Releasing exclusively in-store and online this Tuesday, April 24 at 11am HST.
Tomorrow’s FITSTRIKE offerings include a new Mua 9TWENTY curved visor strapback and brand new tee design. The Mua is dipped in desert camouflage with red and white embroidery on the front and back and white embroidery on the side. The new Sadamitsu design is inspired by the Kauaʻi artist of the same name, an island boy that landed a gig at Columbia Records as the design and packaging director. The front features artwork inspired by one of his great cover art designs, while both sleeves feature a new “Glitch” WTCF logo printed toward the bottom. The Sadamitsu long-sleeve tee comes in both safety green and black. Keep reading below for the incredible moʻolelo behind the Sadamitsu design, told by Ola:
At first glance, this week’s tee has a very abstract feel and the vibe is difficult to place. One of my favorite jazz musicians is Charles Mingus—I love the frame of mind his music puts me in while I’m working! His jazz is upbeat, addictive, textured, heavily melodic, and feels extremely fresh, which puts me in a playful mindset. The first time I heard “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” I immediately had to stop what I was doing and dove into all of his works to find out more about him. I was rather fond of his 1959 album “Mingus Ah Um” (which became the inspiration for the Sadamitsu tee). “Boogie Stop Shuffle,” “Open Letter to Duke,” and “Jelly Roll” were some of the vibes that kept providing my work flow efficiency throughout the years. One day I grew curious of the artwork behind the “Mingus Ah Um” album, and as I researched, I found another gem.
This one starts on May 6th, 1921 in beautiful Waimea, Hawaii on the island of Kauai. Sadamitsu “S. Neil” Fujita was born the son of Japanese immigrants, and his father was a blacksmith on a sugar plantation where they lived. He studied in California at the Chouinard Art institution until 1942 where he was forced into Panoma Assembly Center, then into a concentration camp in Wyoming during the war. After service in the war he got back to his art studies, landing in graphic art courses, which moved him to Philadelphia, then he eventually got a job offer at Columbia records as design and packaging director.
It was there that he began this style of record covers where he used paintings, photographs and illustrations. This set the vibe of abstract images as the inspiration and mood of music or the aesthetic value that music creates. His work thrived on Dave Brubeck’s “Time out,” Dick Hyman’s “Provocative Piano,” and Jimmy Rushing’s “The Jazz oddessy of James Rushing Esq.” It ushered a new way to deliver album jackets, with art as vibrant as the music itself.
He went on to design book covers for Truman Capote’s “In cold blood” and most famously Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” which the logo lasted through all versions of Book and movies and still very recognizable today.
I am a firm believer that with the proper guidance and leverage, Hawaiʻi has the talent to accomplish the smallest and biggest solutions in any field. Sports, music, art, design, engineering, architecture, computer programming—just about anything we put our minds to. Sadamitsu started as the son of immigrants and went on create some of the most iconic designs of his generation. He was a son of these islands and whenever we can wave Hae Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Flag) we should and be proud of our heritage as the ceiling is high!!