July 8th, 2016
Reyn Spooner marked it's 60th anniversary with a fashion show on Ala Moana Center's Center Stage July 7, that took viewers on a journey from the 1950s to the present.
Opening the show were models Roycen Dehmer and Desmond Centro in Reyn's rice bag shorts from the 1950s, that had emcee Jordan Segundo quipping, "They did a lot of recycling then."
I'm glad that recycling is back in a big way, showing that good ideas may skip a generation, but always come back with a generation seeking the "new."
Sixty years is a grandpa territory, but over the years, Reyn Spooner has remained relevant in keeping up with the times. In recent years, the brand has collaborated with such urban lifestyle and fashion brands as Stüssy, Opening Ceremony, Converse and Vans.
And, it doesn't end there.
Company chairman Charlie Baxter, a former San Francisco-based e-commerce CEO, invested in Reyn Spooner because he said he sees its potential reach far beyond Hawaii's shores.
"It's really a state treasure," he said, with a history of influencing many major resort and lifestyle brands, and a story that resonates around the globe for people who love Hawaii.
The company initially found its niche creating an aloha shirt casual enough for weekends, and dignified enough for customers to wear professionally. Back then, the only shirts on the market were poor fitting, loud-colored garments made for the fledgling tourism industry.
One of the company's biggest hits was an all-cotton, pullover aloha shirt with a button-down collar. But founder Reyn McCullough wasn't satisfied with the intensity and brightness of the tropical- and calico-print fabrics he was using. He liked the shirts worn by surfers—those bleached out by constant sun exposure. After experimenting with ways to achieve the same chambray effect, he realized the easiest solution was to simply turn his fabrics inside out. The company is still widely recognized as the originator of the "reverse print" they remain famous for today.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her fashion coverage in print in Saturday's Today section. Contact her via email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.