Fashion Tribe: Koi Honolulu’s splashy new home

Jul. 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

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PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comLance Rae was the winner of a hot pink Philipp Plein clutch at the grand opening of the Koi Honolulu boutique at Royal Hawaiian Center. He's with owner Kyong Chang and Sean Chang.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Lance Rae was the winner of a hot pink Philipp Plein clutch at the grand opening of the Koi Honolulu boutique at Royal Hawaiian Center. He’s with owner Kyong Chang and Sean Chang.

BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Koi Honolulu celebrated its grand opening Tuesday at Royal Hawaiian Center with a mini fashion show and prize giveaways.

A trio of men walked away with much coveted women’s accessories and jewelry from Philipp Plein and Chan Luu, among the exclusive brands carried by the boutique that was previously known as Koi Boutique, a much smaller shop within the center.

Owner Kyong Chang’s aim in 2008 was to bring unique and exclusive designs to Honolulu, and the expansion into the larger 2,200 square-foot space would suggest she’s succeeded.

Although the original store’s dark and edgy, rock ‘n’ roll-inspired mix initially drew Japan visitors to shop, Chang said the shop now attracts international, as well as local traffic.

The new store has a more spare, luxe feel than the former space.

The new store has a more spare, luxe feel than the former space.

Momoko Metzger and Angelo Bruno walked the runway during a mini fashion show that was a highlight of the event.

Momoko Metzger and Angelo Bruno walked the runway during a mini fashion show that was a highlight of the event.

Owner Kyong Chang says the move includes expanding the store’s product lines to cater to a larger audience. “Many of these lines are popular overseas, and we hope to establish a ‘bridge’ with Europe to bring the latest fashion to Hawaii.”

Within the boutique space, she’s managed to create what amounts to a mini casual, but upscale department store stocked with clothing, bags, shoes, fashion and fine jewelry, and other accessories.

Brands currently offered include Andrea D’Amico, Bark, Chan Luu, Cruciani, The Editor, Franco Ferrari, HTC (Hollywood Trading Co.), Hydrogen, Jerome Dreyfuss, Louis Leeman, Luis Morais, M. Cohen, Orlebar Brown, Orobianco, Philipp Plein, Phonz Says Black, PRPS, PT05, Santa Maria Novella & LAFCO, Siwy, Sydney Evan, Victoria Beckham, and Zoe Karssen.

Where the smaller store had a claustrophobic vibe with so many items crammed in, the new store is spacious, well-lighted and spare in its approach to merchandising, so items are easy to find and see.

Of course, when you can see everything, you tend to want everything!

It was at the original Koi Boutique that I picked up a lasting obsession with Chan Luu's wrap bracelets. I also love the designer's luxe boho clothing, also carried at Koi Honolulu.

It was at the original Koi Boutique that I picked up a lasting obsession with Chan Luu’s wrap bracelets. I also love the designer’s luxe boho clothing, also carried at Koi Honolulu.

Dressed head to toe in a maxi dress and jewelry carried by Koi Honolulu.

Dressed head to toe in a maxi dress and jewelry carried by Koi Honolulu.

Prize drawing winners Taiki Nakamura, left, and John Garcia, show off their prizes, a Philipp Plein skull-and-bones crossbody bag and Chan Luu bracelet, respectively.

Prize drawing winners Taiki Nakamura, left, and John Garcia, show off their prizes, a Philipp Plein skull-and-bones crossbody bag and Chan Luu bracelet, respectively.

Young Leila only had eyes, and hands, for mommy Nani Hirosane's Kate Spade necklace.

Young Leila only had eyes, and hands, for mommy Nani Hirosane’s Kate Spade necklace.

Among the store's unique product offerings is Santa Maria Novella's potpourri, handmade with herbs and flowers grown without pesticides in the Florentine hills, based on the original recipes of Dominican friars who founded the pharmacy in 1221.

Among the store’s unique product offerings is Santa Maria Novella’s potpourri, handmade with herbs and flowers grown without pesticides in the Florentine hills, based on the original recipes of Dominican friars who founded the pharmacy in 1221.

Koi Honolulu is on the ground level of the Royal Hawaiian Center, 2233 Kalakaua Ave. Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Call (808) 922-4532 or visit koiboutiquewaikiki.com. One hour of free parking is offered with validation for a $10 minimum purchase.
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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instragram and Rebel Mouse.

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