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Oahu Shopping

Anne Namba
324 Kamani Street
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 589 1135

Hawaiian-born Namba has designed for the costume department of Radio City Music Hall, lived in exotic locales like Thailand and Iran, and traveled extensively in Japan. Now back in Honolulu, she brings her disparate influences together in her clothing designs: dramatic bustiers, floaty tunics, and body-skimming gowns stitched from silky, kimono-print fabrics.

First Fridays
Honolulu , Hawaii

From 5 to 10 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, Chinatown (which extends east-west from River Street to Richard Street and north-south between Beretania and King streets) turns into an arty street party. Participating stores, galleries, performance spaces, restaurants, and bars literally leave their doors wide open for throngs of people who come to schmooze, socialize, see and be seen—and, of course, shop. Crowds spill out onto the streets and make the rounds, sipping free wine and scouting for designer home decor at Sourcing Asia and INTO, "recycled art by unknown talents" at Daspace on Smith Street, and "outsider art" at the Got Art? gallery on Nuuanu Avenue. Those wanting to buy contemporary but still-affordable Hawaiian artworks should stop by the Louis Pohl Gallery, and wine collectors shouldn't miss the HASR Wine Co., a funky little shop run by enthusiastic wine nerds with some surprising selections (perfect for BYOB meals in the 'hood).

1133 Bethel Street
Tel: 808 585 8505

40 N. Hotel Street
Tel: 808 536 2211

1111 Nuuanu Avenue
Tel: 808 521 1812

31 N. Pauahi Street
Tel: 808 535 9463

Hawaiian Island Creations Outlet
590 Farrington Highway
Kapolei , Hawaii
Tel: 808 674 4001

This made-in-Hawaii brand of surfboards, clothing, and surf accessories has been around since 1972, but it's still nearly impossible to find (outside of Oahu HIC boutiques). The exclusivity means the brand still has cachet, and the boards are treated like trophies by those who own them. For those on a budget, this new HIC outlet way out in Kapolei offers deep discounts on previous seasons' models. Though it was opened for locals, there's nothing to stop the adventurous visitor from seeking it out, as well.

Island Glassworks
171A Hamakua Drive
Kailua , Hawaii
Tel: 808 263 4527

Owner and artist in residence Geoff Lee uses traditional Italian techniques at his hot and cold glassmaking facility. The results, for sale in the attached shop, include lovely sake sets, vases, and decorative pieces adorned with abstract nature motifs. Though the heavily tattooed Lee studied in Washington State with renowned glass artist Benjamin Moore, he brings his own Hawaiian punk-rock sensibility to his bold designs.

Closed Thursdays and Sundays.

Kamaka Ukuleles
550 South St.
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 531 3165

Widely considered to be the best, these ukuleles have been made in Hawaii since 1916. You'll find them for sale everywhere, but coming to this factory location has added benefits. First, it's fun to take the free tour of the premises (10:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday) and get schooled in the instrument's colorful history. Second, you can test out all nine different varieties of uke and even order one, if you like; your instrument will be shipped to you about a month later. Third, you'll get a ten percent discount on prices, which start at $600.

Malie Organics
The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center
2259 Kalakaua Avenue
Waikiki , Hawaii
Tel: 808 922 2216

Malie's fruit, flower, and vine essences—gathered from Kauai's rain forests and rich volcanic soil—have arrived in Waikiki (a tad more convenient than the Kauai store in Kalaheo!) at this boutique in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. If you're not already a fan from stumbling upon these all-natural, organic scents at Hawaii's leading spas, here's your chance for a one-stop immersion. While the Kokee fragrance (the unisex scent of the Hawaiian maile vine) is still a favorite, the Orchid scent is so pretty, bright, and subtle that it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for any of your female friends or relatives back home. Candles and body creams are easy to pack, but reed diffusers, liquid soaps, and room sprays are trickier—the good news is that you can have your entire order shipped home from the store.—Cathay Che

Open daily 9 am to 9 pm.

Muumuu Heaven
767 Kailua Road
Kailua , Hawaii
Tel: 808 263 3366

Where do vintage Hawaiian muumuus, those long dresses in brightly colored prints, go after they become frayed? An increasing number are being reincarnated as funky sundresses and beach bags at this Kailua boutique. Men aren't left out either—Muumuu Heaven customizes bamboo tees and vintage polo shirts with a strip of the colorful fabric. Old Hawaiian shirts also get a second life here as throw pillows, complete with buttons and pockets. Eco-minded shoppers will appreciate that everything for sale (except the imported bamboo tees) is sourced from the islands, and even the store's fixtures and shopping bags are recycled. Custom orders for a particular color palette, or using your own muumuu, are stitched up in about two weeks and available by mail order.

Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm, Sundays 11 am to 4 pm.

Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii
Ward Warehouse
1050 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 800 887 7751

The official store for Na Mea Hawaii, an organization dedicated to sharing Hawaiian culture, language, and traditions. The stock here ranges from academic books about language, history, music, hula, massage, meditation, even navigating by the stars, to fun titles on lighter subjects like how to throw a luau, how to make tropical cocktails, and how to speak pidgin English. There's a good selection of children's books, too, illustrating basic Hawaiian values—taking care of the land, respecting nature, and the ocean, thinking about the consequences of your actions, and so on.

Shirokiya at Ala Moana Shopping Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 973 9111

Popping into this Japanese department store is like taking a quick trip to Tokyo. You'll find Japanese electronics, clothing, toys (including a good selection of Hello Kitty items), kitchen gadgets, housewares, and—best of all—snacks. While the first floor is a calm, ordered world, upstairs resembles an open market, with vendors shouting out what they have for sale as you pass by. Delicious Japanese treats (such as mochi, musubi, soba, and green-tea ice cream) are available either for takeout or, if you can find a place to sit, to eat at the tables in the atrium.

Xcel Wetsuits
66-590 Kamehameha Highway
Haleiwa , Hawaii
Tel: 808 637 6239

Founded in 1982 on the North Shore, Xcel still manufactures and sells standard and custom-fit wet suits for surfing and diving. There's also a good selection of vests and jerseys for other water sports (wakeboarding, spearfishing, waterskiing), rash guards (Lycra shirts to wear in the water), and adorable onesies for babies made with SPF 50 fabric.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.