Releasing exclusively in-store and online on Kamehameha Day, June 11 at 11am HST.
Kamehameha Day Moʻolelo by Ola Nakaʻahiki
On December 22nd, 1871 Lota Kapuāiwa Kalanimakua Aliʻiōlani Kalanikupuapaʻkalaninui (Kamehameha V) proclaimed June 11th “Kamehameha Day” to honor his grandfather. We now celebrate this day with lei draping ceremonies, floral parades, hula performances and paʻu riders to demonstrate past cultural activities to revere our Chief. The draping ceremony started in 1901 and it culminates annually with long strands of lei adorned around the neck and outreached arms of King Kamehameha I statues.
There are a total of six statues, with the original Thomas R. Gould cast standing proud on the island of Hawaiʻi in Kapaʻau, North Kohala. This statue was originally bound for Oʻahu in the later part of the 1800's to be erected at ʻIolani Palace, but was lost in transit due to a shipwreck. It was later found and sold back to the islands, but by that time a new cast was already in the works. This second statue now stands at Aliʻiolani Hale on the island of Oʻahu, in Honolulu across the street from ‘Iolani Palace. The third statue was commissioned when Hawaiʻi attained statehood in 1969, and currently resides in a prominent position within Emancipation Hall in Washington DC. The fourth statue stands in Hilo Bay—the second on the island of Hawaiʻi—and was erected in 1997. The fifth statue was designed by the great Herb Kawainui Kanē and stands on the property of the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa on the island of Maui. The sixth and since-removed statue was located in Las Vegas, Nevada. My guess is it was a marketing strategy to strengthen the “ninth Island” moniker bestowed on the “home away from Home” for many locals as they flock to Vegas for the many lures this desert oasis holds.
Here at FITTED we always revere our past through every product we design, and Kamehameha has always been a constant source of inspiration since the inception of our company. Affectionately referred to by the staff as “the stone that the builders refused, shall be the head corner stone,” popularized by Bob Marley in the song Corner Stone. For us the idea of creating a brand based on the knowledge from our immediate surroundings was an unpopular angle in the early 2000's. Clothing companies normally relied on a strong urban connection, often referring to big city experiences in places like New York or Los Angeles, and although we've traveled to these places in the past, we lacked the perspective of what it was like to actually be born and raised there. So rather than having an inauthentic angle, we embraced the very much authentic perspective of these islands.
In 2004, we started to plan and build the foundation of the company. In 2005 we opened our doors, and in June of 2006 we released the first “head corner stone”—the Kamehameha New Era. Everything has a purpose and our purpose was to create a disruption in the marketplace; to create a platform for content and product that would build the house of FITTED. The original Kamehameha released in gold and red, the colors of royalty. Specifically mentioned on numerous occasions is PMS 116 (yellow/gold), the color of Kamehameha's ahuʻula. It's often said that Kamehameha wanted all of his opponents to know who they were battling, so his ahuʻula was made entirely of yellow feathers plucked off the ʻōʻō bird.
We strived to adopt this manaʻo in our own way, hoping to use our unique perspective to stand out among the crowd. Being located on the most remote land mass on the planet makes it extremely difficult to be successful in an industry with a virtually unlimited choice of apparel, on top of a decidedly fragmented marketplace in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Without authentic perspective, quality content, respectful approach to culture, and extreme affinity for history, this would not have been achieved.
Kaʻahumanu, Kamehameha's most beloved wife, spoke of him in this ʻōlelo noʻeau that we hold in deep regard:
“Pāpale ʻai ʻāina, kuʻu aloha.”
“The head covering over the land, my beloved.”
Mahalo nui loa for all the years of support, and we look forward to serving you for many more!
To celebrate this beloved holiday, we've created a brand new FITSTRIKE Kamehameha snapback specifically for a special release on Kamehameha Day. The snapback features a black base with hot pink undervisor, teal top button, and white eyelets and snap enclosure. The front logo is stitched in light orange, while the side New Era logo is teal and the back crest is white and teal. Coinciding with this release is a new Brigante Oversized Side tee featuring a bright print on a heather grey base.