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A Store with Imagination & a Welcoming Spirit

Photo credit:  In4mation Hawaii Facebook page.
Photo credit: In4mation Hawaii Facebook page.

Non-chain stores are usually a reflection of the culture in which they’re immersed. They’re also a reflection of their owners’ personalities, idiosyncrasies, and tastes.

We love to spotlight such boutiques. (Check out a sample of our recent posts on this topic here and here.) And it’s not just because we want to support local businesses. It’s also because we want visitors to have an authentically Hawaiian experience.

We recently came across a great example of a locally owned and operated clothing store on Oahu called The Human Imagination. As its name suggests, this boutique is about expanding the limits of style while embracing Hawaiian culture. That it’s situated in the up-and-coming Chinatown neighborhood only adds to its appeal.

Run by a quartet of  “partners” — Ryan Arakaki, Todd Shimabuku, Jun Jo, and Keith Kanagusuku – The Human Imagination specializes in fashion-forward streetwear. It’s a spinoff of In4mation, a Hawaii-based retail and clothing line, and there’s a statement on the brand’s website that is as bracingly non-conformist as it is refreshing.


The crew is dedicated to “using fresh perspectives that come into play against major lackluster retailers that make mundane attempts at pleasing the masses.” In other words, these guys are about using their, well, imaginations.

Perhaps The Human Imagination’s most represented item are its “HI” T-shirts. Of course, those two letters double as Hawaii’s postal abbreviation and the kind of welcoming spirit you’ll find all over the islands. Other offerings include hats, graphic T’s, and even flasks.

Youth-oriented? Sure, but the Human Imagination has the kind of commitment to quality you most often associate with adults.