Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Father of the Aloha Shirt

Ellery J. Chun gave the aloha shirt to the world.

Although he first created aloha shirts in 1931, 
it was in 1936 he introduced the "Aloha Shirt"
 label to the distinctively bright, colorful
 Hawaiian attire. The term and 
the style caught on, 
and countless clothing manufacturers 
followed suit.
Chun first sold aloha shirts -
- originally inspired by 
palaka garments of plantation workers 
and silk shirts 
of high school classmates 
sewn from leftover kimono 
material by Japanese housekeepers -- 
at the family store, which he renamed 
King-Smith Clothiers, 36 N. King St.

The Honolulu native graduated from Punahou 
[ Like president Obama] in 1927 and majored in 
economics at Yale, class of 1931.

By 1933, he began to produce 
ready-to-wear patterns
 from cloth imported from 
the U.S. mainland, Japan, 
China and Tahiti. Surfers 
and beachboys snapped up 
the bold, breezy styles, 
and visiting Hollywood celebrities
 and other rich and famous ones 
began sailing home to 
display the new fashions.

In 1991, the state Senate 
honored Chun for creating
 the aloha shirt, on the 60th anniversary 
of his landmark contribution to distinctive
 Hawaiian apparel and the state of Hawaii.


Elephant's Child said...

Bright and beautiful. Smile producing.

eileeninmd said...

Aloha, Cloudia! I like the aloha shirts. Tom Selleck wore his well, lol. Enjoy your day!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thanks for the story behind the Aloha shirt!

Duckbutt said...

Aloha shirts are fun to wear!

William Kendall said...

So that's when they started out!

RedPat said...

I love them! I have a pair of wide-leg pants with a tropical pattern which I love!

Merlesworld said...

You certainly see them coming,and are cool to wear.

Teresa said...

I love the patterns. I also liked the history. You taught me something new today!

rupam sarma said...


PerthDailyPhoto said...

Mr Chun did the world a favour Cloudia, even here the Aloha shirt can be seen often!

Karen S. said...

They make me happy, every single time I see one! Especially like on a day like today. Believe it or not, we Minnesotans know how to be fashionable!