On The Scene
The big event of the year for serious shoppers was Nordstrom Ala Moana's Grand Opening Gala, a benefit event on March 4. Nordstrom VIPs were joined by committee members and beneficiaries for a group photo after the doors opened: Rick Hernandez (Nordstrom COB), left, Pete Nordstrom, Elaine Evans (Hawaii Theatre), Al Landon (honorary gala chair), Shelly Thompson, Blake Nordstrom, Sue Landon (honorary gala chair), Jamie Nordstrom, Bruce Nordstrom, Jean Rolles, Sarah Richards (Hawaii Theatre) Eric Nordstrom and Brian Tatsumura (senior manager, Nordstrom Ala Moana).
Eileen Tokita got a hug from Norwegian perfume designer Geir Ness, who flew in for the week to introduce his Laila Eau de Parfum for women and his new Geir fragrance for men. Demand for both was so strong that they were sold out by midday Friday.
Margo Bourland, left, Judy Muncaster and Mariko Lyons enjoyed the selection of bite-size desserts brought to them by Pascal Amar. Bourland and Lyons found the shopping opportunities too good to resist; they both went home with bags full of merchandise.
Carolyn Berry, left, chatted with Evanita and Bob Midkiff in one of Nordstrom's several shoe departments. Although more then 2,600 people attended the party, the logistics were so well done that little time was spent waiting for anything -- food, beverage service or the parking valets. All in all, it was the best pre-opening party since Spats opened at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki in 1976.
Brazilian-born Rodrigo Iasuda met Crystal Pancipanci, left, Rachel Barnette and Shana Peete near the escalator after the second runway fashion show. The gala raised almost $400,000 for the Bishop Museum, Hawaii Theatre and HUGS (a Hawaii-based charity that supports families with seriously ill children). It will be remembered as a perfect party/fundraising event.