Heels & Picks: H&M hosts impressive opening
BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Is it possible to shop, rock out to a band, mingle, and enjoy date night with the boyfriend — all at the same time? How about with a drink in your hand? The new H&M store in Waikiki put guests to the test with a VIP Opening Party on March 26.
The highly anticipated new store, located on prime Waikiki real estate at the corner of Kalakaua and Seaside avenues, was booming on Wednesday night with an invite-only crowd of approximately 800 VIPs and a performance by Best Coast and, of course, killer sales on apparel.
My boyfriend and I are always good at entertaining each other, so we kicked back on the red carpet for a few minutes while waiting to get in, him in a black button-up looking handsome as usual, me in a red mini dress with black knee-high boots and kind of wishing I’d toned down the rock a bit. It was mayhem, as many openings and events are, and after joking with other people in line we decided as a group that the cocktail trays should be brought out to the red carpet. We also did some window-shopping to plan our route through the glistening sea of clothing inside.
Once we made our way through H&M’s giant glass doors, the party was already in full swing. One of my favorite local DJs (and fellow Pulse blogger!), SuperCW, was behind the turntables rocking an incredible high-energy indie set. People from the fashion, publishing and music industries were at every turn, popping out from behind mannequins, drink in one hand, five dresses or three blazers in the other.
Upstairs in the men’s department, I found some of my favorite looks included a pink- and white-striped men’s shirt with a graphic bowtie, and a floral green men’s shirt with the same floral green print jacket on top. (It sounds like overkill, but somehow, it works.)
There is also a blue graphic print men’s jumpsuit with shorts, something my boyfriend would not be caught dead in, but some fashion-forward fellow who is all about the risk might want to bust that out in Waikiki.
The women’s department really has us girls covered. From gorgeous blouses for meetings to graphic and floral print dresses for events, or fun casual wear like leggings printed with rapper Notorious B.I.G.’s face, there’s a little something for everyone.
I was in need of a few items of clothing that are a little less rock ‘n’ roll and quirky, and a little more chic. Mixing and matching rock ‘n’ roll with clothing that is appropriate for meetings is a new thing for me, but I’m enjoying the challenge.
I went with the classics, picking up a white short-sleeved button-up, a blue and white striped pencil skirt and a navy trench coat, which my boyfriend insisted I will never wear. Always one to team shop with my man, he chose a crop-top for me with a Batman symbol on the chest. I know, your boyfriend would totally do that too, right?
After shopping and sipping cocktails, we headed downstairs when Best Coast got on stage in the middle of the store for their performance. Surrounded by shoppers, music fans and fashionistas, Best Coast tore through their biggest hits and got the crowd into a dancing frenzy.
Nothing will make your appreciate your man more than listening to singer Bethany Constantinos croon “I Wish You Were My Boyfriend” over heartbreaking riffs. One of my favorite Best Coast songs is “Our Deal,” and I danced and sang along as I threw on trench coats and pencil skirts over my clothes in the middle of the store.
For the passionate fashionistas, don’t worry — the store is all yours now! H&M Waikiki opened its doors with some great pieces at affordable prices for Hawai’i shoppers. Casual or formal, H&M has you covered.
Then again, now everyone is going to show up in the same outfits for the next few months. Here’s to bumping into you in our matching blue and white pencil skirts!
Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.