Time & time again


POSTED: Thursday, January 29, 2009

As many big retailers across the nation close their doors, it seems logical to question the wisdom of opening a business in hard economic times. But as people dig deep into their closets and drawers to rediscover what's still wearable, it's opened a door for vintage dressing to go mainstream, and Micah Joy Iaukea is ready.

The clothing designer recently made the leap to open Cloth, a vintage lifestyle boutique, on the ground floor at 909 Kapiolani Boulevard, combining her passion for sewing with the love of the treasure hunt.

Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, the Punahou graduate earned her fashion design degree at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising before returning home after 9/11 to help with her family's tourism business. Right away, she missed LA's vintage shopping.

“;At the time I was looking, there were not many venues in Hawaii for vintage apparel, and when you could find it, the stores were always overpacked, which made it hard to look around,”; she said.

“;I wanted to bring a boutique lifestyle element to vintage shopping, so that people who wouldn't normally think of wearing vintage clothing could feel comfortable looking, while staying true to those who already do wear vintage. I want to find the best pieces for them.”;

True to her word, her floor is spacious and the racks well-edited, whether you're the type who wants to examine each piece or just a spot checker. Textures, color and pattern will leap out at you.

Because of the one-of-a-kind nature of vintage pieces, her sewing skills come in handy when slight alterations are called for.

Perhaps more than the vintage aspect of clothes, she enjoys the thrill of seeing objects in the store finding a new home.

“;I don't look at things and see them as they are but as they can be. That's how I've tried to live my day-to-day life as well,”; she said. “;Each time I find a piece I think of where it's been, who wore it, the stories behind it and when I see someone buy it, it's the next chapter of a very long story.”;


Cloth is at 909 Kapiolani Boulevard. Call 341-9044.