About Kona Bay Hawaii
We started with a simple mission - to craft authentic aloha shirts the way they were originally made: with Pride and Aloha
According to local historians, the aloha shirt dates back to the 20s and 30s in Hawaii when local Japanese immigrants started to produce warm climate shirts with colorful kimono fabrics brought from Japan.
Because there were no factories that dyed and wove the cloth in Hawaii, the cloth came from Japan and were sewn in Hawaii, making the Aloha Shirts produced during 1930 to 1955 very high quality. In the 1950’s, government and people came together and took part in various PR activities for Aloha Shirts leading it to become the formal outfit of Hawaii loved by all locals till this day.
Sadly most ‘Hawaiian’ shirts you see in the market today are cheap and inauthentic products, mass produced in factories outside of Hawaii. Unfortunately this is still the case with some big brands that started in Hawaii.
We wanted to be true to the local culture, and produce genuine and authentic aloha shirts that are respectful to the culture where they were born. That meant we needed to print our fabrics in Japan, bring them to the islands and hand-sew them locally in Hawaii.
We have been making aloha shirts with this philosophy for the past twenty years. All of our products are still printed in Japan and hand-sewn locally in Hawaii. A true Made-in-Hawaii product.
True Aloha. Support Hawaii.
When you buy a Kona Bay Hawaii shirt you are purchasing a slice of aloha, a bit of Hawaiian culture and history and you are supporting a local Hawaiian Business that is still making Aloha Shirts the old way.
Crafted with Pride.
We are proud of the craftsmanship we put into each of our garments. Kona Bay Hawaii was started out of a passion to bring back the glory of the original aloha shirts which were made by local Japanese in the 1930’s-50’s. Our fabrics are printed in Japan using a method of dyeing called discharge painting, then shipped to Hawaii where the shirts are sewn, genuine shells are used for buttons like the old days – never plastic.
All garments are done to the specifications the manufacturers adhered to, back from the days when pride and perfection could be found in each and every shirt:
As a matter of fact, Bailey’s Antiques & Aloha Shirts, an internationally famous local purveyor of vintage Aloha shirts (also a wholesale customer of our shirts), endorsed Kona Bay Hawaii shirts as the “#1 Quality Aloha Shirt in Hawaii.”
Retro Statement. Classics that are never out of fashion.
Wearing vintage and vintage-inspired fashion has always been “in” - and today it’s trendier than ever when ripped jeans or cargo shorts are paired with the perfect Kona Bay Hawaii aloha shirt for a casual look, or used by her as a cover-up or tied
in front for date night. Kona Bay Hawaii moves seamlessly from day to night and work to play. And the best thing...you can share your aloha shirt with your partner!
Our founder. Kusuo KC Kiuchi.
Aloha Kakou! My name is Kusuo Kiuchi, but all of my friends call me “KC.”
I founded Kona Bay Hawaii on the Big Island in 2001 because of my lifelong passion for genuine, high quality aloha shirts. Kona Bay Hawaii is a unique company committed to reviving the style of aloha shirts from the “Golden Age of the Aloha Shirt” - namely, the 1930s-1950s.
I believe it is so important to preserve the culture of the aloha shirt from this era by using the same methods, designs and quality materials. The original aloha shirts were made by local Japanese back then, using fabrics they had brought from Japan. I print the fabrics in Japan using a special dyeing method called “discharge painting,” then ship the fabric to Hawaii and make the shirts right here. Every panel cut, every stitch made, and every genuine shell button added are all done right here in the islands. Kona Bay Hawaii is proud to offer the finest made-in-Hawaii aloha shirts inspired by this wonderful era – as well as attire for women and children, accessories and collectibles.
E komo mai...come and visit us today at the gateway to Waikiki on Ena Road.
Me ke aloha pumehana,