Shie and Him

  • Inside We are Iconic

    We Are Iconic

“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” —Vivienne Westwood

Style can be a tough thing to define. Style is authentic. Style is inspiring. True style cannot be bought, rented, or leased. An art form in its own right, style is the flavor of life. It’s a splash of color here, an unexpected line there, and finding inspiration from the ways of old to create something fresh and new. And if there’s one person who knows style in this city, it’s Shie Clark, owner of the effortlessly hip boutique We Are Iconic.

To be sure, Shie (who originally hails from Tokyo) and her husband, Nate (a native Californian) ooze cool. Standing inside their recently opened storefront located on the ground floor of the Anaha residential tower, it’s instantly clear that the duo are masters of style. Their new space—which features open, airy, and minimal build-out paired with some of the most fashion-forward women’s brands you can find in the city—feels like a reflection of the couple’s style. By carrying an array of the most sought-after lines in women’s fashion, including Rachel Comey, Raquel Allegra, Ulla Johnson, and Jesse Kamm, We Are Iconic has become a destination for the hippest shoppers in the city.

However, the company’s road to success didn’t come without mountains of hard work and heaps of hustle. In its infancy, We Are Iconic took its first steps as an online store based in LA, but four years ago, the couple decided to open their first brick-and-mortar outpost in Honolulu, adjacent to Ala Moana.

“For my entire life, I’ve loved fashion. When we were living in LA together, I decided to create my own online boutique back in 2006. It was always there, but I wasn’t able to really go all in until we decided to move to Hawai’i. It was a dream of mine, and we did it all with our 1-year-old son,” recalls Shie with a gentle laugh. “When we first opened, we didn’t really see too many other stores on O’ahu that were quite like ours. We’re clean, simply, edgy [and] fashion-forward, and I think we found a niche in the market.”

In addition to stocking some of the fashion world’s most sought-after lines, Shie and Nate credit the success of their business to their commitment to providing the best customer service experience possible. “For the first six months when we opened, I worked every day, seven days a week, to build out our brand. It was hard, because neither of us had grown up here, so we were starting totally fresh,” recalls Shie. “But I credit a lot of our success to me building these really strong relationships with our customers. By being so involved in the business, I’ve been able to create real bonds and really get to know the people who are supporting us. My customers will text me all the time, asking about certain lines and how to pair certain outfits. And I’m always there to help and make it work. Exceptional customer service is our number one thing here. It’s real.”

From their new digs in Ward Village, both Shie and Nate take a moment to reflect on just how far they’ve come. This impressive space, measuring just over 1,200-square feet, is beautiful to say the least. The tall, exposed ceilings and open floor plan give the boutique a sophisticated yet understated vibe. It’s the definition of casual elegance.

Moving forward, Shie and Nate are excited to expand their merchandise to include a host of new lines, including MM6 Maison Margiela, Nili Lotan, and Maryam Nassir Zadeh. But through it all, no matter the season and no matter the designer, you can rest assured that the brand’s commitment to their customers will remain paramount. “We take a lot of pride and really work hard to bring the very best lines back to Hawai’i. I’m constantly inspired by the designers I meet as I travel and source new lines, but one of my favorite elements of the business is building relationships with our customers,” says Shie. “That’s always going to be in style.”