Island Chic

Hawaii's streetstyle game has stepped up with tons of fashion enthusiasts on Oahu sporting looks inspired by pop culture.  I personally love being edgy/bougie with my vintage threads from Goodwill, but summer's just hit and it's freaking hot! My closet needs a major upgrade for fresh looks that are breathable and flowy. Lately, I don't care to shop at corporate retailers because the styles they carry in store are either mass-produced or don't cater to the tropical climate. Thankfully there are a handful of small businesses who do carry apparel and accessories that fit the island lifestyle, and one place in particular does so by bringing in a mix of local and and outside brands.

The Evette romper with a bag from The Umbrella Collective

The Evette romper with a bag from The Umbrella Collective

Valia Honolulu is a boutique established in Chinatown and for a few years has been catering to all women, especially to those working on Bishop St who'll come down during their lunch break or after office hours to relieve stress- in other words, retail therapy! When you're shopping for an occasion whether you know or don't know what you want, I highly recommend striking up a conversation with the associates! They are there to assist you in your styling needs and do so by getting to know your personality and lifestyle. I found tons of pieces that I can wear to work and wardrobe. I even saw a bunch of dresses that would be perfect to wear to a wedding or Sunday brunch! Since we're in Hawaii, it's easy to play with colors and floral prints all year long being that we pretty much experience summer 80% of the time.

I dedicated a day for retail therapy in Chinatown and stopped by Valia for a styling session. Every time I go shopping I need to wear something that's easy to slip in and out of, so I wore this cute embroidered romper, the Evette, which Valia has in stock along with other cute fits of similar style. After going through a couple of looks, I ended up wearing this cute Valencia two piece set with a strapless top and wide-legged pants that you cinch at the center of the waist. I fell in love with this outfit and I just had to keep it on while touring Chinatown. As I strutted from Hotel St to Nuuanu Ave, I felt pretty boss in my set like I was ready to take on a meeting. I guess that's the beauty of Valia's mission which is to empower women during and after their shopping experience!

The Valencia set with my favorite kind of hand bag - wicker!

The Valencia set with my favorite kind of hand bag - wicker!

Valia is highly supportive of local brands and handmade designers, carrying their products in store to match the shop's aesthetic. You’ll see local clothing brands like Yireh, Adhira, Angels by the Sea, Vermilli and Khush in store. Some handmade brands like 19th & Whimsy and Umbrella Collective are also available (pink bag in earlier photo). For genuine handmade leather pieces like handbags you'll see those priced at $260, but for everything else in the store especially the clothes, everything will be no more than $150. Partnerships with local brands are huge in Valia's mission, which I admire as I strive to do the same with my blog. In addition to their assortment, you'll see that they carry pieces from Mainland (mostly LA) designers, so there's a bit of global influence.

IMG_4082.JPG

Meet Camille!

Camille is a boss girl entrepreneur who graduated from the University of Washington in retail management. Her roots are in Hong Kong, but Hawaii became her home when she finished high school at Mid Pacific Institute. From adolescence up to her work experience at T-Galleria, she was inspired by luxury brands like Louis Vuitton to one day start up her own business. Her experience with working in high-end retail gave her a strong foundation in customer service, and combining that with her love for fashion, she started up her own boutique, Valia Honolulu. Before starting her business, she was deciding between Chinatown and Ward as both venues are her favorite shopping spots. Reminding her of home in Hong Kong, Camille chose Chinatown and started Valia in November 2016. The name "Valia" is Camille's feminine take on the word "valiant", which she strives to empower women with in their shopping experience. When you stop by her shop, take note of the interior design, as most of the furniture and decor are mostly recycled like the coffee table used for displaying products, and even a refurbished cabinet for jewelry. Looking into the future, you can expect Valia to be popping up at local events including the Best of Honolulu Festival, which is coming up on July 14th. I'm excited to see what else Camille has in store for her business and hope to see newer pieces; perhaps her own line of design? -wink wink-

Dress by Yireh

Dress by Yireh

Thanks a bunch to Camille and Megan from Valia Honolulu for having me style with them! These ladies are absolutely hard working and are always looking for ways to improve anything and everything with the shop. I look forward to working with them further looking into the future.

If you love any of the looks you saw me wear from their shop, you can take 15% off your purchase when you shop the outfits or anything else at valiahonolulu.com by using the code FASHIONGABBS.

Big thanks to the guys who helped us create content from this event:

Photography: Landen Tsuda (@genkiphotos)

Videography: Nainoa Andrade (@nainoandrade)