Releasing exclusively in-store and online this Tuesday, April 19th 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
MAKUA KAMEHAMEHA 59FIFTY
By Eric Newhouse
My first hat was based on the early stages in life, or the process of learning and growing. With both of my hats being directly connected as a two-part story, the second hat will focus on the natural evolution from the first—the culmination of growth and maturity into an adult, or Makua.
Bar mitzvahs, quinciñeras, turning 18, graduating high school, turning 21, graduating college, having children—all of these and more mark a significant change in our lives, a turning point and sign that we’ve grown and reached another level in this game of life. One of the biggest being the shift into adulthood, turning 18, which makes you an official adult in the eyes of the government. Those first 18 years of your life become the building blocks for the rest of your life. I created this Makua hat to represent that turning point—the monumental shift in time that signifies growth and maturity.
For FITTED—a brand I’ve admired since their beginning—it was their 10 year anniversary, celebrating their decade of growth through innovation and creativity, and cementing their place in Hawaiʻi’s burgeoning fashion industry. Realizing it was a momentous occasion, they realized they had to do something special, so they took on a huge rebranding effort with a new logo and color at the forefront. This was done to signify their graduation from one level to the next, showing they’ve matured and are ready to face their next 10 years with a renewed sense of knowledge and focus.
For my favorite native Hawaiian bird, the ʻiʻiwi, their maturity is signaled by the molting of their juvenile golden feathers into radiant scarlet red plumage. Their adult feathers were so beautiful, Hawaiian aliʻi used them for their ʻahuʻula (feather cloaks) and mahiole (feather helmets). The ʻiʻiwi’s gorgeous plumage inspired the color-blocking for the Makua Kamehameha. Scarlet red graces the crown to represent the red feathers on the ʻiʻiwi, while the black visor, top button, and back FITTED crest are all nods to the ʻiʻiwi’s black wing and tail feathers. The orange Kamehameha logo, undervisor, and top visor stitching are inspired by the ʻiʻiwi’s orange bill. The Makua 59FIFTY also features black eyelets to represent the ʻiʻiwi’s strong maka (eyes), while the white New Era logo mimics the small patch of white feathers on both of the ʻiʻiwi’s wings.
There’s also another small layer of growth symbolism hidden across both of my hats: the choice of 9FIFTY snapback for the first hat and 59FIFTY fitted for the second. Growing up, I’ve always had an affinity for hats. Heck, I still remember the TMNT mesh trucker I used to wear all the time as a kid. My youth strictly consisted of snapbacks, from mesh truckers to Starters, until Flexfit came out during high school and introduced somewhat-fitted hats with their elastic bands. Those were cool until they started stretching out and didn’t fit right anymore. As I started college, I evolved to wearing New Era 59FIFTYs—the epitome of quality and fit in the hatter industry. So as a pack, this represents my growth in the hat game, from snapbacks in my childhood to 59FIFTYs in my adulthood. Now I know snapbacks are huge again, but to me the 59FIFTY will always be the flagship silhouette for New Era and also the core of what FITTED Hawaii started with (basically sealing my fate as a FITTED addict from the beginning, haha).
P.S. These lifestyle shots were taken at Kaniakapupu Ruins, formerly King Kamehameha III’s summer palace. This is a must-visit location for everyone, and with just a 5 minute walk from the road, there’s almost no reason not to go at least once in your life. The surreal feeling of being there, right where the Hawaiian aliʻi stepped through those doorways and lived, is just amazing. Old architecture is incredible to view anywhere in the world, but having it in our own back yard here in Hawaiʻi, and to be able to learn about it, makes it that much more special.
Our new The Flock design will also be releasing this Saturday, printed on a black tee. It features the name Fitted across the chest, made up of yellow hulu (feathers) to represent the hulu used for ʻahu ʻula (feather capes) and mahiʻole (feather helmets) adorned by aliʻi. The backside of the tee features our crown printed in white.