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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Low-rise jeans and T-shirts among hot fashions for fall

By Paula Rath
Advertiser Fashion Writer

Tyler Chun, left, a seventh-grader, will go back to school in a Pac Sun shirt, while Raymond Arai, an eighth-grader, skates by in his shirt from Sera's Surf & Sea. Eighth-grader Gilbert Sakaguchi sports a new "Monkey" shirt from Pac Sun. All three boys are wearing walk shorts by Quiksilver from Town & Country.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

In Europe, young men are sporting Prada shoes in rainbow stripes, peach-colored sweatshirts, pinstripe jackets by Gucci and Hedi Slimane, and multihued belts. In San Francisco they're topping off their leather jackets and low-rise jeans with beanies. Will our local guys take to these trends as they get ready for back to school? Not a chance. Well, maybe the low-rise jeans. But a beanie? No way!

Carol McNairy, manager of Diesel Ala Moana, thinks the low-rise jeans will sell well here. They go pretty low in the front, but a bit higher in the back, McNairy explained. However, "You need a belt or you'll be exposed."

Jeans legs are getting more relaxed and the boot cut is selling well at Diesel. Denim shades are moving away from the dirty washes back to blue, but it's a faded, vintage blue with hand scratching.

Black jeans are making a comeback at Diesel. But the black is abraded to look worn, not the shiny black of previous decades.

Shoes at Diesel are either '70s-style Puma-like sneakers or high-tech looks.

Knit polo shirts are popular for back to school, from Pac Sun to Polo Ralph Lauren. Shane Irish, an eighth-grade student at Iolani, bought Quicksilver polo shirts for his return to school. He's wearing them on top of calf-length walk shorts with pockets big enough for his cell phone.

Chris Schmicker, a Punahou junior, likes to wear a crew neck sweater over his polo shirts. He favors tan corduroy pants (he doesn't like cargo pants because "things get caught on them") or "plain old Gap or Levi's jeans" and navy Puma shoes. He plans to buy more Pumas when he's in New York this week looking at colleges.

G.J. Sakaguchi, an eighth-grader at Kaimuki Middle School, said his "gotta have" item is a T-shirt with a sense of humor such as the black "Run Monkey Boy Run" tee he bought at Pac Sun.

Retailers are hoping Hawai'i students will make at least a few changes in their wardrobes this school year. JC Penney is banking on the athletic look, stocking lots of fleece hooded jackets, fleece track pants and Nike basketball shorts.

Town & Country is seeing interest in walk shorts with cargo pockets by Billabong and Quiksilver. Globe skate shoes are walking out the doors.

Michelle Monigal, Macy's vice president of divisional merchandising for young men and boys, said Hawai'i kids are into hip hop-inspired fashion. Macy's carries Phat Farm and Sean John sets.

Monigal anticipates young men in the Islands will go for low-rise jeans that are 9 to 10 inches from waistband to crotch, but will eschew the really low, 7- to 8-inch rises.

The hottest color for fall is brown, Monigal says, and '70s-style retro stripes on polo shirts are selling well.

As for footwear, give 'em rubber slippers if school rules allow, or well-worn athletic shoes if closed toes are required.