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Glitz and Glam

| May 11, 2015 | Parties National

The Party
During Ala Moana Center’s weeklong spring shopping celebration Shop a Le‘a, the word around Honolulu was that Modern Luxury Hawai‘i’s Passport to Luxury was the event of the season. After all, who wouldn’t want to attend a fete with 16 participating top chefs and 22 luxury boutiques? It was no surprise that the final head count surpassed 1,400.

The Scene
The lines to check in almost extended into the center’s Nordstrom Wing. With excitement in the air, Honolulu media personality Olena Heu—definitely hard to miss in her vibrant red frock—took the stage at the Modern Luxury lounge and gave those waiting good reason to listen. Attendees who had their Passport booklet stamped by all participating boutiques could enter the coveted final drawing. There was also an in-store auction for highly sought-after items like handbags from Fendi and Tod’s, and gift certificates to Mariposa and The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong. In a high-tech twist, Microsoft team members, equipped with tablets, helped to register bidders and take bids. Once guests were checked in, they were quickly off in all directions.

The Highlights
Of course, the main question was which boutique to visit. Only those truly on a mission could manage to pop in every spot and keep moving. Some preferred to take their time and soak in the atmosphere, while perusing stylish items to purchase. Cole Haan got an infusion of Latin style, thanks to Waikīkī hot spot Búho Cocina y Cantina. Quite a few guests were spotted lining up for a second El Avion, the resto’s signature tequila-infused cocktail. (We don’t blame them—it was so good.) Those looking for sweet treats headed to CH Carolina Herrera for scrumptious petits-fours bites from MW Restaurant. Later in the evening, Honolulu scenesters made their way up the escalator to Emporio Armani, which was the epicenter of cool thanks to the bar team from The Modern Honolulu. DJ Anit, resident mix master at the property’s nightclub, Addiction, got the crowd going toward the end of the night. The spontaneous dance party was not to be missed. When the music faded, the revelers made their way to join a crowd of hundreds around Center Stage. As in years past, everyone anxiously awaited the final drawing and for good reason. Fourteen prizes were up for grabs, from a Bally shoulder bag to a $500 Ala Moana Center Shopping Spree gift card to the final item, a pair of round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines. Even after the final winners were announced, the party wasn’t over. In a first for the event, The Modern Honolulu threw an official afterparty in its lounge, The Study. While local ensemble Simple Souls got the group dancing, a jet-set vibe was added by a bevy of visiting Brits and Aussies. (Among them was Sydney-based public relations mogul Kim McKay and her team of Klickstars.) With the international crowd hovering about, it was almost natural to think you needed a passport to attend. –Photos by Tracy Chan and Travis Okimoto


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