By Nadine Kam
About this time of year we’d usually be getting ready for Ala Moana’s Red Party and other soirees and special events revolving around the many luxury boutiques at the center and Kalakaua.
Sigh. Its absence is felt.
Oh well, this business is such that I can never dwell long on what we don’t have, focusing instead on moving forward. I mentioned a little while back that I would be meeting with some people from Nordstrom and sat down yesterday with the lovely Pamela, Brooke and Sharon, along with one of our business writers Nina Wu.
Everyone’s waiting to know how they’ll position themselves in the marketplace, so Nina pointblank asked, “Are you somewhere between Macy’s and Neiman Marcus?”
They have yet to receive notice about what their mix will be, but the gist of their response is that they strive to offer many “boutiques” under one roof, acknowledging the mash-up way that real people shop and style themselves, so we can find — without ever leaving the store — that designer jean and $1,200 handbag, pairing those with an inexpensive T-shirt and, speaking mainlandese, “flipflops.”
They reminded us about their 40-year presence in the islands, first through the shoe department at Liberty House, and they opened their independent shoe store — something they hadn’t had since the 1960s — at Ward Centre to retain employees in planning for this major opening. Talk about planning ahead! I don’t know of many companies that would make that kind of commitment to employees. (They haven’t officially started the hiring process but those interested can check for employment ops at Nordstrom.com, under “Careers.”
And what a treat they have planned for their opening gala March 5, 2008, which will include the presentation of a full runway show featuring American and European designer spring collections. Tickets will be $150 per person, going on sale the week after Thanksgiving. I’ll remind you closer to the date. The fete will benefit Bishop Museum, Hawaii Theatre Center and HUGS. Grand opening day is March 7, with a free early morning makeup tailgate session involving makeup application in the parking lot before doors open.
Bring it on!