| Just a couple of blocks makai of my current storefront on Pauahi Street, the first aloha shirt was crafted over 80 years ago and shortly there after, one could get a custom aloha shirt made for around ninety cents.
Eighty-something years worth of time and inflation later, the aloha shirt continues to stand strong as a symbol of our island lifestyle and culture. The shirt that has a "place" more so than any other shirt on the planet has left a trail of artifacts reminding us of designers past and marking moments of the industry's ups and downs and leaving enough colorful stories and photos for one man to write the coolest history book of all time. Aloha, Dale Hope.
From his childhood days of building forts in the family’s Kalihi textile warehouse and factory in the 1950’s, to encouraging his dad to start a men’s brand in the 70’s, and then all the brands that the family business worked with and created and the hundreds of prints that ended up on fabrics that were sewn into thousands of aloha shirts that have since ended up EVERYWHERE, Dale Hope was part of this whole story. “At one point, we were putting out about 150 prints a year”, he told me as my mouth about hit the floor.
There’s not enough room here to tell his story, and you really want to hear it from him anyways, so please enjoy this piece of Hawaii.