Shelley Tadaki Cramer comes home to helm the luxury retailer’s first-ever flagship in the state.
Quick glance at Shelley Tadaki Cramer reveals an effervescent glow that emanates not just from her choice of clothing and style, but also from her demeanor. As the new vice president and general manager for Saks Fifth Avenue Hawai‘i—a role in which she is more than suited for—she is the embodiment of high fashion and island values, and in true local-girl fashion, Cramer’s easy-to-talk-to disposition welcomes everyone in the room and makes them feel like family.
Cramer, a born-and-raised island girl and Maryknoll School graduate, admittedly has two sides to her. On any given weekend, you can find her in shorts, a tank top and slippers—“I love to be casual,” she adds—but for those days when she gets down to business, she sports some of her favorites such as Valentino and Proenza Schouler.
“I definitely love to wear designer; that’s something I think I’ve always had. I definitely love fashion,” Cramer says, pointing at her ensemble of a royal blue Alexander McQueen dress and Louis Vuitton shoes with dashing floral accents. The pairing of choice is powerful, yet welcoming; confident, yet approachable. Her haute couture mindset of what works and doesn’t is itself an innate talent. In a word, it’s effortless.
So, the fact that Cramer will be taking the lead with Saks Fifth Avenue Hawai‘i—the organization’s first location in the state— comes as no surprise. And aside from setting foundation for the conglomerate, which will be the flagship store for the newly renovated International Market Place, she’s most excited about her long-awaited return home.
For Cramer, the best things about coming back to the islands are not necessarily the staples one would consider. Yes, she enjoys the beaches and being outdoors to feel the warm Hawaiian sun hit her skin, and the local grinds she grew up with are calling her name. But mostly, she’s glad to be back with friends and family.
“My girls (Juliette and Ava) are just loving being around grandma and grandpa and their cousins as much as possible,” she says.
Although Cramer lived on the mainland for nearly two decades, she has always known there’s no place like home. “It’s been a longing of mine to come home and raise my children here,” she adds.
Although she got her fashion-retail start in Hawai‘i, Cramer also spent years on the mainland working for powerhouse fashion companies such as Max Mara Fashion Group, LVMH and Richemont.
Most recently, she was part of the Saks Fifth Avenue San Francisco merchandising management team, and although she loved her day-to-day work on the West Coast, when the opportunity came to open Saks Fifth Avenue in Waikiki she jumped at the chance.
“I would love to develop the culture for this store as an aloha sprit-type of feeling, where everyone feels welcome,” she says. “This is what Hawai‘i is all about. I want that to filter throughout the entire store for customers.”