Best of Honolulu 2016: Shopping
The 16 editorial and reader picks for the chic-est shopping in the city.
Best Place to Find Chic Office Supplies
CAROLINE GARDNER CERAMIC COFFEE MUG, $17. STYLE FOREVER BOOK BY ALYSON WALSH, $19.95.OUR HEIDAY PRINT, $28,MARA-MI PENCIL SET, 12 FOR $10.95, BOGSTAVSTEMPLER ALPHABET STAMPS, $16, AMERICAN CRAFTS DETAILS CLIPS, $7,WORTHWHILE PAPER NOTEBOOK, $20,SCOUT & LILY BUSINESS-CARD HOLDER, $28. BEVE! FOIL WASHI, $6.
PHOTOs: AARON YOSHINO
Eden in Love can take your desk from meek to chic. It’s got ceramic coffee mugs, stationery, notepads, pencils, clipboards and wall art, all ornamented with poppy patterns, motivating quotes and awakening hues. “We travel to shows and marketplaces in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Japan,” says owner Tanna Dang. “We spend days finding things that are interesting, unique and adorable. Plus I spend a lot of time buying from Etsy, and collaborating with local vendors to create really cool products.”
Ward Village, 591-1005.
Best Coffee Shop in a Boutique
Arvo is Australian slang for “afternoon.”
Arvo, the charming coffee shop now open in Paiko, couldn’t have chosen a prettier, airier venue, and the neighborhood can’t get enough. Don’t be surprised to find a line at this hot spot, which was founded by Australian Mason Rose, his wife Dixie and her sister, Casey. “We really wanted Arvo to feel like a second home for the creatives, where they can sit down with a cold brew and toast, and get inspired to work on their projects,” says Dixie. You’ll find nods to Aussie coffee culture in the small, but tasty, menu, which offers lattelike flat whites, long blacks and even Vegemite toast. And it’s all so darn pretty: Avocado, smoked salmon and fresh fruit with Nutella toasts are gorgeously presented on wooden planks with edible flowers, while coffee drinks can come dusted with roasted pistachios or made with specialty flavors such as rose.
675 ‘Auahi St., 988-2165.
Best Affordable Fashions
ASYMMETRICAL HEM TOP, $34.90.
Few things lately have been as buzzed about among the local style set as the long-heralded coming of Spanish retailer Zara. Boasting more than 2,100 locations worldwide, the brand has garnered a cult-like following among magazine editors, bloggers and affordable fashion fans for its affordable, real way spins on runway trends. The company didn’t disappoint, kicking off its entry into the Hawai‘i market last winter with a massive, 36,000-square-foot, two-level Honolulu store brimming with its trendy apparel and accessories for men, women and keiki. Our favorite looks from the summer collection: shoulder-baring tops, tropical prints mixed with city silhouettes and bohemian-minded embroidery.
Ala Moana Center, 944-9272.
Best Fashionable Swimwear
(On Lindsey, left) Acacia Malibu top ,$119, Bingin bottom, $115. bikinibird.com.
(On Jordan, right) Workout top, $69, reversible skimpy Brazilian bottom, $69.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino
You know if Beyoncé and Blue Ivy are wearing your designs you must be irreplaceable in the world of fashion; such is the case for Acacia Swimwear. Maui girl Naomi Newirth and her business partner, Lyndie Irons have made a splash in the bikini industry with their collection of tiny (thong) bottoms, one-piece swimsuits with sexy peek-a-boo cutouts and bold, bright exotic prints. The latest styles include an eye-catching heliconia pattern, a stunning metallic-rose mesh fabric and a two-tone, one-piece suit complete with racy lace-ups.
Available at multiple locations, aciaswimwear.com.
Best Swimwear to Surf in
It’s the little things that make a winning, surf-ready swimsuit. First, the fabric. Pualani Hawai‘i swimwear uses a supreme four-way stretch European fabric. Second, the fit. “The yarns and elastic we use, coupled with special attention to the tension of those fabrics, are what makes the Pualani line fit like a second skin in and out of the water,” says owner Iwalani Isbell. Third, it’s gotta stay on. All of Pualani’s swimwear is tested by Isabell, who is a big-wave rider and watersports stuntwoman. It’s safe to say these suits will keep you covered in all the right places.
Available at multiple locations, 923-0753, pualanihawaii.com.
Best Modern Tropical Jewelry
Photos: Aaron Yoshino
Keani Jewelry sends out daily orders to customers worldwide and has seeped into more than 15 stores across the state. Keani Barnes’ creative concepting and elegant, fine-jewelry take on the wide world of beach-babe accessories sets her dainty collections apart. “I want to keep my pieces as refined and ageless as possible, says Barnes, “where the trends can’t delineate the beauty of what I’ve designed.” In her line of he‘e-inspired pieces, wavy tentacles wrap wrists and fingers in gorgeous silver, rose-gold or 14-karat-gold-plated rings and bracelets, while in the Manta Mystique line, gorgeous manta rays grace rings and cuffs for an unconventional underwater-inspired aesthetic you’ve never seen before.
Best Local Perfume
Enchanting glass bottles splashed with pretty illustrations of Island flora house the first-ever Mālie Organics eaux de parfums. They’re formulated with organic ingredients the keep the sprays “smelling so close to nature,” says founder Dana Roberts. “Distilling the tropical flora to create our very own, pure Hawaiian Hydrosols, and infusing them into our products is how Mālie brings the gentle, soothing essence to our perfumes.” Selections include plumeria, hibiscus, mango nectar, coconut vanilla, pīkake and kōke‘e, and are all free of petroleum, mineral spirits, sulfates and parabens.
Ala Moana Center, Level 3, ‘Ewa Wing, 922-2216.
Best One-Stop Shop for a Day at the Beach
Forgot your towel? Or decided you want to tan instead of tandem? Not to worry, drop in to Diamond Head Beach House and find everything under the sun. The store’s beachy bungalow exterior hints at the charmingly curated stock within. In the lineup are Tori Praver bikinis, Vissla boardshorts, tubes of multi-purpose suntan lotion, locally made Island Fin Design surf fins, and more. Poke around the shelves and discover Swell water bottles in punchy neon hues, Havaianas flip flops and tropical-printed towels that are great grabs for your sunny escape.
3128 Monsarrat Ave., 737-8667.
Best Swim Cover-ups
Photo: Courtesy of Malia Jones
Local designer Malia Jones manages to make glamour look easy. Forget the clunky armfuls of gilded bangles and bejeweled gladiator sandals. In Jones’ world, luxury is all about paring down. Case in point, her wonderfully unfussy kaftans done this summer in shibori-printed and striped cotton, and a bold, paneled mesh, perfect poolside statement pieces.
Best New Beach Towels
Photo: Courtesy of Slowtide
Hawai‘i-and-California-based Slowtide launched last year by three artists-come-entrepreneurs who have spent years as creative directors, graphic artists and marketing directors for companies including Quiksilver, Hurley and Billabong. Now, they’re bringing their surf-chic eye to the beach towel game in a slew of provocative designs with an ultra-cool, art-house feel that include collaborations with contemporary artists: a psychedelic lava-lamp-like print from Tyler Spangler and a cerulean cresting wave from Bryce Johnson.
Best Graphic-Print Apparel
Photo: courtesy of rhema jaime
Local resortwear label Salt Liko designer Matt Bruening and graphic designer Brandy-Alia Serikaku create breezy dress, rompers and kimono jackets adorned with dynamic, Hawaiian-inspired graphics. Keep an eye out for the Hīhīmanu print, which features a migration of stingray.
Best Kids’ Clothing Line
Oopsy Daze schools other kids’ designers with its jungle (gym) prints, logo tees and hang-low harem pants. It all started when owner Dixie Rose posted an Instagram of her son in a pair of homemade baggy sweats. From there, Safari Kingdom was born, with Crazy Coconuts comfy tees and easy-wearing, unisex leopard-print shorts. Our thought? “Do they make this for adults?” Not yet, but the current collection we’re crushing on, Mama x Mini a collaboration with Bikini Bird, features mom and kids tees with cool-for-school graphics.
Best Pet Accessories
Photos: Aaron Yoshino
If nothing is too good for your pet, Public Pet will be just right for you. Owners Matthew Guevara and Jordan Lee have packed this new Kaimukī gem with all kinds of adorable specialty and Hawai‘i-designed accessories, food and treats. There are even exclusive collabs with local creatives, including hand-painted water and food bowls, by ceramist Dee Oliva and custom I.D. tags by a.wattz dezigns.
3422 Wai‘alae Ave., 737-8887, thepublicpet.com.
Best Place for Shoe Shopping
With its great assortment, cheery vibe, and friendly staff, Nordstrom has won this category two years running. Recently, the store moved to Ala Moana Center’s new ‘Ewa Wing, with revamped shoe departments. More styles are available from the most popular brands, including Adidas Y-3 and Lanvin, plus new ones like Opening Ceremony and Stella McCartney.
Ala Moana Center, 953-6100.
Best Surf Shop
In 1971, Craig Sugihara’s extraordinary passion for surfing fueled him to open the first Town and Country Surf Shop. Since then, the locally owned shop has been providing locals and visitors, five to 75 year olds, with high-quality surfboards designed by expert shapers, the latest surf gear and beach-to-street fashions. Along with its own house line of logo T-shirts, aloha shirts and boardshorts, the shop also houses other popular surf brands. Gals fancy the assortment of Billabong sundresses and Hurley tanks, dudes fall for the collection of hipster sunnies, and a low stash of Herschel bags means everyone loves the shop’s selection of travel-chic accessories.
Multiple directions, tcsurf.com.
Best Place for Home Accessories
Ceramic pineapple jar, $54.80. SoHa Living light-up wood sign, $60.80. SoHa Living My Favorite Place pillow cover, $34.80, and fill, $12.80.
Shyrah Maurer and Brooke Watson, sisters and co-owners of SoHa Living, know a thing or two about coastal living—the pair grew up in a house right off Kāhala beach, savoring the salt air and playing among the palm trees. They opened the company’s first boutique in 2002, stocking the shelves with beach-chic home accessories and gift items. Today, SoHa Living’s five Hawai‘i locations also carry their own in-house line, which consists of custom-made wood signs, throw pillows, postcards, and totes featuring playful, Island-inspired sayings and artwork.
Kāhala Mall, 591-9777.