Earlier this month, San Lorenzo Bikini closed its Queen Kaahumanu Center store and opened in a location that, previous to opening, had been described as a ‘secret and undisclosed’. I racked my brain to figure out where could be so special, so exciting that they wouldn’t even disclose it.
For months, the restoration of Paia Center was taking place, behind the dozens of event posters and weathered boards between Ono Gelato and Honolua Surf Co. Then one day, holes were cut in the exterior to expose the door and windows, leaving the old wood and a decade worth of flyer staples, and VOILA, a brand new, fresh and funky store was open! I don’t know how they did it – but I’m impressed! What had been an eyesore for years instantly became a fantastic storefront (and the talk of the town) – this image below taken on opening day!
Artist, waterman, visionary and entrepreneur Mickey Eskimo was the visionary behind this restoration (he’s also responsible for the amazing restoration of Haiku Mill!)
“I am the restorer first, then the designing fun starts,” Mickey explained. “I mean its all fun, but i like to get my canvases ready first. I love restoring and preserving, especially here in Hawaii where very little old structures are left, a person like me is very needed. The Paia Center was yet another labor of love, as was Haiku Mill, my Pauwela Cannery Gallery Space and several other smaller projects.
At the Paia Center, i also had the challenge to blend retail space function, with keeping an edgy “eskyflavor worthy” romantic modern/industrialism style. I blended the mega industrial sugar history and raw surf culture of Paia with New York and Paris to result in an innovative retail space design.
The center stood empty well over 15 years and I am glad it was me to give it new and lasting life.”
Mickey is also the man behind Esky Flavor. Esky Flavor, the surf culture brand (you’ve seen the hats around… everyone has at least one by now…) is a reflection of Mickey’s ‘love of various cultures, ideas and flavors this still beautiful, but threatened, planet has to offer.’
And now enjoying the fruits of Mickey’s labors is the newest San Lorenzo Bikini shop in Paia. The company was established as a small sewing shop in 1991 in Lima, Peru, with the production of clothing and swimwear. A decade later, they expanded production to add a facility in Brazil. Their designs then reached Hawaii, and a daughter company was established in 2002. In 2005, they opened two retail stores on Oahu, and the company has been growing ever since.
I was just in this week to shoot these pictures and the word is they just got over 700 new bikinis in the shop, so NOW is the time to check it out! Besides an extensive collection of their signature line of bikinis, the new shop features bathing suits and cover ups by Tiare Hawaii, Esky Flavor Hats, and an exclusive line of Kamera Jewelry!
The Facts: San Lorenzo Hawaii, Paia Location is currently open from 9am to 9pm daily. (perfect for your bikini shopping after hitting up Flatbread for dinner…) It’s located square in the middle of Paia town, at the stoplight. Follow San Lorenzo Maui on Facebook
Buy Esky Flavor Hats online: Shop coming soon! We’ll keep you posted here on Maui Made Blog! This is where the site will be…