the aloha state of mind
The Aloha State of Mind.
There’s history, heritage and Aloha stitched into every Reyn Spooner piece. The spirit of the Hawaiian islands and West Coast cool merges with East Coast prep. Casual comfort pairs with thoughtful construction. Timeless patterns meet modern styling. It’s where our 50+ years of exclusive designs help tell the story of Hawaii's Aloha fashion legacy.
The word Aloha means many things. We use it in greetings and farewells and in expression of love. Aloha is also a way of life, and it is something we share in every stitch. With every piece created in Hawaii and designed for quality, our apparel and accessories wear well on the first day as well as years later. Perhaps even passed down to the next generation. They are made for comfort. Made to last. Made for memories.
Story of Reyn Spooner
Reyn Spooner tells the story of the American Dream built on the shores of California and Hawaii.
Reynolds McCullough (known to everyone as Reyn) grew up in California on Catalina Island. When he came home from service after WW II, he began working at a men’s shop in Avalon on Catalina Island. Reyn proved to have a keen eye for fashion and marketing; so in 1949, he bought his employer’s shop and renamed it Reyn’s Men’s Wear. Eventually he ran six stores in California, and was known for always carrying exceptional men’s resort clothing and sportswear. On his first trip to Hawaii in 1957, Reyn was captivated by life in the Hawaiian islands. He also saw an opportunity as jumbo jets made tourism possible and statehood was imminent. A year later, Reyn moved his family to Honolulu, and when Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu (the largest in the US at the time), opened in 1959, Reyn’s Men’s Wear was one of the first shops to open its doors.
Meanwhile, in a little grass shack that was set up in 1956 under the palm trees on Waikiki beach, seamstress Ruth Spooner was busy building her one sewing machine empire with custom surf trunks that were heralded across the islands for their unmatched quality. The two began a partnership immediately after Reyn arrived in Hawaii. Reyn would design board shorts and shirts and Ruth would see to their thoughtful construction. Soon Ruth merged her business with Reyn’s, and the name Reyn Spooner was born in 1961.
At first, Reyn refused to carry Aloha shirts in his stores thinking they were too loud and too poorly constructed. But when someone showed him an inside-out shirt sewn by a local bartender/surfer, Reyn had a light bulb moment. He combined the inside-out method with his own eye for more sophisticated prints and paired it with the classic tailoring of an oxford shirt. In essence, he combined surfer “cool” with Ivy League traditionalism and created something that was attractive to entrepreneurs, artists, business leaders and surfers alike. His innovations continued with the introduction of the Spooner Kloth™, a blend of cotton and spun poly that’s amazingly durable, wrinkle free and breathable. Reyn created enduring classics that paved the way for the Aloha shirt’s acceptance around the globe and earned Reyn Spooner the designation, “Brooks Brothers of the Pacific”.
Today, Reyn Spooner has grown from that first store in Hawaii — still located at Ala Moana Center — to a global presence with modern, high quality Aloha inspired apparel built on tradition and innovation. Still focused on that combination of relaxed “cool” island style with unique prints designs and consummate tailoring.
IN THE US AND ROUND THE WORLD, CASUAL FRIDAY IS AN OFFICE STAPLE.
LIKE ALL GREAT IDEAS, THERE’S MORE TO THE STORY.
This one began in the 1960’s, and we can thank the Hawaii Fashion Guild, and our founder, Reyn McCullough, for it. Reyn took the ill-fitting and loud Aloha shirts of the early 50’s and gave them more subtle, sophisticated look. With button-down collars, careful details and a fabrication, the “Brooks Brother of the Pacific” created a business-acceptable shirt in tropical Hawaii ready to challenge the business standard of the day - oppressively hot coat and tie.
In 1962, the Hawaiian Fashion Guild, with Reyn as a leading member, began promoting Aloha shirts as acceptable workplace attire. During “Operation Liberation,” the Guild gave two Aloha shirts to every member of the Hawaii House and Senate. The resulting resolution recommended Aloha attire ‘be worn in summer months for comfort and to support the 50th state’s garment industry’. The Guild then lobbied for “Aloha Friday,” allowing men to wear Aloha shirts at work all year. The idea took hold and Aloha Friday officially began in 1966 in Hawaii.
Hawaii’s custom of Aloha Friday quickly spread east to California and then beyond. By the ’90s, it became known as Casual Fridays around the globe. Today, Aloha shirts are worn as business attire in Hawaii any day of the week. “Aloha Friday” is now a way for Hawaiians to say TGIF and is well captured in the 1982 Kimo Kahoano and Paul Natto song, “It’s Aloha Friday, No Work ’til Monday.” It’s heard on most Hawaii radio stations every Friday.
LIMITED EDITION AND HERITAGE PRINTS.
Each season, new exclusive artwork and inspirations from our private archives enable us to create limited release apparel that reflects upon our Hawaiian heritage but transcends the islands.
LIMITED EDITION means we will not expand production, even if the print sells out quickly. There is no restocking unless it is a transfer from one of our retail stores. So when it’s gone, it’s gone.
HERITAGE COLLECTION consists of prints that are continued for multiple seasons or for a year or two. The exception is our iconic Lahaina Sailor print which was first issued in 1968. While some color ways of Lahaina Sailor are produced in limited editions over the years, our navy, denim, pink, red and natural Lahaina Sailor colors will always be part of our Heritage Collection.
CLASSIC AND STANDARD FIT.
CLASSIC FIT - This is our traditional Aloha shirt fit that's designed for relaxed comfort and freedom of movement. Designated with our Wahine Label, these shirts have wider shoulders and body along with a box pleat at the back to provide extra room for comfort. Length is designed to look good either tucked or un-tucked. They feature our signature details: button-down collar, print matched pockets and placket, blind seams, side vents and extra buttons. They are always available in button front and pullover styles.
REGULAR FIT - In 2010, we introduced a trimmer line of Aloha shirts that we named the Modern Collection, and it created a sensation and a new trend in the industry. Today, with increasing popularity of our trimmer fit designs, we have refined the fit to better match the industry standard for REGULAR fit oxford shirts. Compared with our Classic Fit, these shirts are slightly narrower in the shoulder and body and slightly shorter in the short sleeves and body length. Some are designed with rounded tails and some with a tapered in waistline. They are still perfectly suited for a tucked or an un-tucked look. Button front styles only.
Our fit guide offers more details.
REVERSE PRINT - TURNING ALOHAWEAR INSIDE-OUT SINCE THE 1960’S.
Our signature reverse print construction (or what the locals call the inside-out shirt) dates back to the early 60’s with an enterprising surfer/bartender named Pat Dorian and Reyn McCullough.
In the early 60’s, the charismatic Pat Dorian was selling his own line of alohawear while he served drinks. He would pull out a box of shirts to show whenever a customer complimented on what he was wearing. In time, he tried to convince Tom Andersen, the then assistant manager at Reyn’s to carry his creations by offering Reyn a customized shirt. Since Andersen wasn’t keen on the bright patterns, they discussed muting the print by turning it inside out. Dorian made good on that idea, and next time he came back with samples, Reyn and Andersen both loved the result. They were not the only ones as the shirt was a huge success.
Reyn then added his own magic by combining reverse print with a classic button-down pattern he customized with the approval and assistance from Gant in New York. He also scoured the globe to find textile artisans who can ink “through” the fabric with just the right finesse to achieve his ideal of the perfect sun-kissed look. The result allowed Reyn Spooner to effectively market Aloha shirts to Hawaii businessmen and tourists alike. The loud and poorly constructed Hawaiian shirts made out of muumuu fabric were reimagined and a classic style was born.
Quality since '56
Relaxed, comfortable, island inspired, and well made – that’s what Reyn Spooner is all about. Heritage of Hawaiian traditions, made to converge with contemporary styles and aesthetics.
Each Reyn Spooner piece is meticulously crafted to the same exacting standards that the brand was built on. Every stitch is perfectly made on our proprietary patterns, using our exclusive prints. It is no wonder that our signature details have endured the test of time and is still compared to none. Whether you’re at active the beach, lounging poolside or staying cool at the office, you will appreciate the wash and wear durability of a Reyn Spooner. They are made to last and made for fun.
Our famous Spooner Kloth™, introduced in 1964, is a breathable yet wrinkle free blend of cotton and spun poly. With our unique screen printing process, Spooner Kloth™ allows for the perfect ink penetration for that recognizable Reyn Spooner reverse-print look. As the ink penetrates the fibers, it also adds a little more structure to the fabric. Hence, a darker print can feel a bit starchy at first. But the pigment fibers loosen with each wash so the fabric becomes softer and softer over time while maintaining its shape. You can sit on an airplane for 12 hours and still walk off the plane with a fresh looking shirt that stands out in the crowd.
Vintage Reyn Spooners are passed down for generations or treasured finds in vintage shops, with some rare prints selling for thousands. In other words, the more you wear, the more Aloha!
CREATED IN HAWAII.
Each Reyn Spooner print and every apparel piece is proudly designed with Aloha in Hawaii, inspired by our nature and guided by our island lifestyle that’s rooted in our diverse cultures—from early Polynesian ancestors to those who came later from Japan, China, South Pacific, California and around the world.
While a significant portion of our apparel is now sewn in Asia, Reyn Spooner still maintains production in Hawaii. Products such as our Lahaina Sailor Collection, kids apparel, eco-products such as Aloha Squares, napkins and reusable bags as well as much of our accessories are still hand sewn in Hawaii. We’ve also started an in-sourcing strategy beginning with our Made in California Indigo Collection 2016. Moving forward, we are committed to actively look for ways to increase our Made in Hawaii and Made in the USA programs.