Tough Enough to Be A Dad Shirt

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    Tough Enough to Be A Dad Shirt

    Shortly thereafter, Hawaiian shirts underwent mass production. On the front lines stood Alfred Shaheen, a WWII veteran who’d set up his own clothing business (“Shaheen’s of Honolulu”) in 1948. Alohas were his big specialty, and as sales boomed, he hired a team of local artists to design lively motifs that included Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian imagery. By 1959, Shaheen had 400 employees and netted over $4 million in annual profits, making him the new state’s foremost Aloha shirt manufacturer.A hit with beach-goers, the product also presented off-duty naval servicemen with a striking alternative to their drab uniforms. Upon returning home, recruits would bring along their new souvenirs. Coupled with the dawn of commercial airline flights to Hawaii, this drove sales through the roof. As one marketing campaign put it, they were effectively “wearable postcards.”Hollywood star power added yet another boost. Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra famously donned Alohas in 1953’s From Here to Eternity. Bob Hope sported several throughout his The Road film series. And Elvis Presley stunned fans in a bright red one on the cover of the Blue Hawaii soundtrack in 1961.Tough Enough to Be A Dad Shirt

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    Tough Enough to Be A Dad Shirt

    Of course, the fact that several Presidents (such as Harry Truman and Richard Nixon) have been pictured wearing them didn’t hurt, either. However, Hawaii native Barack Obama drew a line in the sand and publicly declined to sport an Aloha shirt at the 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) held in Honolulu. Traditionally, world leaders are expected to pose for a group photo while wearing some article of clothing that represented the host nation. This time, however, America’s commander-in-chief made compliance optional.“Two years ago, when I was in Singapore and it was announced that we would be hosting the APEC Summit here in Honolulu, I promised that you would all have to wear aloha shirts or grass skirts,” Obama reminded his colleagues. “But I was persuaded by our team to perhaps break tradition, and so we have not required you to wear your Aloha shirts, although I understand that a few of you have tried them on for size, and we may yet see you in them in the next several days.”Ultimately, no one put theirs on come picture time.

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