By Nadine Kam
Tori Richard celebrated the grand opening of its new Ala Moana store with an April 2 celebration featuring pupu by MW Restaurant's chef Wade Ueoka, and entertainment by Taimane.
The event was also a benefit for the Honolulu Museum of Art outreach programs, with a portion of opening day sales going toward after-school residencies for public school children, and the "Warriors Eyes on Art" program for transitioning soldiers.
The kamaaina company is already well known for its menswear, but is approaching its sixth decade with a refresh of its boutiques to coincide with an increased focus on its rapidly growing women's line.
Key to the new approach was the arrival of designer Jessica Zaro, who worked with Lilly Pulitzer and Shoshanna before joining Tori Richard in 2011 as creative design director for the Tori Richard woman. Her "beach to bar" philosophy encompasses a strong dose of color and print, along with knowledge of how contemporary women want to dress.
"They want clothing that's versatile, that can be worn during the day, then dressed up with heels, a clutch and perfect jewelry at night,"Zaro said. "I like to keep it simple but fashion-forward."
She said she was excited by the opportunity to work for Tori Richard, whose resort aesthetic appealed to her own vision of the glamorous life.
"Living in New York City, I lived for my summers,"Zaro said. "I loved to wear color and a flowy dress that felt so easy and chic at the same time. Everybody strives to have that lifestyle."
There are 8 million visitors who visit the islands annually who seem to suggest so, and I have a feeling the company will be dancing circles around young national upstarts by the time it's 60th birthday arrives in two years.