Super mommio Shirt
Duke Kahanamoku sporting an iconic pineapple print on the beach, circa 1945.Most accounts suggest the earliest examples were made by Japanese and Chinese tailors, who had originally come over to work in the plantations.One story goes that in the early 1930s Hollywood actor John Barrymore walked into a shirtmaker’s shop in downtown Honolulu, ran by a Japanese tailor named Musa-Shiya and requested a shirt made from gaudy Kimono material. Prior to that, Musa had never made a bright print shirt, but after he liked how it turned out, he decided to run out a few more. In 1935 he placed an advert for his new range in the Honolulu Advertiser Newspaper which said “Aloha shirts — well-tailored, beautiful designs and radiant colors.”Then, the following year a Chinese-Hawaiian tailor named Ellery Chun trademarked the name, hanging his own brand of bright print ‘Aloha Shirts’ made from leftover Kimoni material in the window of his Honolulu store. At around the same time, just up the street in the Ala Moana Shopping Centre, another business called Musashiya and Surfriders Sportswear were making shirts out of similar material, featuring palm trees, hula-girls and pineapples. They called theirs ‘Hawaiian shirts’ and thus the two names were born.
Super mommio Shirt
Musa-Shiya, the tailor first credited with using the term ‘Aloha Shirt’While these are the most widely accepted accounts, local lore offers a variety of other origin stories. One tale credits a Hawaii University student named Gordon Young with creating the pre-cursor to the Aloha shirt in the early 20’s. He reportedly worked with his mother’s dressmaker to create shirts made of light Japanese cloth, that sported bright bamboo patterns and geometric shapes, which he then sold to his mates at Uni. Another tells of a man named Rube Houseman, who was friends with many of the legendary beach boys; guys like Panama Dave, Colgate and William “Chick” Daniels. Rube reckons he too was making Aloha shirts in the early 30’s and recalls how after surfing, he and the boys would head to a bar called the Rathskellar in downtown Honolulu which was popular among locals and visiting celebs, sporting their wildest most vividly coloured examples