On a nondescript strip of King Street, three new lifestyle shops are creating a flourishing oasis of contemporary wares. Mōno features a carefully curated variety of gadgets for the home and office; Truest capitalizes on the popularity of sneaker culture in Hawai‘i and makes it easy to source limited-edition footwear; and In4mation, the newest tenant on the block, offers its sought-after action sports-inspired lifestyle apparel to an adoring populace. McCully never looked so good.
Specializing in design-driven items
With a tightly honed eye for unique gift items and specially designed goods, husband and wife team Dean and Cassy Song opened Mōno in April of last year. Since then, Mōno has been attracting leagues of adoring customers searching for that very special, rare gift that Mōno is known to expertly curate. Everything within the store—from the Japanese stationery to the quirky ceramic mugs—is expertly merchandised. A minimal design aesthetic with touches of wood and splashes of color set the mood, while an open, airy ambiance make it easy to shop the eclectic housewares and modern gadgets. The notion to open Mōno emerged while the pair was honeymooning in Japan and surrounded by the intense devotion that many Japanese merchants take to curating their stores. For first-time Mōno shoppers, Cassy recommends checking out stationery and paper goods from Mark’s Inc., browsing through the unique houseware items from MollaSpace, and picking up a set of animal-themed ceramic mugs from Imm Living.
Mōno is located at 2013 S. King St. For more information, visit monohawaii.com.
Keeping buyers on their toes
After living in Los Angeles for 13 years, John Om and his wife Elise moved back to Honolulu to open Truest, a sneaker consignment store, last February. Inside, a seemingly endless wave of sneakers, including popular but hard-to-find shoes from Vans, Converse, and Nike, line the walls. As a consignment store, Truest is able to source its product from the public and resell it to its customers, while never sacrificing on quality. “The basic way it works is that a customer brings in their product, we look at it together, discuss pricing, and if the shoe sells, we take a cut of 18 percent,” says Om. “But starting next year, we’re going to include a trade deal as well.” With no shortage of sneakerheads in Hawai‘i, along with their commitment to consigning shoes only of the highest quality, Truest has attracted an army of dedicated followers buying and selling.
Truest is located at 2011 S. King St.
Showing no signs of slowing
In the more than 10 years since Ryan Arakaki, Keith Kanagusuku, Jun Jo, and Todd Shimabuku decided to start the brand In4mation, the four friends have run the gauntlet of retail experiences. From the early days of building their first storefront to creating multiple lines that they now sell on an international level, In4mation has become one of the most popular Hawai‘i-bred brands of the past decade. Their “hi” emblem has become iconic in the islands and the brand is showing no sign of slowing. With two existing storefronts—In4mation currently has a retail and creative space located in Honolulu’s historic Chinatown and another longstanding space at Pearlridge Center—they’ve recently opened up a third location on King Street.
A quick glance inside the King Street storefront speaks volumes to the brand’s commitment to skateboarding. The far wall is lined with decks from Chocolate and Girl, while brands like SLVDR and Odd Future, as well as In4mation’s signature line, are stocked on the shelves. “When it came to curating this store, we wanted to pay a little more homage to our skate roots,” says Jo. “Many of our team riders live nearby our King Street location, so there’s definitely a skate vibe going on in the shop.” While their King Street location has only been open for a few months, In4mation drew throngs of devoted fans to their store by hosting a collaboration and party with Los Angeles-based hip-hop group Odd Future. “I think you’re seeing a movement happening with brands opting to open stores in neighborhoods as opposed to just shopping malls,” says Jo. “There’s a great vibe on King Street and a great sense of community here. When we first opened our Chinatown store, we realized how rad it was to have a community surrounding you, and we found a similar vibe on King Street.”
Check out In4mation at three locations: in McCully at 2009 S. King St.; in Chinatown at 1154 Nuuanu Ave.; in Pearlridge Uptown at 98-1005 Moanalua Rd. For more information, visit in4mants.com.