RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@ STARBULLETIN.COM
From left, in clothing from LUXi, are boutique owners Michelle Park in an Ocean Jewel tank ($40); Ashley Chan in a Sandstorm tank ($24) and Sun Up Down short ($34); and Jein Park in a Tempo jacket ($70) and low-rise capri ($50).
Luxi has women looking good in the gym
If good health alone is not enough to get you out the door and into some exercise program, the sisters -- Ashley Chan and Jein and Michelle Park -- behind LUXi, a new Ala Moana Center boutique, might have the incentive you need.
LUXI GRAND OPENING
With fashion presentations, refreshments and door prizes:
Place:LUXi, Ala Moana Center Suite 3111, third floor (outside Neiman Marcus entrance)
Time:6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow
Note: Ten percent of sales proceeds during the grand-opening celebration will go to the Hawaii affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Direct donations will also be accepted. For foundation information, visit www.komenhawaii.org.
The sisters came up with the mantra "style is motivation," after realizing that more people care more about the way they look than the way they feel.
Forget about cancer scares or potential heart attacks. For some, there's nothing like good old-fashioned vanity to get them into the gym, yet nothing could be more demoralizing than failing to look like the hardbody on the next treadmill.
"It's true," said Jein, who's company president; her sisters are vice presidents. "When you go to the gym, you see everyone dressed up, and if you're in sweats and a big T-shirt, you don't feel like a member and that's not right."
That's where LUXi comes to the rescue. One of only two Nike concept stores in the nation, the boutique carries Nike's technologically advanced line of active wear to suit both performance-oriented athletes and those who simply have to chase kids or race around grocery store aisles in the course of a day.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
The corset dance top is $125 at LUXi. In back is a dance cropped jacket, for $65, over a dance sports bra, $36.
Innovations such as Nike's Dri-fit technology wicks moisture away from the body and insulates muscles during workouts, but moms will welcome the same feature when a child's juice spills all over. Dri-fit causes liquid spills to evaporate quickly.
Comfort and room to move are key to the apparel, footwear and accessories geared toward activities from running to dancing to yoga, plus street wear for those much-needed rest times.
"This is a perfect store for girls like me," Jein said. "There's a lucky few who get into something like soccer and stick with it, but otherwise, you go to the gym, stop, go back."
Dressed in one of the store's best-sellers, low-rise black capris, Jein said, "Everybody loves these. They're not super-low so you don't get that plumber look, and they fall nicely over the stomach area so it keeps your figure looking nice."
Her Air Rift Basic shoes feature a tabi-like toe feature, originally inspired by Kenyan marathoners, who ran barefoot, allowing their toes to help them navigate terrain much more grueling than a run to the post office.
"At first they felt a little weird, but now I don't notice them at all. They're so comfortable," she said.
The sisters' association with Nike started with their father, Kang Il Park, who first started carrying Nike shoes at a former store in the late 1980s. The store grew to primarily offer Nike products, and his success led him to open a Nikewomen boutique, Regency Sports, in Waikiki.
With experience as a buyer for Regency Sports, Jein said she constantly offers Nike feedback as to what women want.
"I don't know if they take my advice or not, but I see changes every season. Nike puts a lot of research into what they do, and I've seen the fit change over the years.
"When they started developing the women's line, like the T-shirts, they'd start with a men's cut and minimize it for women. It's gotten a lot better since then. And they know Hawaii needs a lot of extra-smalls, so over the years they started doing proper sizing for petite women."
Each sister has her own sense of style and fitness interest. While Michelle is into running, Ashley has a 2 1/2-year-old daughter to keep her fit and practices yoga for relaxation.
"I don't like to rough it like they do," Ashley said.
Differences carry over into business decisions as well, and working with family can often be more trying than working with strangers, but Jein said, "Because we're family, the trust is already established.
"The good thing is that we still get to a decision by the end of the day. It's just that sometimes we have to go through 'sisterly arguments' instead of formal business meetings."
LUXi is open 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
Cancer survivor stories wanted
Do you have a friend or relative who is a breast cancer survivor? The Honolulu Star-Bulletin and LUXi would like to honor them in support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Hawaii affiliate during the store's grand-opening month.
Nominate your breast cancer survivor by telling their inspirational story in 500 words or less. Drop it off at LUXi or send it to the Star-Bulletin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cancer Survivor, Today section, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7-210 Waterfront Plaza, Honolulu 96813. Include your name, the survivor's name and respective phone numbers. The survivors in the Top 2 stories will each receive a $350 LUXi gift certificate.
Deadline is May 31. No purchase is necessary. All entries become property of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and LUXi. Winning entries will be reprinted in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.