If traveling to the Aloha State, don’t miss the chance to catch the Hawaiian-print trend that covered spring runway shows of fashion’s heavy hitters, from Diane von Furstenberg to Tracy Reese. In addition to stocking big names, boutiques in Oahu, Kauai, and Maui are dedicating ample rack space to the best pieces from local designers. Whether searching for a strappy evening dress or a sleek swimsuit, we’ve got your shopping needs covered with a curated list of places to hit.
For the High-End Label-Lover
A slick, high fashion store, Aloha Rag (pictured above) is a fresh alternative to standard island girl fare. Since 1991, founder Tatsugo Yoda fills her Honolulu shop with forward-thinking designer daywear for both women and men. Find edgy pieces from Maison Martin Margiela and Alexander Wang, on-trend dresses by 3.1 Phillip Lim, and hard to find labels like Alaia and Dries van Noten.
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For the Earthy Fashionista
Olive Boutique, located on Oahu’s North Shore, has a great mix of eco-friendly, surfer-inspired wear from around the globe. This three-year-old shop carries items such as sustainable bamboo sunglasses from the Long Beach, California line Yellow 108, floaty, silk caftans from local label Gillia, and funky scarves made from recycled t-shirts by Wanko Wanko.
For the Savvy Shopper
Reyn Spooner is a classic brand name as far as Hawaiian-print shirts go. Reyn’s recently paired up with hip bi-coastal boutique Opening Ceremony on a capsule line of men’s and womenswear. While Reyn’s main location in Honolulu is at Ala Moana Center, locals know to head to Reyn’s Downtown Rack (125 Merchant St., 808/524-1885) for discontinued styles and prints. For island-hoppers, there are two Reyn Spooner stores on the Big Island, and one on Kauai.
For the Bohemian Goddess
For a laid back look that’s not too kitschy, head to Tamara Catz on Maui for embroidered tunics and batik-print, silk-chiffon dresses that have earned her a loyal international following. The Buenos Aires native offers her clientele dressier alternatives to typical Hawaiian standards. There’s also a solid collection of bridal dresses perfect for beachside nuptials.
For the Sporty Beach Babe
Located near stunning Hanalei Bay on Kauai’s North Shore, I Love Hanalei (5-5106 Kuhio Highway, 808/826-5560) has the best swimwear on the island. Try slipping into a bikini by Acacia, a local line started by Naomi Newirth and Lyndie Irons (wife of pro surfer Andy Irons), recently featured in the Sports Illustrated 2011 Swimsuit issue, or a suit from Shimmi, a Los Angeles-based line started by two former models.
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Photo credit: courtesy Aloha Rag, Honolulu, Hawaii