3 Oahu fashion boutiques quietly close up shop
As the malls continue to add tenants, a few local stand-alones have quietly closed.
Donna Bebber closed her 2-year-old Vera Wang boutique at Halekulani earlier this week, citing the company's decision to discontinue its jewelry line.
"Without the jewelry, we couldn't make rent. The margins weren't there," she said.
Adasa and Rafael also closed, the businesses now owned by larger fashion retailers, enabling Hawaii shoppers to still find the brands.
A visit to Adasa.com now leads to CoutureCandy.com.
Searching for Rafaelhawaii.com leads to Singer22.com, where currently, "friends of Rafael Hawaii" can get a 10 percent discount with the code "Hawaii10."
Mari Stewart, who owned a combination of bricks-and-mortar and online incarnations of Rafael for 26 years before deciding to sell her business, said, "I think it will be a good match for my customers."
She wanted to devote more time to the Caribbean restaurant that she and her husband, Dave Stewart, plan to open.
"It's been a lot of work for both of us, to continue doing what we were trying to do. It's good for us to be able to concentrate on one thing. I think it will be fun.
"I'm sure I'll miss retail. I love clothing," she said.
As for where she'll be shopping, she said, "I don't know. I never had the opportunity to get around and see all the new boutiques that have opened, so it's going to be fun for me to see what's out there."
As for learning to pay full retail, she said, "I'm sure it's going to hurt terribly."
Lastly, if you're looking for the kung fu fashion of Bad Sushi, the boutique has moved from its River Street haunt to be closer to the action across from rRed Elephant on Bethel Street.