New Hawaii Boutiques Open in Kakaako

Heard on the Street: Two new boutiques make it worth squeezing your car into Kakaako’s tight spots.

At the new I Am Shop, designers Kara Matsunaga and Richie Miao offer an urban aesthetic.

I Am Shop

Opened on June 18, I Am Shop features the clothing lines Lovelessizm, by local designer Richie Miao, and his new, lower-pricepoint line, called Lava Roses. The store carries both men’s and women’s clothing. Miao is a Honolulu hair stylist whose clothing has been on sale for about four years in Asia. His partner in the store is graphic designer Kara Matsunaga.

“I named it ‘I Am’ after the phase of life I’m in,” says Matsunaga. “Figuring out who I am, what I want to pursue in life. And our clothing has an edge to it, so knowing who you are, that confidence, is what we’re trying to share with people.”

The unique cuts, hidden details and monochromatic colors—lots of black and gray—invite individual interpretation. But the clothing is also surprisingly comfy and wearable. “It’s a deconstructed look, moving away from just sundresses,” says Matsunaga.

You’ll also find accessories, such as Bliss Lau jewelry, and scarves. “We want to push scarves. People think that’s crazy because of the warm climate, but if it’s light, it is such an easy way to switch up an outfit and make it more your style,” says Matsunaga.

The shop’s mascot, Mizu, is an adorable Tibetan spaniel puppy (seen at left). The store, open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., validates parking in the lot above it, or there’s street parking. 1221 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 111, 593-2767.


She’s been a nurse for 10 years, but Maida Montemayor has just opened her dream boutique, Collins & 8th.

Collins & 8th

Owner Maida Montemayor named this upscale boutique after a corner in the shopping district of Miami’s vibrant South Beach. She’s stocked designers such as Mara Hoffman, funky shoes by Jeffrey Campbell, delicate, feminine pieces from Joie and edgier stuff by Guevarra Arcega.

The sleek, white décor was influenced by the work of Montemayor’s graphic-designer husband, Joey. “It’s a big space, but we want people to be comfy, to lounge around and to shop,” she says.

Collins & 8th also carries vintage clothing and jewelry, as well as locally made jewelry from a line called Hooululani. “It’s sterling silver or gold fill, very free and easy and glamorous,” Montemayor says. “And hoops! I love hoops.”

Collins & 8th is open Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 8:30 p.m., Sunday, 12 to 6 p.m. There’s free parking in front and metered street parking nearby. 560 Pensacola St., Suites 4 and 5, 271-0959,