Tuesday, August 24, 2010



The Hawaiian Shirt or “Aloha shirt,” as it is aptly called, is an interesting story of business, culture, tradition, success, fashion and Hollywood. It also became the unofficial symbol of the state of Hawaii which later became more than just a piece of garment, it became a symbol of a casual carefree lifestyle.

The first ever Aloha shirts were created in 1936 by businessman Ellery Chun and were sold for 95 cents Its prints and designs, however, came much earlier. The colorful prints of the shirts came from the beautiful traditional native Hawaiian loin cloths and skirts. The button down design, on the other hand, was patterned after the standard plaid work shirts used by plantation workers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Several more tailors around town picked up the idea of the Aloha shirts that local Hawaii residents and Waikiki beachboys and surfers quickly noticed and began buying them in ever-increasing numbers. 

In August 1959, Hawaii became the 50th State of the U.S.A., bringing the new Aloha State even more attention, and most significantly, even more tourists! In time, tourists, Hollywood movie stars, and other rich and famous visitors to Hawaii also began noticing the bright, casual, easy to wear styles, and began bringing styles home to the U.S. mainland.

Hawaiian shirts also began receiving high exposure in Hollywood movies, and a succession of popular Hawaii-based TV-Series, Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum P.I. Elvis Presley's biggest box-office hit "Blue Hawaii" in 1961 saw him posing for the cover of the soundtrack sporting a red aloha shirt draped with lei.

Elvis Presley for Blue Hawaii

Now the iconic symbol of tropical vacations, more than any other type of shirt, is really about a state of mind. When you put one on, you are really putting on a whole new attitude. The same spirit and attitude the Italian brand MSGM wants the young urban men around the world to experience without looking too beach-y. Each piece are masterly cut in long and short sleeved shirts paired with tailored jackets and slouchy pants. These pieces were kept current and suitable for city living by playing down in a palette of neutral colors. 

via MSGM

info sources:
the wall street journal

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