The Hawaiian aloha shirts from the 1930’s – 1950’s have become highly collectible, being correctly perceived by many as an indigenous form of art unique to America and the islands of Hawaii. With the great influx of U. S. service personnel in Hawaii headed to Pacific battlefields during the Second World War, interest in the Hawaiian shirt boomed as every sailor, marine or GI perceived these shirts as a catalyst for the good times associated with a weekend pass or liberty. After the war, the Hawaiian shirt continued to gain popularity from the exposure it received with returning servicemen, Major clothing manufacturers began producing Hawaiian-styled shirts in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower were forever seen sporting these shirts during relaxing moments at ball games, on vacation or while on golf outings. Hollywood icons and entertainers, such as: Elvis Presley, Arthur Godfrey, Bing Crosby, Lee Marvin and, of course, John Wayne, were also quick to identify with these styles. But it was From Here to Eternity, the magnificent 1954 academy award-winning film about pre-war army life at the Schofield Barracks near Pearl Harbor, that flung the Hawaiian shirt to the forefront of popularity. This film hosts a feast of magnificent vintage Hawaiian shirts, most of which are prominently worn by lead actors Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine. Unfortunately, the great demand for the shirts in the late 1950’s spawned mass production of the polyester shirts of the 1960’s, thus went the unique beauty, designs, style and quality of the original shirts from the first 30 years, hence the great scarcity, collectibility and demand for these vintage shirts today.
We are proud to present the finest, most authentic vintage Hawaiian shirts available in the world. The esteemed Japanese-made brand, Sun Surf, is part of the Sugar Cane line of vintage clothing produced by the same people who bring us the Buzz Rickson’s brand. Some of our customers are already familiar with the outstanding quality and historical detail found in the vintage military jackets produced under the Buzz Rickson’s brand name. That same loving care in manufacturing and extraordinary attention to authenticity is also applied to the Sun Surf Hawaiian shirts. Every shirt is an exact copy of an original design from the collection of several thousand held by the manufacturing company. These are vintage designs from heyday of Hawaiian shirts (1930’s - 1950’s) reproduced true to their original and brilliant colors and charm. The fabrics are custom made to precisely match the long-lost formula for the type of high-quality rayon employed in the manufacture of the original vintage examples. Processes for silk screening of the ornate patterns have been duplicated with care. Buttons are crafted to match whatever type was originally used on each design, whether real wood, coconut shell, bakelite or plastic. The fit and shape of the shirt is uncompromisingly just like the originals, not updated for today’s fashion look. Original manufacturer label styles and hang tickets have even been reproduced, thus these shirts are not replicas but true vintage pieces! We, the directorship of this company, share that same passion as our friends in Japan, and thus are both pleased and proud to offer our like-minded customers in America and elsewhere these fabulous shirts heretofore available only in Japan. Shirt designs are produced only once per year in Japan, then that design is never duplicated again. Supply to the USA is even more limited, especially in larger sizes, thus our customers can rest assured they will not find these designs elsewhere. Your input regarding new styles and sizes you would like to see us carry is strongly encouraged and appreciated, as this will help us plan what goods to stock in the future. Aloha!