Alfred Shaheen, a pioneer of the Hawaiian garment industry, passed away recently at age 86, from complications of diabetes.
Known as "the master printer", he is renowned for his beautiful hand
prints, with inspiration taken from the various ethnic cultures of the
Pacific. Using only the highest quality cotton, rayon and silk for his
designs, his shirts, bathing suits, sundresses and evening wear from the 50's and 60's are highly coveted by collectors of vintage fashion and Hawaiiana.
Even Elvis wore a Shaheen shirt for the 1961 album cover of "Blue Hawaii"
After World War II"Aloha Wear" became popular souvenirs for the soldiers returning home. The demand for the bright tropical print clothing increased in the 1950's, as more vacationers made Hawaii a favorite travel destination.
So Mr. Shaheen decided to start a company that offered finer quality garments, bringing the popular tourist trade fashion to a whole new level. He revolutionized the Hawaiian apparel industry by creating the largest screenprinting, manufacturing and retail business the island had ever seen. To read more about his life and amazing designs, click here.
Below are photos of the only vintage Shaheen dresses I own. Sure wish I had more! The first is a gorgeous aqua cotton sateen sarong dress with an Asian inspired paisley border print and the second is a shirtwaist dress in a very cool batik like sea life print.