SHOP LOCAL: THE BEST BOUTIQUES IN AND AROUND WAIKIKI
January 5, 2017
Waikiki is internationally known as a mecca for shopping, and with one stroll down Kalakaua Avenue, you’ll understand why. While luxury stores abound—think Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Harry Winston and the like—it’s the locally owned, casual, surf-chic boutiques that are brimming with unique finds and one-of-a-kind gifts.
Below, some of the best boutiques in and around Waikiki that offer a shopping experience you won’t find anywhere else but here. So take a short break from the beach and find a few items to gift, covet or keep all to yourself.
Just outside of Waikiki, amongst quaint cafes and locally-owned restaurants on Monsarrat Avenue, is James After Beach Club. The curated shop houses vintage Hawaiiana, classic vinyls and handmade surfboards by Todd Pinder, as well as unique items from Japan and throughout the U.S. The one-of-a-kind items and hard-to-find fashions make this a must-stop shop for visitors and locals alike.
Waikiki has no shortage of swimwear-stocked stores, but Kai Luxe sets itself apart by carrying a sleek and chic mix of contemporary favorites. The success of its sister store on the Big Island, Ginger & Koi, prompted owner Jada Holt to open up another shop in the heart of Oahu’s shopping scene. Expect to find the latest from Acacia Swimwear, Rove Swimwear, Mikoh and Samudra; and other resort must-haves like embroidered straw hats by Hat Attack; tropical towels from Las Bayadas and St Hamilton & Co; and chic sunglasses from Quay Australia and Toms.
Kauai-based beauty brand Malie Organics bottles up the essence of the islands for all to enjoy. Find the luxurious oils, creams, candles, scrubs and more in a variety of boutiques across the islands, or escape into the brand’s stand-alone boutiques located in Waikiki and Ala Moana Center. Whether you choose pikake, plumeria, mango nectar, koke‘e, coconut vanilla or hibiscus, these tropical concoctions let you take a little piece of Hawaii wherever you go.
Rebecca Beach keeps you resort ready with eye-catching island attire. The small store packs a big punch—featuring laid-back luxe labels such as Cynthia Rowley and Hawaii’s own Malia Jones, as well as exclusive branded t-shirts and sought-after swimwear. You’ll find everything you need for a day at the beach, from sunscreen and splash-proof pouches to trucker hats, towels and fashionable fins. There’s even a keiki section for the littlest beach babes.
INTER-ISLAND SURF SHOP
451 Kapahulu Ave.| WEBSITE
This unassuming surf shop on the Kapahulu Avenue strip is one you don’t want to miss. Inter-Island has been around since the 1960’s, and is now helmed by Billy Morrison—a kama’aina who has combed the beaches of Oahu since the ’50s. Inter-Island Surf Shop commissions and sells collectable, hand-shaped and laminated surfboards from legendary shapers such as the shop’s previous owner Mickey Lake, and other well-known shapers like Mike Casey, Jim Philips and Glenn Miyasaki. You can also pop into the shop for quality logo wear and other surf-inspired items.
The husband-and-wife team behind Kailua’s beloved boutiques Olive and Oliver Men’s Shop have expanded their reach to Waikiki. Located right here inside the Surfjack, Olive & Oliver is a combined concept shop that houses Olive’s womenswear and Oliver’s menswear, and a must-have mix of island-inspired home and gift items. Grab a cup of damn good coffee at the in-store cafe and shop the curated selection of items from Cleobella, Dolce Vita and Misa Los Angeles; Hawaii-based designers Andrew Mau and A.Wattz; and vintage-inspired favorites from Ebbets Field Flannels, M. Nii and Scotch & Soda. You’ll also find branded Surfjack and Olive & Oliver items exclusive to the store.
BAILEY’S ANTIQUES AND ALOHA SHIRTS
517 Kapahulu Ave. | WEBSITE
Though it’s not necessarily a secret, the shop that houses the world’s largest collection of aloha shirts—over 15,000 under one roof—is off the beaten path. You’ll have to venture just outside of Waikiki to shop Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts’ unparalleled selection of new, used, vintage and specialty shirts. Dozens upon dozens of racks are packed with local labels such as Jams World, Reyn Spooner, Sig Zane and Tori Richard, and you’ll find shirts from the 1930’s to now. And if you’re looking for old records, island collectables and vintage fabrics, you’ll find it here too.
Kai Luxe photo by Tahiti Huetter