Lecture: The History of the Aloha Shirt

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The Kona Historical Society will present a lecture about the history of the aloha shirt for the next installment of the Hanohano ‘O Kona Lecture Series held at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018.

Wikimedia Commons photo.

Historian and Designer Dale Hope will share stories about how the aloha shirt evolved from tailor shops and factory companies in downtown Honolulu during the 1930s, when the islands were a territory of the United States.

During the 1960s, the launch of clothing companies run by a crew of young surfers introduced a new generation of fresh looks to the islands and to the world. Dale will showcase the designs and textiles that made the aloha shirt unique, including the role Kona’s community played in the story of the aloha shirt’s success.

In the late 1940s, shortly after the end of World War II, the Hope family started working in the garment industry in Honolulu. Over the decades, the family company made thousands of aloha shirts. Hope continued the family business as the owner of Kahala, a company that has dressed multiple generations of Hawai‘i residents. His passion for the iconic garment fueled an interest in the origins of the aloha shirt and the people who pioneered this look.


For the past seven years, Kona Historical Society has offered this community lecture series, spotlighting local and state speakers on a wide variety of cultural and historical subjects. It is a gift from the society to the community that has supported it for so long and it is presented in cooperation with the County of Hawai‘i.

The lectures are free of charge and open to all, residents and visitors alike.

Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona Districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawai‘i.


For more information, call Kona Historical Society at (808) 323-3222 or go online.

 This lecture is sponsored by ChoiceMART.

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