Releasing exclusively in-store and online this Saturday, April 16th at 11am HST.
Illustration: © Mitch Waite Group
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: Eric Newhouse
AKA: House, n00bhaus
Title/Position: “Guy Who Writes the Release Blogs”
Favorite place in Hawaii? The top of any mountain
One thing you can't live without? Nature
What are you doing when you aren't working? Probably eating
Favorite FITTED hat? Original Red/Gold Kamehameha and EK Kamehameha
What inspires you? Anything and everything
ʻŌPIO MUA SNAPBACK
By Eric Newhouse
Many of you may not know me since I’m primarily behind the scenes (actually, maybe “screen” would be a better word, haha). I sit behind the computer every week to write up the blogs for each upcoming release. I try to drop into the shop whenever I can, but unfortunately it isn’t very often. This Spring Hui Collection however, provides an amazing platform for the entire FITTED staff to send aloha to everyone and share a little bit of our personalities with you, strengthening the bond between the brand and its customers. I thought I should take this opportunity to introduce myself as well, before I get down to the real reason you’re all reading this—the hats! So with that said, ALOHA and mahalo for reading all of our stories!
Both of my releases relate to each other through several forms of inspiration, but all revolving around a central theme: GROWTH. The idea of evolving and maturing naturally paved the way for the names of my hats as well: ʻŌpio and Makua, with ʻōpio being the Hawaiian word for “youth” and makua being the Hawaiian word for “adult.” For my first release, I present the ʻŌpio Mua snapback, focusing on the early stages in life and the path to maturity.
I remember hearing about FITTED when they first opened. I was big into New Era fitteds at the time, so I was excited for another spot to pick up hats from. They started out by selling 59FIFTYs for sports teams and other streetwear brands, then in 2006 they released their own Kamehameha and H Pride 59FIFTYs. I knew instantly that it was a turning point in the hat game—finally, we could rep our own state! I was never a big baseball fan with diehard dedication to one team, so my collection consisted of random team hats from cities I’ve never visited, only because I liked the logo. So when they released Hawaiʻi-catered hats, it was a wrap. To me that was HUGE.
Watching their growth as a company has been nothing short of amazing, so I wanted to create my two hats as a fan, for the fans, and as a thank you to the brand for not only providing dope products, but more importantly being our kupuna for Hawaiian moʻolelo and instilling the Aloha Served Daily mentality in all of us. Last year, FITTED reached a milestone with their 10-year anniversary, and they visually celebrated their evolution by shedding the yellow signature color they’ve used for a decade and proudly revealing their new signature red color, representing the next stage of maturity. This transformation laid the foundation for my little two-part collection.
As FITTED matures from yellow to red, so too does my favorite native Hawaiian bird—the beautiful ʻiʻiwi. The similarities in color evolution sparked the inspiration for the color-blocking on both hats. Most people will instantly recognize the brilliant red color of the ʻiʻiwi’s plumage, but much less will recognize the ʻiʻiwi in its keiki stage. That’s because the colors of a young ʻiʻiwi are completely different, only keeping the black wing feathers and curved orange bill as it ages. Gold, grey, and off-white plumage graces the body of a keiki ʻiʻiwi, which molts as it matures with a bold red color. The crown of the ʻŌpio Mua snapback is gold to represent the golden feathers of the keiki ʻiʻiwi, while the metallic copper, metallic charcoal grey, orange, and white stitching on the Mua logo, as well as the white snap enclosure were made to represent the other colors mixed into the plumage. The orange stitching on the Mua and side New Era logo also match the orange of the ʻiʻiwi’s iconic curved bill. The undervisor and back crest are black to coincide with the black feathers along the wings, while the black eyelets represent the ʻiʻiwi’s maka (eyes).
Releasing alongside the ʻŌpio Mua snapback is our new Extra Flavor design printed on a black tee, which was developed from the idea of “breaking bread” with your crew or hui. The front features the words “Aloha Served Daily” within our crest outline along with two coconut trees up top, as a nod to the famous Molokaʻi bread bags from Kanemitsu Bakery, down to their signature color palette. Below that, the words “Extra Flavor” and “All Over, Mo’ Betta” are displayed to continue the concept. A white crown is also printed on the upper back.