eugenia Kim fedoras and Italian-made Anniel oxfords.
We Are Iconic, 1236 Waimanu St., Suite B, 462-4575, shopweareiconic.com
Best Tropical Fragrance
Along with gorgeous fragrances, the Saffron James line comes complete with stories—grand tales of Hawaiian princesses and castle-seizing warriors that explain how popular flowers made their way to the Islands. Its literary nature makes perfect scents when you consider the resume of its designer, Katherine Growney. The Big Island native has written for Lucky and Harper’s Bazaar, and was a beauty editor at Elle. Ranging from bright to sultry, her exotic perfumes channel the ever-changing moods of the Islands through intoxicating blends of plumeria, orange blossom, hibiscus, pineapple leaf and more.
Saffron James, saffronjames.com
Best Local Jewelry Line for Layering
We don’t layer clothes here, unless we’re going to a birthday party at Ice Palace. What we layer is jewelry. So, it’s no surprise that our jewelry boxes have become cornucopias of Jewelry by Justine necklaces. Designer Justine Jones offers a long—and short—list of necklaces that she creates from a mix of precious metals. Her simple Hawaii-inspired charm styles lay right on the neckline, while chains with dangling gold bars drop right below. Sleek longer styles with cascading semi-precious stones and pearls fall even lower and nicely frame higher pieces. To create a really deep V, slip on Jones’ longest strands, which combine African beads, Tahitian pearls and fun-hued tassels.
Jewelry By Justine, Available at Owens & Co., 1152 Nuuanu Ave., 531-4300, jewelrybyjustine.com
Best Local Brick-and-Click
Bamboo Sky, 401 Kamakee St., #104, 591-8003, bamboosky.com
Best Place to Be Green and Go
Holoholo Bicycles, 34 N. Hotel St., 221-3899, holoholobicycles.com
Best Downtown Place for Fresh-Made, Boho-Chic Baubles
Ginger13, 22 S. Pauahi St., 531-5311, ginger13.com
Best Locally Owned Boutique for Men’s Fashion
Reyn Spooner, Multiple locations, reynspooner.com
Best Locally Owned Boutique for Women’s Fashion
Fighting Eel, Multiple locations, fightingeel.com
Best Aloha Attire
Tori Richard, Multiple locations, toririchard.com
Best Home Accessories
Pier 1 Imports, Multiple locations, pier1.com
Best Pet Shop & Pet Accessories
Petco, Multiple locations, petco.com
Best Furniture Store
INspiration, 1250 Kapiolani Blvd., 956-1260
Best Jewelry Shop
The Wedding Ring Shop, 1181 Kapiolani Blvd., 945-7766, weddingringshop.com
Best Surf Shop
Town & Country Surf, Multiple locations, tcsurf.com
Best Gardening Shop
Home Depot, Multiple locations, homedepot.com
Best Place to Purchase Art
Nohea Gallery, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd., 596-0074, noheagallery.com
Best Antique Shop
Peggy’s Picks, 732 Kapahulu Ave., 737-3297