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Shopping: Reyn Spooner's new wave of Hawaiian shirts

June 20, 2010|By Max Padilla, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Reyn Spooner hopes customers will say aloha to the re-launch of the venerable Honolulu-based shirt brand, which is freshening up its styles and distributing them more widely on the mainland after decades of wear mainly by Hawaiian businessmen and tourists.

The king of Hawaiian shirts was established after California menswear store owner Reyn McCullough moved to Hawaii and met seamstress Ruth Spooner, who had established Spooner's of Waikiki in 1956. Reyn Spooner was founded in 1961, when McCullough and Spooner teamed to pair the collegiate button-down looks of American brands such as Gant with traditional Hawaiian printed fabrics. McCullough acquired Spooner's business in 1962.

Reyn Spooner pioneered the technique of reversing the local fabrics to mute the shirts' bright colors for local businessmen and politicians, who began wearing the brand for what came to be called Aloha Shirt Fridays — a Hawaiian precursor to casual Fridays that started in 1966. The first Reyn's store, which originally housed Ruth Spooner's business, still stands in the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, where it has been a tenant since the upscale open-air mall opened in 1959.

McCullough died in 1984, and in 2008, his son Tim sold a majority stake in the business to Wedbush Capital Partners, a private equity firm, in order to expand globally.

To further that goal, Wedbush hired Gordon Thompson, a former Nike creative director, to re-launch the line. Thompson had retired from Nike after 20 years and was already splitting his time between a house in Oahu and one in the Hollywood Hills. He and designer Alice Chen-Galloway delved into Reyn Spooner's trademarked print archive, which boasted outrigger and fish prints by famed Hawaiian woodblock artist Dietrich Varez, along with the familiar lotus blossoms by artist Alfred Shaheen and vintage Japanese graphics. Reyn Spooner's aloha shirts feature the traditional Hawaiian and nautical motifs, including native Kapa patterns, coral, sailfish, anchors, fishhooks and chrysanthemums. To appeal to younger customers and cool dads, the duo slimmed down the fits and resized and re-colored the graphics for vintage appeal.

"Aloha shirts had always been a part of the men's fashion lexicon, but it hadn't been reinvented for a modern interpretation," Thompson says. "It was an exciting opportunity."

This summer, Reyn Spooner offers a preppy button-down aloha shirt and the familiar two-pocket short sleeve (both styles are available in reverse print) for $83 to $105. For chillier nights, the alohas also come with long sleeves or in a tropical-weight washed corduroy for $105.

Reyn Spooner aloha-print board shorts have a Moondoggie appeal with briefer 5-inch or 7-inch inseams for $75. Surfers can get a longer 11-inch short with slash pockets that can easily go off the beach and around town. For beach weekends, Reyn Spooner also makes reverse-print khakis, $95, and embroidered shorts, $87.

Reyn Spooner is available at Bloomingdales, http://www.bloomingdales.com

Sample sales

Bobi Thursday: Kara Lusardi, designer of Bobi clothing, has a sample sale charity event, with 100% of sale proceeds benefiting Keep a Child Alive, a nonprofit that assists children in Africa and India who have been affected by AIDS. Bobi's spring/summer basics for women will be on offer, including tops, tunics, dresses and leggings. Music provided by DJ Josh Madden. No credit cards accepted; cash or check only.

Revolve Clothing, 8452 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 944-0311. 7 to 9 p.m.

http://www.bobitees.com

Sales

LaLicious Tuesday through Saturday: The online skin care retailer takes 30% off scrubs, butters, oils and soaps. Popular products include the $23.80 Sugar Souffle scrub (regularly $34) or the $25.20 Summer Travel Set (scrub, body butter, whipped soap and body oil) in airport-ready sizes (regularly $36). Enter code Summer30 at checkout.

http://www.LaLalicious.com

Opening

Intimacy: Intimacy, known for its 30-minute bra fit makeovers, opened its West Coast flagship in Westfield Century City on June 14. Intimacy boasts an "eye-candy" brassiere wall showcasing brands La Perla, Eberjey, Le Mystere, Chantelle and Prima Donna.

10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 734-8598. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

http://www.myintimacy.com

Events

International Makeup Artist Trade Show Saturday and June 27: Open to nonprofessionals, IMATS, at the Pasadena Convention Center, will showcase new products from brands such as Bobbi Brown, M.A.C., Urban Decay, OCC and Make Up for Ever, along with complimentary samples, discounted products, student competition and fashion shows. Tickets are available online from $10 to $60.

300 E. Green St., Pasadena. (360) 882-3488. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

http://www.imatsshow.com

Salon

Keratase Our Treat Event Wednesday: Keratase, and its participating Western U.S. consulting salons, are offering complimentary Keratase treatments and blowouts ($100 value) in support of Locks of Love. Guests are encouraged to donate $10 to the organization. Locks of Love provides hairpieces to disadvantaged children suffering long-term medical hair loss in the U.S. and Canada. Appointments must be made ahead of time.

To find participating salons, visit http://www.kerastase-usa.com/ourtreat

max@maxpadilla.com

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