Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hawaii Chic-Read all about it

Jocelyn Fujii, author of "Tori Richard: The First Fifty Years."

Raised on Kauai, Fujii said, "Tori Richard is my earliest fashion imprint. I enjoyed their clothing from my parents' time. My mother would always wear Tori Richard as her Sunday best. Whenever we went out to dinner at Coco Palms, she would wear it."

Writing the book took a year and a half, but the company's well-organized archive made the task easier.

"Delving into the Tori Richard archive was so amazing," Fujii said. "It was like reliving Hawaii's past, almost since statehood. Through the decades you can see all the trends.

Fifty years ago, Tori Richard opened its doors in Honolulu, Hawaii, with three partners, one sewing machine, and a modicum of capital. It was the 1950’s, when Hawaii was the darling of the nation, the playground of choice of Hollywood’s elite, and on the cusp of statehood. An apparel manufacturer from Chicago, Mort Feldman, defied tradition in this colorful late fifties milieu. He came to Hawaii and never left. Instead he established Tori Richard, one of Hawaii’s most prominent apparel manufacturers, today identified with top quality and strong leadership in a fiercely competitive market.

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