Best Retail / ORGANIC COTTON CLOTHING
Irresistible and certified green, these Hawaii friendly prints and fibers and a welcoming, sportif staff make it a pleasure to shop here. The company gives 1 percent of profits to environmental non-profits, supports river restoration and beach protection, and Gerry Lopez is one of their team, as was the late Rell Sunn. We love ‘em.
Best local contemporary designer
We interviewed designer Matt Bruening in our February fashion issue, and now we can’t get enough. His new summer collection with Jess Shedlock showcases his unique style, which he’s described to us before: “Refined urban contemporary ready-to-wear with classic and warped silhouettes.” [“Cover Story,” February 29] Head downtown to select boutiques for a summer filled with colorful prints, silk kimonos and aloha leggings.
Runner-up: Roberta Oaks
Best fashion forward store
You have a gf who wears cutting-edge pieces, like swing tanks, chiffon skirts and cutout dresses. She’s always so effortlessly cool, and you’ve got to know where she shops. What’s her secret??
No worries, we’ve got you covered. Boutique store Basique Threads is everything but basic. Stock-filled with the hottest clothes and accessories from local designers like Ordinary People and 19th and Whimsey, the store is trendy to a tee. There’s plenty for guys too, like graphic shirts and funky Neff watches. Prices are affordable, thanks to continuous deals offered throughout the week. You’ll be the next trendsetter in no time.
BEST Place to buy street fashion
Isolation in the Pacific breeds originality and exclusivity for Hawai’i’s premier street wear brand, In4mation. Since 2002, the store has grown into a fusion of street, art, skate and surf fashion. They offer special items from unique places through limited edition collaborations with companies like G-Shock, Vans and Good Wood NYC. Because In4mation was created by clothing reps, buyers, freelance designers and pro/am skaters and surfers, their merchandise represents a constantly evolving mix of up-and-coming art, music and trends that go against the grain.
Best new FASHION boutique
Newsflash: Summer is almost gone. You’ve only so much time to wear a MinkPink bodysuit, Wonderland studded vest or a Jarlo sheer blouse while they’re still in style. You need to look cute now.
Emilie Fuji understands. At her boutique store Homecoming, she brings in items from local designers as well as from Australia, Europe, L.A. and Brazil. The real treat? The huge shoe collection at the back. From sky-high Jeffrey Campbell heels to Dolce Vita sandals, these shoes are both daring and adorable. Open since early May, the store is filled with new stock every day, handpicked by Fujie herself. Let her do the choosing. You do the buying.
Trendiest Vintage Store
Barrio Vintage is like a super awesome Goodwill, because you don’t have to dig around for ages to find something. From funky prints to unique jewelry, each vintage product in the store is under $30 and handpicked by owners Bradley Rhea and Jonathan Spause. Trust them–they are experts at finding fashion that’s come back around from classic 50s to grungy 90s.
Runner-up: Mish Mash
Best New Fashion Incubator
Hawaii Fashion Incubator (HiFi), Kakaako
What I love about HiFi is that, like one’s favorite sports idol, they inspire both professionals and amateurs in a multitude of art mediums and industries. They foster collaboration and resource sharing, and offer space for artists to hone technical skills. Providing sewing classes, jewelry-making, pop-up stores and and an open space for those who need room to work, HiFi is a true Honolulu gem. —
Best new Apparel made from Repurposed Materials
Muu Muu Heaven
A green-minded and fashion savvy entrepreneur with a high-wattage smile and big bright eyes, Deb Maschia is endlessly renewable energy personified. Her Kailua shop, Muu Muu Heaven, blazed the way for sustainable local fashion by making fresh, new, trendy retro designs from vintage clothes and fabrics. The store also helps promote local environmental non-profits as well as incubate designers and visual artists. You are sure to find something you can use there, such as a floor pillow reminiscent of the tilework at Doris Duke’s Shangri-La, with the added thrill of reducing the “need” for landfills.
Best place to buy aloha wear for locals
Each design tells a story. Each print is hand-dyed and made in Hawaii. Kealopiko makes inimitable dresses, skirts, tees, tanks and pareus for wahine; aloha shirts and tees for kane; as well as keiki clothes and accessories like hats and bags. Kealopiko’s images drawn from Hawaii’s natural, historical and cultural heritage allow locals to honor and wear connections of past and present.
Sold at many local events and Na Mea Hawaii, Whole Foods Kahala, Flowerchild Boutique and more..
Best Locally-Made Baby Clothing
Baby Awearness, Manoa
Runner-up: The Growing Keiki, Haleiwa
This store is a gift for those looking for “OMG I don’t know if I can handle cloth diapers,” or “WTF just happened to my boobs” advice. From lactation consulting to breastfeeding support to organic hats and bonnets, Baby Awareness is simply the best resource and boutique for new moms and dads. Handmade dolls and burp cloths, cloth diaper services, gently used baby clothing, classes (birthing, nursing and cooking) and extremely knowledgeable staff. It’s the natural answer to complicated questions.