The capital city of Honolulu, Hawaii is where you’ll find most of Oahu’s hotels, famous Waikiki Beach and of course, Pearl Harbor. But did you know that Honolulu also has a blossoming fashion scene where up-and-coming local designers are setting up shop? For the best shopping in Honolulu you should head over to Chinatown, the once run-down Honolulu neighborhood just a short drive north and west of Honolulu’s Luxury Row. While Luxury Row shoppers are greeted by Chanel and Gucci, Chinatown’s boutiques are funky, indie and promote local talent. Here are some of my favorite shops in Honolulu that should absolutely be added to your must-do list on your next Honolulu vacation:
Roberta Oaks — The tradition of the Hawaiian “Aloha Shirt” dates back to the 1930s. Today, the bold shirts are still as popular as ever in Hawaii, worn by everyone from beach-goers to business men. Roberta Oaks designs Aloha shirts for the modern generation. She uses a slimmer cut and fun patterns to appeal to a younger crowd and her beautiful boutique in Chinatown carries her latest designs.
Homecoming Honolulu — This was one of the first boutiques to open its doors in Chinatown, before the neighborhood was the “it” place to shop. Homecoming celebrates Honolulu’s urban side and carries less beach brands, more street brands. It curates designers like Jeffrey Campbell, Knot Sisters and Brixton and also features some local brands like Wonderland HNL.
Fighting Eel — Just around the corner from Roberta Oaks, Fighting Eel boutique stocks some amazing bikinis from Hawaiian babes Issa de Mar as well as comfy jersey dresses and versatile basics that can go from the beach to dinner in town.
Mori by Art + Flea – Aly Ishikuni who created the super popular Art + Flea monthly shopping event has recently set up a pop-up shop in the Ward Village Shops call Mori. She works exclusively with Hawaiian designers like Yireh and Moon Collective to load the space with unique items ranging from art, to jewelry to barely there bikinis. Be sure to say hi to their store mascot, Felix, an adorable jackson chameleon.
In4Mation — If you want to pick up a stylish souvenir for your man, head to In4Mation. Their signature “HI” and “aloha” hats and designer t-shirts are the perfect way to wear your Hawaiian pride all year long.
Paiko / Brue Bar — Paiko calls itself a “botanical boutique,” rather than a flower shop. It’s one of the most beautiful shops in Honolulu, filled with succulents, cacti, cut flowers and gorgeous goodies for the home. They also host dreamy tropical flower crown workshops every week! Brue Bar is a coffee shop that shares the space with Paiko and happens to have brew up my favorite cold brew coffee in all of Hawaii. It will fuel hours of shopping and exploring!