Waikiki Magazine - - ISHOP -

IOne of the most vis­i­ble sym­bols of Hawai‘i’s aloha spirit can be seen in con­tem­po­rary Hawai­ian fash­ion known as Alo­hawear. The aloha shirt that we know to­day did not come about un­til the mid-1930s. Shirt-maker Musa-Shiya first used the term in a 1935 ad­ver­tise­ment. How­ever, it was tai­lor Ellery Chun who trade­marked “aloha shirt” in 1936 as tourism in Hawai‘i grew. Af­ter World War II, bolder pat­terns with trop­i­cal im­ages emerged. Rayon shirts called “silkies” be­came pop­u­lar from 1945 to 1955. By the late 1970s, de­signs in­spired by the Hawai­ian cul­ture came about. Even­tu­ally, sub­dued look­ing “re­verse print” aloha shirts were in­tro­duced and are now worn daily in of­fices and other work­places through­out Hawai‘i.

To­day, the shift to­ward is­land-style re­sort wear gives aloha fash­ion a more cos­mopoli­tan feel. Some aloha shirts may not nec­es­sar­ily fea­ture Hawai­ian prints but have var­i­ous im­ages ar­ranged in a sim­i­lar pat­tern as a tra­di­tional aloha shirt.

“Prints are very di­rec­tional and per­sonal,” says Alice Chen, de­sign di­rec­tor of Reyn Spooner. “Each print says some­thing unique to each per­son. Prints rep­re­sent a much-needed break from the clas­sic, safe, plain and monochro­matic fab­rics that tend to char­ac­ter­ize a man’s wardrobe. It’s an ex­ten­sion of one’s per­son­al­ity, like sto­ries we tell to define our­selves.”

Ac­cord­ing to Chen, Reyn Spooner has a long his­tory of col­lab­o­rat­ing with lo­cal artists. Its cur­rent col­lec­tions fea­ture work by con­tem­po­rary Hawai‘i-based artists Di­et­rich Varez, Eddy Y, and Naoki. Reyn Spooner also uses prints from the Al­fred Sha­heen ar­chives. This is the new­est chap­ter in a work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween Reyn Spooner and Al­fred Sha­heen that dates back to the 1960s.

Reyn Spooner’s fall col­lec­tion prints have a French vin­tage feel mixed with a bit of art deco. “The im­ple­men­ta­tion of color is based on rich and warm tones,” says Chen. “It’s well-bal­anced and play­ful. This sea­son has plenty to of­fer in terms of prints.”

At Tori Richard, “Prints are the DNA of our brand,” says Amy Ren­shaw, art co­or­di­na­tor. “We cre­ate ap­prox­i­mately 500 dif­fer­ent print de­signs per year. In fash­ion, prints can evoke any­thing: ex­cite­ment, re­lax­ation, so­phis­ti­ca­tion, leisure, whimsy, bold­ness… an end­less spec­trum!”

Ac­cord­ing to Ren­shaw, the process to de­cide which prints are used at Tori Richard in­volves pres­i­dent Josh Feld­man, as well as mer­chan­dis­ers and de­sign­ers. “We cre­ate de­signs which re­flect travel and ad­ven­ture or we are in­spired by the cross cur­rent of cul­tures that ex­ist here in Hawai‘i,” says Ren­shaw. “As a re­sult, our de­signs re­flect many dif­fer­ent themes—trop­i­cal and non­trop­i­cal flow­ers, fo­liage, pais­leys, Asian mo­tifs, small geo­met­rics … but the fi­nal prod­uct is al­ways ap­pro­pri­ate for des­ti­na­tions world­wide, from Hawai‘i, to Mi­ami or the Caribbean, to the south of France. While we pay at­ten­tion to what’s trend­ing in fash­ion, more of­ten than not we set our own trends. A key fea­ture of our tex­tile art is that the prints can be worn any­where on the globe.”

Kai Cloth­ing is an­other cloth­ing brand where prints have a lot of mean­ing on their men’s and women’s ap­parel. Kai means ‘ocean’ in Hawai­ian, and its prints are in­spired by oceans around the world.




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