By Nadine Kam
Royal Hawaiian Center hosted its first fashion and food Tweetup June 23, an opportunity for those who don’t shop in Waikiki to check out a handful of the center’s many trendy and luxury boutiques.
Stops on the two-hour, self-guided tour were bebe, White House/Black Market, 7 for all Mankind, Juicy Couture, Koi Boutique, Allure Swimwear, Kate Spade and Acid Dolls.
Timing was great because most of the boutiques have their summer sales going on, and participants in the Tweetup could take advantage of additional discounts and gifts with purchase that evening. At Kate Spade, the first 25 guests were lucky enough to receive a free bangle.
Each stop also featured food and drink prepared by RHC restaurants. At bebe there were wontons with garlic sauce from Beijing Chinese Seafood Restaurant; crab wontons from P.F. Chang’s at White House/Black Market; okonomiyaki from Chibo okonomiyaki at 7 for all Mankind; Vietnamese summer rolls from The Cheesecake Factory at Juicy Couture; steak quesadillas from Maui Tacos at Koi; sandwhiches, mini panini, spinach salad and panna cotta from Panya at Allure; crab cakes and Canadian bacon from Wolfgang’s Steakhouse at Kate Spade; and tuna tataki from Doraku Sushi at Acid Dolls.
At Kate Spade, above, and below, Stephanie Matsumoto eyes a new pair of heels. When last I saw her, she also was looking at a hot pink evening purse.
A lot of the guests ended up hanging out at Acid Dolls for the tuna tataki, but that may be because the party also ended at neighboring Doraku, where those who tweeted most won gift certificates. I’ve done the math before and figured the winners are usually sending a tweet less than every 2 minutes. For two hours? They must have a lot to say. One person actually complained there was too much wine!
Sometimes getting people in the stores is the most difficult battle for retailers. Once you’re in, it’s easy to get caught up in a buying frenzy because there’s always something to want.
I was a little too distracted to shop that night because I was being tailed by videographer who’s responsible for a new batch of TV commericals for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. I normally like being behind the camera, not in front of it, but she was making me do all the things I’m usually trying to get other people to do for the camera—looking at clothes, touching clothes, walking into the stores, etc. She was being reassuring, saying it’s easy, it’ll look good, etc. Then of course when I wanted to take her picture she shied away, saying she’s never in front of the camera!
At a session at the office earlier in the day, she asked me if I receive a clothing allowance. Big no. She asked again that night, and by the end of the evening she was convinced I need a clothing allowance. I won’t argue with that!
The RHC Fashion event may become an annual one, though to grow and be more lucrative for participating boutiques, it will have to expand beyond the Twitter circle, half of which were men who didn’t look particularly comfortable wandering around bebe or Juicy Couture.
In the meantime, if you’re on Twitter and want to find a Tweetup that appeals to you, try visiting Twtvite.com to find a group and subject that interests you, or follow @TwtviteHI for more news and updates.
I had to chew fast on a crab cakes and slice of Canadian bacon—my two favorite foods from Wolfgang’s Steakhouse—at Kate Spade before my videographer arrived. After she finished shooting toward the end of the evening, I tried to go back for one more piece of bacon, but alas, it had all been devoured.
Judith Pon shoes an embellished Miss Bikini swimsuit, handmade in Rome and available at Allure Swimwear for $270. Owner Dan Muccia said that due to the limited production, he has customers who wait all year for new designs.