Releasing exclusively in-store and online this Saturday, April 9th at 11am HST.
For our Spring 2016 collection, rather than look elsewhere for inspiration, we chose to turn our attention to those closest to us—our FITTED ‘ohana. This season, we’re getting up close and personal with our “hui” (Hawaiian for club or company), as we allowed each of our team members to dream up two hats, each utilizing their choice of silhouette (59FIFTY fitted or 9FIFTY snapback), front logo, color-blocking, and materials—resulting in unique pieces that hold special value to the team members that created them. A few of our stockists on the Mainland will release their own store exclusives in the near future as well. Please note that all hats in this collection were produced in limited quantities.
Each piece has a special story behind it, and what better way to hear those stories than from the creators themselves? Every release will be authored by the team member responsible for that design, for an even more personal touch. This Spring season, we hope to share a little more about our hui with you.
Name: Daniel Kauwila Mahi
AKA: Uwila, Wilz
Title/Position: Cultural Advisor
Favorite place in Hawaii? Nā Wai ʻEhā/Honolulu
One thing you can't live without? My ʻĀina
What are you doing when you aren't working? School, and prepping to be a dad!
Favorite FITTED hat? All Paiʻea Projects Collaborations/Lauhala Slaps Wind
What inspires you? Kūpuna/Moʻolelo/FITTED
TUAHINE SLAPS WIND 59FIFTY
By Kauwila Mahi
When my mom gave birth to me, she had just entered college at University of Hawaiʻi and began taking Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies classes. When I was young, she started me at Pūnana Leo ʻo Kawaihaʻo, a Hawaiian-Language-only preschool. After leaving Pūnana Leo, I attended a Hawaiian Immersion School nestled in the back of Palolo Valley, called Kula Kaiapuni o Ānuenue. My household grew up speaking primarily in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian), so I often had a hard time speaking to people outside of my household because I didn’t know much English, or even Pidgin. As the years passed, my family began to speak less and less ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi because we had left for California, everyone except my mother.
Although, she didn’t have a lot of time to raise me by herself between working late putting food on the table, she made time to take me to and from school. We lived with my grandfather, and grandmother as well. My grandmother couldn’t speak much Hawaiian, and my grandfather resented the Hawaiian Language because he was often punished, through detention, or beatings for speaking ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi in school even though he grew up with ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi as well. Every time my mother was around me, she only spoke in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. I slowly learned English while in California, but it was almost pointless because all of my classmates spoke primarily in Spanish, Vietnamese, or Chinese which made me feel like an outcast. Throughout the years, I never forgot the effort my mom put into keeping me fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi despite all of this.
Life sometimes just has a way of making you believe in some higher cause. After almost flunking out of high school, I made the decision to move back to Hawaiʻi (with the moral support of my mom) by myself and to enter Hawaiian Studies at Maui Community College. After being in college for a little while, I got kicked out of an aunt’s house I was staying at, and became homeless. I secretly struggled without really revealing it to anybody. Eventually, I told a classmate of mine, and his family ended up taking me in as hānai.
With the little faith I had in myself to continue my education, I ended up having the same teachers my mom had when she was in college. The teachers immediately recognized me, and said I was kolohe when I sat in on their classes, but in a good way. These teachers, alongside my hānai family, inspired me to believe in my culture, and to use ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and gave me the opportunity to interact with others who are like-minded. Going to class with these people made me feel at home. Eventually, I moved back to Oʻahu (my birthplace) to continue my education. Now, I am in Graduate School at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa doing Hawaiian Studies, and am happy to be in school and feel like I can be myself around others.
This hat is made in the colors of vintage University of Hawaiʻi gear—with its green crown, along with orange undervisor, top button, and side New Era logo, as well as white eyelets and back crest—to honor the school my mom, my lady, and I attended, and perhaps even my soon-to-be-born child will attend. Tuahine which can be interpreted as “elder sister” is the name of a rain in half of Mānoa. I gave this name to my Slaps Wind snapback because of the positive influence my mom has had in my life through understanding the complexity of each area in Hawaiʻi through our mother tongue, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. The front Hawaiian flag is made up of metallic red, metallic blue, and white thread, surrounded by yellow. Altogether, the colors are made to reflect the plethora of hues, and shades that make up ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, and because rain gives life.
Releasing alongside the Tuahine Slaps Wind snapback is our newest design, Sounds of Aloha, printed on a heather grey tee. Throughout the years FITTED has strived to produce our own unique language though products. Our goal was to add to the rich tapestry of our ever-evolving culture by expressing our voice from a place that hasn’t been heard from. We learned that presenting our manaʻo (thoughts) visually only satisfied one part of our goal—the other manifested itself in the form of auditory immersion. When we close our eyes, our pepeiao (ears) become the gateway to our naʻau (heart and mind). This mentality helped shape the aesthetic of what FITTED is today—sharing stories alongside our releases to help provide a deeper understanding beyond the visual surface. Using classic stereophonic banners and logos in a famous collage process called a "stereo stack," we aim to create a visual nod to the language we express through our products.