No Place Like Ala Moana

By Erica A. Neves
Wednesday - October 19, 2005
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Ala Moana store managers (from left): June Higa (Dior), Jeannie Higa (Sophora), Mariese Montano-Smith (Escada), Ming Lee (Louis Vuitton), Patrick Gey (Fendi) and Don Le (Bally)
Ala Moana store managers (from left): June Higa (Dior),
Jeannie Higa (Sophora), Mariese Montano-Smith
(Escada), Ming Lee (Louis Vuitton), Patrick Gey
(Fendi) and Don Le (Bally)

Women love to shop. A lot of men do too. We do it for any and all reasons: to reward ourselves for something; to gift a friend or loved one; to erase a bad day; to feel good; because it’s fun; because you need to; and my favorite reason - to help stimulate the economy! You have to feel good about that one.

Anyone reading this article has either shopped at Ala Moana Center, worked there, knows someone employed by the center, or received a gift purchased at the center. Since its opening in 1959, the multi-level center has grown to accommodate 260 stores including 70 dining outlets, and is still growing. Everything from locally owned surf shops, slipper houses and crack-seed stores to the most recognized fashion boutiques in the world reside at Ala Moana Center.

An estimated 42 million annual shopping visits are made by kama’aina and visitors to Ala Moana Center, making the mall a leader in the retail industry and the fashion center of the Pacific.

This is reason enough why many of the world’s leading luxury brands are participating in Ala Moana Center’s “World Festival: Hawaii’s Fashion Week,” Nov. 1-6, showcasing exclusive merchandise, product launches, fashion shows and guest appearances to the avid shopper of luxury goods.

Dior has created exclusive, limited-edition versions of its “mini-trotter” handbags in baby blue and pink canvas, only available at Ala Moana Center. National makeup artist Dennis Colum will make appearances for consultations during the week. Additionally, Dior is creating a high-energy runway fashion show to showcase their 2006 Spring/Cruise Collection.

Fendi will host a rare, in-store appearance by Roberto Masci, a 40-year veteran of Fendi who has worked extensively with designing genius Karl Lagerfeld on all aspects of the brand’s fur collection and accessories.

Salvatore Ferragamo designers in Italy have crafted an exclusive leather bracelet specifically for this event. Neiman Marcus will feature exclusive World Festival necklaces created by celebrity jewelry designer Lizzie Scheck, from Sex and the City fame. Celine has limited edition “mini-trunkette” handbags in three metallic colors, with only 10 to be sold in the world - all at Ala Moana Center. Emporio Armani is creating an exclusive fuchsia-colored handbag. Dooney & Burke will launch its new denim handbag collection. Bally will have exclusive World Festival T-shirts featuring its signature crest. Burberry will launch a beautiful new charm bracelet watch. Polo Ralph Lauren is producing an exclusive white polo shirt with a large red pony, designed for World Festival.

Hermes is being secretive about its exclusive product, but guarantees it will be spectacular.

For cosmetics lovers, Bare Escentuals founder Leslie Blodgett is scheduled to make a guest appearance at Sephora.

Where else but Ala Moana Center could you experience this level of iconic fashion events in Hawaii?

Mark you calendars and plan for numerous visits to Ala Moana Center between Nov. 1 and 6 when “World Festival: Hawaii’s Fashion Week” takes place. You or someone you know deserves this exclusive shopping experience. If you need more motivation, just remember: You’re helping to stimulate the economy!

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