The making of I AM.

August 3rd, 2011

Kara Matsunaga photo
At the I AM. boutique at 1221 Kapiolani Boulevard, Mizu wears a $15 bow tie, unisex and apparently, unispecies.

My story about Richie Miao and Kara Matsunaga’s new I AM. boutique will be in the paper tomorrow. Here’s a little behind the scenes illustrations and photos showing what went into the design of the space.

Kara and Richie worked with Melissa Rivera of Unleash Studio, who has unleashed her creative spirit into interior design. In working with I AM., Melissa was also able to tap into her industrial design background for their mutually compatible styles.

She used repurposed items such as ladders as modular shelving systems, and nautical hardware such as boat anchors, rope and boat bumpers to reinforce I AM.’s island roots.

Though serious about design, Melissa also infuses her work with a playful spirit. You can see her creativity on display in a feature story I wrote about her a year ago.

It starts with Melissa’s sketches, renderings and later, a 3D model:

Red accents and wood were incorporated to warm the industrial look of the store. Here, the cashier area and jewelry case.

Boat bumpers provide a place to sit.

Ladders form the framework for shelving and are also hung horizontally to hold T-shirts and other apparel.

Her work completed, Melissa Rivera makes herself at home in the boat bumper chair.

The clothing in place.

Rope and anchoring details.

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One Response to “The making of I AM.”

  1. bryan:

    very interesting and cool stuff.

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