Oahu - Shops
of Hawaii now merit their own festivals and trade shows throughout
the year. "Made in Hawaii" is a label to be touted.
Academy Shop (in the Honolulu Academy of Arts; tel. 808/523-8703): The recent expansion of the Honolulu Academy of Arts made a good thing even better. You'll find a stunning selection of art books, stationery, jewelry, basketry, beadwork, ikats, saris, ethnic fabrics, fiber vessels, accessories, and contemporary gift items representing the art and craft traditions of the world.
Alii Antiques of Kailua II (tel. 808/261-1705): Make a beeline here, particularly if you have a weakness for vintage Hawaiiana. Koa lamps and rattan furniture from the 1930s and `40s, hula nodders, rare 1940s koa tables, and a breathtaking array of vintage etched-glass vases and trays are some of the items in this unforgettable shop.
Avanti Fashion (tel. 808/924-1688, and 808/922-2828): In authentic prints from the 1930s and `40s reproduced on silk, Avanti aloha shirts and sportswear elevate tropical garb from high kitsch to high chic. Casual, comfortable, easy care, and light as a cloud, the silks look vintage but cost a fraction of collectibles prices. The nostalgic treasures are available in retail stores statewide, but the best selection is at the retail stores in Waikiki.
Bibelot (tel. 808/738-0368): Bibelot is the perfect local gallery: tiny, tasteful, and luminous with fine works of glass, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, and other objects of beauty. Kudos to Paul Sakai and Tom Tierney for giving island artists this new and refreshing venue. More than 30 artists, some of them the finest in the islands (Doug Britt, Margaret Ezekiel, Charles Higa, Kenny Kicklighter) make their works available here. Fantastic gifts to go.
Contemporary Museum Gift Shop (in the Contemporary Museum; tel. 808/523-3447): This gets our vote as the most beautiful setting for a gift shop, and its contents are a bonus: extraordinary art-related books, avant-garde jewelry, cards and stationery, home accessories, and gift items made by artists from Hawaii and across the country. Only the best here.
Vagabond House (tel. 808/593-0288): Gracious island living is translated here into home accessories, one-of-a-kind island crafts, fine porcelain and pottery, children's books, luxury soaps, hand-screened table linens, china, furniture, and designer toys and teapots. A browser's (and shopper's!) paradise.
Native Books & Beautiful Things (tel. 808/596-8885, and 808/599-5511): Hawaii is the content and the context in this shop of books, crafts, and gift items made by island artists and crafters. Musical instruments, calabashes, jewelry, leis, books, fabrics, clothing, home accessories, jams and jellies--they're all high quality and made in Hawaii--a celebration of Hawaiiana.
Silver Moon Emporium (tel. 808/637-7710): This is an islandwide phenomenon, filled with the terrific finds of owner Lucie Talbot-Holu, who has a gift for discovering fashion treasures. Exquisite clothing and handbags, reasonably priced footwear, hats, jewelry, scarves, and a full gamut of other treasures pepper the attractive boutique.