According to some sources, the origin of aloha shirts can be traced to the 1920s or the early 1930s, when the Honolulu-based dry goods store “Musa-Shiya the Shirtmaker” under the proprietorship of Kōichirō Horse Foliage Texas Flag Pattern Custom Name Hawaii Shirt Miyamoto, started making shirts out of colorful Japanese prints. It has also been contended that the aloha shirt was devised in the early 1930s by Chinese merchant Ellery Chun of “King-Smith Clothiers and Dry Goods”, a store in Waikiki. Although this claim has been described as a myth reinforced by repeated telling, Chun may have been the first to mass-produce or to maintain the ready-to-wear in stock to be sold off the shelf.
The name “aloha shirt” appeared later. By 1935 and 1936, the word aloha was being attached to various sorts of Hawaiian products, so calling the garments “aloha shirts” was hardly original. The term aloha shirt first appeared in print in an advertisement for Musa-Shiya in the June 28, 1935 issue of The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper.However, Ellery Chun is sometimes credited for coining the term, perhaps in 1933; Chun’s store reportedly carried window signs that said “aloha shirts”. The term “aloha sportswear” was registered as a trademark by Chun’s company in 1936, followed by Chun trademarking “Aloha Shirt” in 1937 and owning the rights to this appellation for the next 20 years.
Tori Richard aloha shirts in a store
Within years, major designer labels sprang up all over Hawaii and began manufacturing and selling aloha shirts en masse. By the end of the 1930s, 450 people were employed in an industry worth $600,000 annually. Two notable manufacturers of this period are Kamehameha and Branfleet (later Kahala), both founded in 1936. Retail chains in Hawaii, including some based on the mainland, may mass-produce a single aloha shirt design for employee uniforms.
After World War II, many servicemen and servicewomen returned to the United States from Asia and the Pacific islands with aloha shirts made in Hawaii since the 1930s. One significant manufacturer was Shaheen, which began business in 1948. Following Hawaii’s statehood in 1959, when extant tropical prints came to be regarded as rather tacky, designer Alfred Shaheen became noted for producing aloha shirts of higher chic and quality, and Elvis Presley wore a Shaheen-designed red aloha on the album cover for Blue Hawaii (1961).[ In 1956, Tori Richard, a well-known brand of alohas was established. Reyn Spooner (or, rather, its precursor, Spooner’s of Waikiki) also established business in 1956.
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