SuperCity: Pancipanci honored at AUW fundraiser

Mar. 19, 2014 | 1 Comment


BY CHRISTA WITTMIER / Special to the Star-Advertiser

“You have to love what you do,” Crystal Pancipanci told a room of 200 women at a March 8 fundraiser hosted by Aloha United Way’s Women United.

Stylist Crystal Pancipanci brings her staff to the stage to thank them at the Chocolate, Champagne & Couture event) (Image by Ashley Smith)

Stylist Crystal Pancipanci brings her staff to the stage to thank them at the Chocolate, Champagne & Couture event)
(Image by Ashley Smith)

“Because sleep will disappear.”

Pancipanci had just taken the stage after a pretty glamorous entry into the brunch at the Pacific Club where I was DJing. I admired the way every photographer at the event raced over to get the perfect shot of the popular stylist.

This is the norm for Crystal. I am pretty sure I have never seen her walk into a room and be ignored.

Pancipanci is easy to obsess over for women like me because she is one of us. She comes from a modest upbringing and makes sure to tell women about great finds at local re-sales that can be just as glamorous as designer wear. Her style is precise without being too flashy, her hair and makeup is always flawless, and her smile is 100 percent genuine.

She is also a single mom who worked hard to turn her dreams into reality and admits it comes with a price — her free time.

“I say dream big, work hard, keep smiling and stay positive,” she said in a video shown during the event. “Embrace who you are. Don’t be so scared, because the only person out there who can hold you back from anything is you.”

The fundraiser was the first event Aloha United Way put together on International Women’s Day, but the general consensus was that it’s the perfect day to bring women together for a fashion-themed brunch with champagne and chocolate. From where I played music I could see tea trays brought out with decadent sandwiches, pastries and (gasp!) chocolate-covered candied bacon.

Bright colors with bold patterns are what's hot for spring  (Image by Ashley Smith)

Bright colors with bold patterns are what’s hot for spring. (Courtesy Ashley Smith)

The fashion show was elaborate, showcasing a wide variety of suits and dresses that went from business professional to high-class function from Macy’s, Michael Kors, Nordstrom, Nieman Marcus and Cache’. The colors were a beautiful palate of softer pastels and earthy tones mixed with bright purples, pinks and blues.

The hottest color for spring? Radiant Orchid!

Women in Hawaii will love this bright pink/purple hue. Also look for items in violet, sand, orange and, of course, yellow. Spring is all about the bright colors and bold patterns.

“Just experiment with what you are comfortable with” Pancipanci said.

Bold colors and patterns not your thing? Don't worry! Sand and pastels are also hot for spring! (Image by Ashley Smith)

Bold colors and patterns not your thing? Don’t worry! Sand and pastels are also hot for spring! (Courtesy Ashley Smith)

The event was a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day and Aloha United Way’s Women United did a fantastic job with their first event, raising more than $50,000 to support its mission of service to Oahu non-profits and making a difference in people’s lives.

“We wanted to create a fun, unique way to bring together women and their friends and we are so happy everyone had a great time,” AUW President and CEO Kim Gennaula said in an e-mail after the event.

I’m glad I was in that room, surrounded by women who are working hard and still find the time to be glamorous and stylish. It’s not easy to walk out of the house or office with perfect hair, makeup and outfit every day. Women who can still make it a priority are definitely huge role models for me. I’m trying!
Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young’s Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular “Bacardi Pool Party” on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

  • Erin Smith

    Great article, CW! Love that pink top and graphic pencil skirt outfit!! And I love Crystal, she’s fantastic!