Spotted: Shie Clark, the Curator of Chic
Meet the womenswear buyer obsessed with oversized button-downs, cool indie brands and hunting down the wardrobe of your dreams.
A look at style ambassadors in our city who put it all out there, fashionably.
One of the things I look forward to most when popping into the We Are Iconic boutique is seeing what kind of outfit magic owner-buyer Shie Clark has whipped up for the day.
The Tokyo-native’s wardrobe choices are always thrilling—and not because she goes the easy route with over-the-top attention-grabbers, but because she opts for the unexpected, playing with aesthetic balance and delighting in the push and pull.
A crisply tailored shirtdress? Clark seamlessly juxtaposes it with chunky studded slides and a bubble bag in electric blue. A sweet peplum top with voluminous ruffles nicely contrasts with slouchy tomboy jeans. And that sophisticated black suit? In Clark’s hands, it gets a dose of edge with the addition of a sheer mesh tee and neon yellow sandals, of course.
When did your interest with fashion first begin?
Shie Clark: Definitely, when I was little. I was always interested in fashion. I was very specific about how I dressed, even in kindergarten. My mom has a picture of me, from around that time, at someone’s birthday party—all the other kids were wearing regular clothes and I’m wearing my uniform from school. I was like, “Mom, why am I wearing that?” She said that I couldn’t find the perfect outfit, so I decided to wear my uniform. So, from an early age I was very picky.
Where did you get style inspiration from back then?
SC: My mom was very picky too. I rarely wore pink—she didn’t want to buy pink just because I was a girl. So, I wore more neutral colors since I was little. She said, when I wanted certain things like character T-shirts, she would always say “no” and guide me toward something better. But I appreciate it now. That definitely shaped my taste.
Also, my family traveled quite bit when I was growing up. My mom and I would find little boutiques when we were in small cities in France, Italy, Denmark or wherever else in the world we went. We always found one-of-a-kind items, from clothing and vintage jewelry to home accessories, to take back to our home in Tokyo. Those experiences honed my eye for buying for the store.
Where do you turn to for style inspiration now?
SC: Street style—when I go on buying trips, like to New York, I like seeing what people are wearing. And it’s not only about fashion. It’s everything on the street. It can be an energetic, lively restaurant, shop or museum, even nature too. I get inspired by any type of business where I can feel the passion in the air.
What pieces do you wear that have become Shie signatures?
SC: I wear a lot of oversized button-down shirts, blazers and jewelry.
Most treasured item in your closet?
SC: I have a necklace that I love from Retrouvai, an LA brand that we carry. That is definitely my special piece that I adore now. The style is called Lollipop and it’s petrified wood with aquamarine. Not that many people have similar styles. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece.
Favorite local brand or designer?
SC: Many of our local clients get really excited when they find out that jewelry designer Spinelli Kilcollin is actually from O‘ahu. Some of our clients know his parents, or actually went to school with him at Punahou. His pieces are unique—they’re sets of rings connected by links.
If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
SC: You know, I don’t think I could live with one designer. I can’t just pick one! These days I wear a lot of Tibi. It’s edgy but wearable. I have a lot of their pants—slouchy, mid-rise to low-rise styles. And I have a balloon dress from them that’s really cute.
I also wear a lot of Rachel Comey. She’s very artistic. I love her dresses the most. They are very comfortable and I like the fabrics she uses—they’re easy to take care of, but still nice, like a crisp poplin or a viscose. I don’t want to look too casual when I’m working in the store. And denim from R13. They make their denim in Italy and it’s so unique. I love the color and fit.
You’re expecting your second child, congrats! Any favorite maternity specific brands or styles?
SC: During my first pregnancy I only bought two maternity pants. For this one too, I’m not planning on buying any maternity wear. I’m just going to go with oversized dresses and shirts, and cool elastic pants. Raquel Allegra has a lot of elastic pants that we carry, Proenza Schouler White Label has ribbed elastic pants and Tibi has elastic joggers. I also want to wear this fitted, ribbed dress that we carry from Jonathan Simkhai. I thought that would be really cute and show my baby bump.
Finish this sentence: No outfit of mine is complete without…
SC: Layered jewelry. I’m stacking a lot of jewelry these days. I layer the Retrouvai necklace with other pieces, and have Spinelli Kilcollin rings on my fingers. And I also have ear cuffs. Ideally, I want to layer more, but jewelry is something you invest in, so I’m taking my time to find the perfect pieces to add to my collection.
What’s the most you have on at once?
SC: Not too much. One, two, three, four, five, six—maybe seven or eight? Not too bad!