The new H&M in Waikiki — the first H&M outlet in Hawaii — officially opens to the public Thursday at noon. But on Tuesday, I got an early tour of the highly anticipated 31,000-square-feet mega store, with high ceilings and natural light. I’ve been an H&M fan since my days in New York City and often frequented the Fifth Avenue store, the first H&M to open in the United States.
Like other H&Ms around the world, the 2270 Kalakaua Ave. location (at the Waikiki Business Plaza) offers stylish clothes, accessories and shoes for men, women and teens at a value, with prices ranging from about $5 to $130. Both sexes will be happy with the wide selection of fun, yet classic, street chic and perfect-for-the-office pieces. Guys can pick up a good shirt or pants for about $29, and women (and teens) will be able to purchase a head-to-toe ensemble for less than $50.
H&M hired more than 100 local employees for its two-level Waikiki boutique and says Hawaii will be one of its signature stores. If you’re planning to check out the store on Thursday, expect a crowd. For the grand opening, H&M will give the first 500 shoppers in line a limited-edition tote bag with local surf photos, and an Access to Fashion Pass valued from $10 to $500. There also will be opening day sales with merchandise starting at $5. Parking shouldn’t be an issue; the first three hours of parking at the Waikiki Business Plaza and the Waikiki Shopping Center is free with validation.
Here’s a little history on the store. In 1946, company founder Erling Persson was on a trip to the United States and came up with the idea of offering fashionable clothing at attractive prices. A year later, he opened his first shop in Sweden, Hennes (“her” in Swedish), which exclusively sold women’s clothing. In 1968, the hunting apparel retailer Mauritz Widforss was acquired, which led to the inclusion of menswear and the name change to Hennes & Mauritz, hence H&M.
While browsing through the store on Tuesday, I noticed a few spring trends that should give you a sneak peek of what to expect in terms of fashion.
Living in Paris: The look is sporty versus feminine- pleated skirt with a sweatshirt. Color palette, again pinks and beige with tough neutrals, khaki, army green.
Pioneers: Neutral colors. For women, the look is cropped with a waist focus. The men’s looks are edgy and modern.
Shades of Pink: The look is feminine and sweet but cool. It includes shades of pink, stripes, dots and color blocking. The silhouette is a full skirt with a boxy crop top.
Dessert Traveler: Utility chic and safari glamour. A mix of earth tones from beige to burnt red, embellishments and metal are key elements to this trend.
Here are some other looks on display at H&M Waikiki:
Photos by Amy Azada