By Nadine Kam
An 8-by-10 foot inflatable replica of Kipling's Defea bag marks the spot of #MyKiplingBag Tour. — Nadine Kam photos
Kipling, a fast-growing global accessory brand, brought its #MyKiplingBag Tour to its second Hawaii store in the King Kalakaua Plaza, 2080 Kalakaua Ave., for three days of fun and celebration.
The event started yesterday and continues from 3 to 9 p.m. today and Dec. 20, with an interactive photo experience, free monogramming of purchased items, a sweepstakes, VMV Hypoallergenics Beauty Bar, and complimentary drinks offered from 5:30 p.m. daily.
The event is free. To RSVP, visit www.mykiplingbag.com.
Founded in 1987, the Belgian brand is known for injecting fun into its lightweight, contemporary handbags, accessories, and luggage for women of all ages, with the aim of creating the perfect accessories for an active life.
Hawaii got to know the brand through Macy's stores, and the company did so well that it was able to open its first Ala Moana Center store in May, followed by this Waikiki sibling, in the large space that was once home to Banana Republic.
In the spirit of travel and adventure, the brand is named after Rudyard Kipling, author of “The Jungle Book.” In homage to the story, Kipling chose the monkey as its mascot, and each of its bags is accompanied by a hanging monkey keyring. Check out their really cute video featuring their monkey troop:
The company offers multiple ways to engage with the brand through social media, with opportunities to win merchandise through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Instagram your photo with #MyKiplingBag and follow @KiplingUSA to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of up to $1,000 in products from the Kipling Create Your Own Collection.
Fill in the blank: "The funniest thing in #MyKiplingBag is ____" at Instagram to win weekly prizes.
Name that monkey: The company names each of its monkeys, many bearing the name of its employees around the world. Trouble is, so many monkeys are sold, they are always looking for new names. If you've got one to share, tell them on Twitter @KiplingUSA #KiplingNameGame and you might be surprised one day to receive a Kipling accessory and Kipling Monkey with your own name on it!
Colors that make you smile, and a barrel of soft, furry monkeys too!
Stacy Roman, left, and Kathy Hines, right, vice president, marketing for Kipling were in from New York for the grand opening, with Cris Pageler, PR and social media manager.
From left, Jan Hail, Lance Rae and Joanne Magday posed for photos with Kipling bags. A prompter in front of them called for acting out various scenarios, ranging from yogaing to caffeinating to jetsetting.
Miss Hawaii USA 2014 Moani Hara and Jocelyn Fukuda also stepped in front of the camera. I don't know which word they're responding to.
Celeb chef Lee Anne Wong provided the food for a private event before the public opening, including Korean-style sushi and dessert bruschetta topped with Greek yogurt and diced tropical fruit. She was helped by Jason Chow, left, and Andrea Onetti of Onda Pasta. She's getting ready to open Kevin Hanney's Koko Head Cafe in January.
Shoppers can get their purchase monogrammed with up to nine characters, with several choices of typefaces and colors.
Lindsey Muraoka, left, and Ritsuko Kukonu show their monogrammed Freedom cosmetic/pen cases.
Performers showcased the dances of Tahiti, Hawaii and Aotearoa.
Left, Megan Anderson Garvey is back in town with Kipling. She's with Kipling district manager, west, Mary Voth.
Midweek columnist Alison Stewart, left, with Sandra Billington of A&B Properties, showing off Kipling merchandise off the shelves.
Monkey logo keyring.
Embroidery machines are set with several color thread options for monograms.
After programming the computer, a name starts taking shape.
One of the new collections mixes Kipling's signature washable nylon with shiny patent.
Anglophiles might like this Union Jack design.