First Break Waikiki, a local boutique located in the Waikiki Sheraton, is popular with the tourists, but locals should check it out, too.
Walking through the hotel’s lobby, you can’t help but notice this bright, attractive storefront. Its breezy fashions call out to be tried on and then worn straight out to the beach or to a party. What I really liked about this store is that it is not overdone. The selection is very good but not overwhelming. A quick scan around the walls will allow you to see what is available without having to push through racks.
An inviting storefront welcomes customers to First Break Waikiki.
This store has an interesting beginning. Owner Lauren Adelman’s father (an authentic Waikiki Beach Boy turned business man) started selling beachwear to customers who were making reservations for ocean activities through Waikiki Beach Services. This successful retail offshoot turned into its own entity, with a new location and a desire to showcase local designers. The store’s expanded inventory now includes trendy and sexy bikinis, along with flowy, stylish cover-ups (pretty enough to be worn anywhere), beach-inspired jewelry and a few national brands to round out the collection.
First Break recently launched the wildly popular brand L-Space, with its very s-e-x-y fringed bikini tops that made me wish I was 20 years younger. Two local brands are highlighted products also. Pualani Hawaii, known for its quality and functionality, offers suits for all ages and body types. I was glad to see I’d be able to shop right beside my young adult daughter. The lining in the suit is superior and a white suit will never reveal anyone’s “secrets.”
Letarte of Maui describes itself as Bohemian – yet jet set. It has international and Hollywood fans and most recently, the cover spot on “Sports Illustrated” 2013 Swimsuit issue. I was especially drawn to their cover-up/beach dresses. The prices, though, are friendly. The clerk told me an average store purchase runs between $130-ish to $200.
Suit up with Pualani and L Sport kinis.
Most of First Break’s customers are tourists. They either are staying at the hotel or have seen the store’s ad in the Collections booklet that many visitors pick up for free. But some locals walking through the hotel to get to the beach stop in the store, too. I bet they were glad to find a bit of real Hawaii amongst the standard hotel retail shops.
Letarte of Maui is a customer favorite at First Break Waikiki.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher