Mister Freedom® x Sun Surf “Rock & Roll” shirt, “CATALINA” Edition. mfsc SS 2020. Made in Japan.
This splashy little number is our latest collaboration with the legendary Sun Surf® label, a branch of Toyo Enterprise known around the fashion world for its authentic and expertly-crafted Aloha shirts. The family-owned Japanese company’s CEO, Mr. Ryoichi Kobayashi, is an avid collector of vintage Hawaiiana. His rare shirt collection has been featured in museum exhibits and in several books. Kobayashi San’s knowledge, demanding standards, and team of textile and tailoring experts, all contribute to well-curated collections of replica 1930’s to 1950’s rayon and silk tropical shirts every year. Check them out for all your “From Here to Eternity” urges, and refer to the “Land Of Aloha” book for the history behind the SUN SURF label, previously mentioned here.
We started our collaboration with SUN SURF back in 2015, kicking it off with the first of our “Rock & Roll” shirt, the “Action Packed” model, released in a white, red and black blend of rayon-cotton. Followed the boppin’ “Rocket 88” edition released during Spring 2016, available in all-cotton ivory, dark navy blue and mint green, a tribute to Rock & Roll’s early fifties roots. Randomly venturing to the burning Sahara sands, destination the French penal colonies of North Africa and their inked-up inmates, we then released the BIRIBI edition during Spring 2018. To compliment our SS2019 mfsc “YUCATÁN” collection (story here), we then designed the “Yucatán Fiesta”, released in black and white printed rayon fabric options.
This year’s Mister Freedom® x Sun Surf collaboration owes its inspiration to the hospitality and kindness of a fine group of good humans (Allynn, Jillian, John USMC VEB, Dave…) connected to a quiet place some 26 miles off the port of San Pedro in Southern California… There, about an hour ferryboat ride away, lays the island of Catalina, also known as Santa Catalina.
If you live in LA, chances are you are familiar with this small resorty island, with its notorious roaming buffalos, colorful local-made ceramic tiles heritage, and 25-year long waiting list to own a car. For Angelenos, the place is an exotic yet-affordable quick island getaway. It is quite an international tourist destination as well.
Tina and I had visited Avalon (Catalina’s main harbor) many years ago, but spending a few R&R days around Fourth of July there last year, courtesy of afore-mentioned kind-hearted and generous friends, sure put a new spin on the place. Perfect company definitely made for a much richer experience of Catalina, and not just because of the fabulous annual tricked-out golf cart parade!
Thanks to Allynn and family, her house guests at the time, including a few very knowledgeable Catalina Island Conservancy locals, we discovered new hidden facets of the popular California destination. One of the guests at the time, mid-century pop culture connoisseur Charles Phoenix turned informal island guide for the occasion. Charles lead us through an improvised city walk highlighting Avalon’s still-standing iconic structures, while providing fascinating background snippets of Catalina’s modern history.
In a nut shell, the island was purchased by chewing-gum magnate William WRIGLEY in 1919, with the goal of living there and developing it for tourism. He hired the graphic design power couple Dorothy and Otis Shepard to lead the Wrigley’s product advertising department, promoting Catalina island via attractive billboards and pamphlets. (This is the part relevant to our shirt, as the Shepard’s Art Deco style would prove quite inspirational for me later.)
By the 1930s, the place had become a getaway for wealthy Californians, a playground for many in the Hollywood entertainment industry in its Golden Age (Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable,…), a natural movie set for western movies, and an exotic venue for live popular music as countless big bands played the famous local Casino (not a gambling hall, but a ballroom with a 6,000 dancers floor capacity) in the 30’s-40’s.
After the traumatic 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the island was deserted by most of its inhabitants fearing a Japanese invasion, and turned into a Top-Secret US Army military base…
Today, with its mid-century architecture legacy, Art Deco heritage, iconic tiles accents, Mediterranean Revival charm, and bygone vintage California laid-back style, the island is well-worth the ferry ride to escape from the busy city life and crowded freeways for a few days.
Anyways, after good old times were had, came the dreaded wake-up call that a printed fabric design needed to be submitted to our Sun Surf friends like… yesterday! With a head full of happy memories, I figured that Catalina’s famous harbors, classic history and iconic fauna (the orange Garibaldi fish, iconic flying fish,…) would be a perfect theme for the original artwork of our 2020 “Rock ’n’ Roll” shirt. I started doodling, very limited by my own abilities but very inspired by the genius Art Deco works of the Sheppards, Catalina island period travel advertising, and the amazing tiled underwater scenes and Art-Deco meets Art Nouveau murals of the Catalina Casino designed by John Gabriel Beckman. The shirt’s two “Deco” divers are a reference to the 1927 “Wrigley Ocean Marathon”.
After a lot of back and forth with the Sun Surf textile experts regarding graphic repeats, artwork cut-outs, characters positioning, color combinations, etc…, from the amount of air bubbles to the size of the divers, one version was finally selected as an Aloha-vibe fabric print, and released in two distinct classic body color options.
And there goes the saga of the SS2020 MF® x Sun Surf CATALINA Rock’n’Roll shirt!
The Mister Freedom® “CATALINA” Rock & Roll shirt is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sun Surf® and Sugar Cane Co, both divisions of Toyo Enterprise.
SPECS: FABRIC: 100% rayon fabric, woven and printed in Japan with traditional fabric printing techniques. Two color options, white or black.
DETAILS: * Limited edition collaboration with the Sun Surf® label. * Body pattern inspired by classic vintage 1940’s-50’s Aloha shirts. * All original MF® fabric print inspired by slices of Catalina Island 20th Century history, and a few good humans. * 1940’s-style open ‘loop’ collar. * Matching-pattern chest pockets. * Tonal corozo wood buttons. * MF® x Sun Surf® “Rock & Roll” woven rayon label and “Yucatán” double labeling. * Packaged is a fancy re-usable Sun Surf cardboard shirting box, featuring original MF® artwork inspired by vintage LP covers. * Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: Both white and black “Rock & Roll” CATALINA shirts come ready-to-wear out of the box. No need to soak. We adopted the time-tested sizing of Sun Surf®’s Aloha shirts for this garment. I wear a Medium in most mfsc shirting, and opted for a very comfortable Medium in the CATALINA. True to size, not intended to be worn tight, or tucked-in, unless you’re very daring and hip. See sizing chart for approximate measurements, measured straight out of the packaging box.
CARE: Professional DRY CLEAN ONLY, in your local eco-friendly facility.
When traveling, a quick fix to remove rayon fabric wrinkles is to hang the shirt in the bathroom while showering (not in the shower), and let the steam do its thing.
Available raw/unwashed. Sizes Small (14-14½) Medium (15-15½) Large (16-16½) X-Large (17-17½) XX-Large (18-18½)
Mister Freedom® x Sun Surf “Rock & Roll” shirt, Biribi Edition. mfsc Spring 2018 Made in Japan.
This is our latest collaboration with the legendary Sun Surf® label, a branch of Toyo Enterprise known around the world for its authentic and expertly-crafted Aloha shirts.
The family-owned Japanese company’s CEO, Mr. Ryoichi Kobayashi, is an avid collector of vintage Hawaiiana. His rare shirt collection has been featured in museum exhibits and in several books. Kobayashi San’s knowledge, demanding standards and team of textile and tailoring experts, all contribute to well-curated collections of replica 1930’s to 1950’s rayon and silk tropical shirts every year. Check them out for all your “From Here to Eternity” urges!
Here is a bit of background on the Sun Surf® label and Toyo Enterprise, quoted from the “Land Of Aloha” book (roughly google-translated from Japanese):
“ The history of Sun Surf® is deep, going back in time in the 1950s. Aloha shirt was at its peak as if it responded to the development of Hawaii, but since print out facilities were not available in Hawaii, print cloth was ordered to the mainland of the United States or Japan. The aloha shirt currently being treated as a vintage was actually actually exported to Hawaii 60 years ago. …
After the end of the Vietnam War, the name of “Kosho & Co.” was changed to Toyo Enterprise and commodities for domestic domestic market began. In the 1970s, Aloha shirt brand “Sunsafu” was born. It is only natural that the company that was involved in the export / import industry from the beginning and became familiar with American culture, became a prisoner of the attraction of American vintage. In the early 1980 ‘s, full – fledged creation of vintage Aloha shirts was begun, but reproducing its charm was not an easy task. In particular, “color”, which is the greatest attraction of aloha shirts, that is, good coloring of a picture, can not be produced at all by the modern printing method at that time. Therefore, we analyzed thousands of vintage Aloha shirts collected as materials. Based on the result, it started from the work of finding a factory that can reproduce the print at the time. As for the material, rayon having the same texture as vintage is not distributed, so we made SUN SURF original fabric which started weaving from yarn spinning. In addition, sticking to the arrangement of the picture appearing on the body, now with the mainstream width of the fabric is not suitable for drawing out the pattern from the fabric width at the time to woven fabric, tailored to shirts. And sewing. Rayon fabric which is stretchy and slippery requires very high technology for cutting and sewing. Depending on the work, such as pattern matching even to pocket and body, that particular attention to detail can not be pulled out. Reproducing the sewing specifications found in vintage, using different buttons of various materials such as shellfish, coconut, bamboo, etc., studying daily from composition of the pattern to coloring. From this kind of steady work we draw out answers one by one, and the aloha shirt of Sun Surf is made by making full use of the know-how born from that.
Vintage Aloha Shirt which is now rare and difficult to obtain. Sun Surf® continues to revive a number of masterpieces to the present age so that more people can enjoy its charm without weathering with the times.“
We started our collaboration with Sun Surf in 2015, introducing the first of our “Rock & Roll” shirt, the “Action Packed” model, released in a white, red and black blend of rayon-cotton. For the anecdote, the black version can be seen in action on the silver screen, styled by martial artist Donnie Yen in “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” (2017). This would make our Rock & Roll shirt the first-ever Mister Freedom® garment to actually be mentioned in a Hollywood blockbuster! Vin Diesel’s line to Donnie Yen, “Who sold you that shirt?” is a classic. We know Mr. Diesel was inquiring where to cop. ?
“Who sold you that shirt?” (Photo courtesy Donnie Yen’s Weibo)
Donnie Yen, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” (Paramount Pictures 2017)
MF® x Sun Surf® “Action Packed” Rock & Roll shirt (2015)
MF® x Sun Surf® “Rocket 88” Rock & Roll shirt (2016)
For the third season of our Rock & Roll shirt, we decided to go from Jailhouse Rock to… breaking rocks! So long Nashville, good morning Tataouine.
This may sound strange of a destination for an Aloha shirt theme, but we figured Waikiki beaches were covered and, for graphic inspiration, chose to venture instead to the burning Sahara sands, destination the French penal colonies of North Africa, aka Biribi.
Some of you might remember the MF® “Biribi Bourgeron” we released in assorted vintage textiles around 2011. Here is a quote from that old blogpost mentioning Biribi, the carceral system active in the French colonies from about 1830 to 1945:
“ The term Biribi encompassed penitentiaries in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Often associated with the Bat’ d’Af’ (French military disciplinary battalions of North Africa), Biribi was the solution chosen by the French government to tame hard headed rebels, anarchists and other misfits. Youngsters with a misdemeanor police record, individuals who had tried to dodge the draft (common practice was to stick a rusty fork in your thigh to invalidate yourself…), or just had an issue with authority, ended up doing time under the blazing sun in the ol’ African French Colonies. Fun activities included breaking piles of hot rocks, building never ending roads, enduring constant humiliation such as the infamous crapaudine, but mainly learning the ropes for a future life in the underworld. Biribi made the tough tougher and buried the weak. Biribi and other French colonies penitentiaries (Bagne de Cayenne…) disappeared in the mid 1950’s, after numerous testimonies of survivors had shaken public opinion, and international pressure had forced the government to change its penal system. The year 1972 marked the official dissolution of the last Bat’ d’Af’ unit.“
Our graphics were freely inspired by “bousille”, an obsolete style of French Body Art with roots in the maritime and disciplinary world, well-documented thanks to Alphonse Bertillon and official photographic criminal records of the early 1900’s~1940’s. The verb bousiller (pronounced boo-zee-yeah) means ‘to destroy/ruin’ in French slang. That term properly conveys the characteristic sloppiness of bousille artwork, complimented by the crude inking techniques and scarring side effect. Any object sharp-enough would do, the edge of a tin can, rusty razor blade, old bodkin… and Indian ink or charcoal powder.
A forbidden practice in the French military at the time, the inking was mostly limited to the covered parts of the body, no neck no hands, unless you insisted on the chaouch (dreaded prison guard) making your life even more miserable once promoted to one of Biribi’s finest Sahara resorts!
Original bousille motifs were often heavily charged with real-life experiences. No ‘appropriated’ tribal art or cute dolphin ordered-off the tattoo flash wall of an air-conditioned parlor for the chiourme (convicts)! Each tattoo often carried cues that only insiders who had done time could decode. For the future caïds who made it back to the (under)world, these indelible Biribi souvenirs worked as solid street credit and were the perfect Curriculum Vitae.
The MF® “Biribi” shirt features a mixed bag of historical graphic references, some plausible some anachronic, pieced together in an old-school photo-print style familiar to the vintage Aloha shirt collector.
One will spot a Joyeux sporting a “viscope” (the long visor cap of the Bat d’Af’), a tiger chasing a snake (tigers are not native of North Africa, but do exist in local folktales and mirages), a papillon (a classic escape symbol, see Henri Charrière), a Tatahouine desert minaret, a pick axe/shovel (tools of the trade for building roads), a shiv (revenge), the de rigueur risqué mermaid, the classic Cheri-Bibi “Fatalitas” or “Souviens-Toi” (remember), a nautical star (the way home), a gigolo wearing a bachi missing his gigolette… Note that “Cosette” on the ribbon is not the name of a Marine Nationale ship, but a nickname for Tina?.
Tailoring-wise, we selected one of Sun Surf®’s time-tested classic body pattern, a typical 1940’s rayon Aloha shirt model with the traditional loop open collar. We opted for a 100% rayon fabric this time, for that breezy, cool feeling and fine drape.
The MF® “Biribi” Rock & Roll shirt, aka. the Rock-a-Biribi shirt, is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sun Surf® and Sugar Cane Co, both divisions of Toyo Enterprise.
SPECS: FABRIC: 100% rayon fabric, woven and printed in Japan with traditional techniques.
Two color options, white or dark navy.
DETAILS: * Limited edition collaboration with the Sun Surf® label.
* Body pattern inspired by classic vintage 1940’s-50’s Aloha shirts.
* Original MF® ‘novelty print’ fabric inspired by 1920’s-1940’s Body Art from French penitentiaries in North Africa known as Biribi, and early maritime tattoos.
* 1940’s-style open ‘loop’ collar.
* Matching-pattern chest pockets.
* Genuine indigo-dyed corozo wood buttons.
* MF® x Sun Surf® “Rock & Roll” shirt woven rayon label.
* Packaged is a fancy re-usable cardboard shirting box, featuring original MF® artwork inspired by vintage LP covers.
* Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: Both white and dark navy “Rock & Roll” Biribi shirts come ready-to-wear. Do not soak.
We adopted the time-tested sizing of Sun Surf®’s Aloha shirts for this garment. I wear a Medium in most mfsc shirting, and opted for a comfortable Medium in the “Biribi” shirt. True to size, not intended to be worn tight, or tucked-in.
See sizing chart for approximate measurements, measured straight out of the packaging box.
CARE: Professional DRY CLEAN ONLY, in your local eco-friendly facility.
Available raw/unwashed. Sizes Small (14-14½) Medium (15-15½) Large (16-16½) X-Large (17-17½) XX-Large (18-18½)
Rock-A-Upa-Upa-Baby. Featuring the “Malibu Sea Denim” and a pair of PF-Flyers (Center Hi model, made in USA)
The “Upa Upa” Shirt Reverse print bark cloth Skipper Spring 2016
Throughout History, public display of gyrating hips has often been frowned upon by the righteous pious elite.
In 1957, a 22 year-old Rock’n’Roll singer had to be filmed above the waist, to accommodate the Church Lady and her friends. Elvis’ third TV appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was apparently a threat to morality and order at the time, and the cameras stayed away from questionable lower-body activity. It is not known whether Colonel Parker set it all up to boost record sales, or whether Ms Enid Strict‘s ancestors had actively participated in the banning of the Upa Upa dance some 150 years earlier in Tahiti, but this raises one question… Today, could a well-organized public twerking event suffice to inflict massive cardiac arrests in the ranks of isis?
Let’s leave this one to psywar specialists and stay on course, as we introduce the latest addition to our peaceful Skipper collection.
It is well documented that the Age of Discovery saw many a missionaries anxious to spread the Gospel in the New World. After concertation, a zealous bunch decided to go cruising in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, destination the pristine sandy beaches of the Society Islands. On March 05, 1797, upon arrival in Tahiti at Pointe Vénus, fine men of the cloth noticed a-hunka-hunka-burning-love type of dance, and concluded that the half-naked locals could definitely use some retenue in the entertainment department. The Upa Upa dance was 86’d, and the depraved suggestive moves that had originally lured whalers and mutineers were relegated to the rank of savage activities, unfit for civilized people. The pernicious concept of Sin, a powerful control tool introduced by early missionaries, did wonders with the islanders’ joie de vivre and frivolous traditions. Interestingly, the English word taboo is borrowed from the Tongan word tabū (or tapū), meaning sacred/forbiden…
With a bit of convincing, Mother Hubbard dresses eventually replaced tapa cloth skirts, and most of the estimated 40,000 heathen souls populating Tahiti at the time European invaders first landed, were saved. These desperate descendants of Taiwanese migrants had been trapped in a sun-drenched and turquoise-lagooned purgatory for generations, and those who had not succumbed to eighteenth century VD imported by colonizers could finally enjoy the bliss of salvation. Alleluia and Maururu.
If Elvis ultimately generated millions of dollars from the savant swiveling of his pelvis, the original Upa Upa dance has somewhat fallen into oblivion. Still, its modern legacy lives in the ‘ote’a, and other Heiva activities connecting Polynesians with their original ancestors’ culture.
For the anthropology-inclined, glimpses of Upa Upa influences can also be spotted on the occasional dance instruction video clips we share, concerned as we are in perpetuating the Art of both body expression and living-room rug-cutting.
Disclaimer:I trust that the acute reader accustomed to these posts, who has just wasted five minutes of an otherwise fine day reading the above, will assume that it is not my intent to make light of anyone’s religious inclination, nor to promote atheism or a specific faith. To me, everyone’s wild guess on what to spiritually believe in is respectable, but, at times, some might benefit from others’ conviction staying an altruistic yet private and intimate personal opinion.
Cook Islands ladies wearing Mother Hubbard dresses, 1910 (Photo George Crummer, courtesy Te Papa, Museum of New Zeland)
Another mellow evening at the Bar Lea, 1959
Gabilou taking a break from the Barefoot Boys
A fan making a suggestion during an EP concert, Philadelphia 1957 (Courtesy Getty Images?)
Debra Paget showing her Upa Upa moves. (Milton Berle Show, 1956) Photo Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Upa Upa is here to stay
Now, without any further ado, our chemise du jour, the Mister Freedom® Upa Upa shirt!
The vibe of this garment is clearly more related to a 1969 steamy New-Year’s eve at the Bar Léa in Papeete, than to a traditional 1788 wedding under Pōmare I. So, just like our Bora Bora shirt or MF Paréo, the Upa Upa Shirt won’t necessarily work for reenacting ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’, but will make you ridiculously handsome, successful in business and happy in love.
The general pattern is inspired by 1960’s-70’s lounge attire with a touch of dune buggy escapade. The Upa Upa shirt features five pockets with double button closure flaps, in a (surf) safari jacket detail with a definite sixties accent. Not that anyone does anymore, but this is a non tuck-in shirt.
The most striking part of our Upa Upa shirt however is the unconventional use of the printed fabric. Not a ground-breaking event in itself, but reverse prints are a first in our Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane decade-long collaboration.
A popular island fashion in the mid 1960’s, reverse-print fabrics gradually became the cloth of choice for both Kamaʻāina and long-established haole folks. It appears that contemporary islanders have a more subtle approach to sporting printed motifs than continental visitors have. Preferring their outfits a bit toned-down, they seem to leave the louder prints to sunburned tourists. Rumor has it that reverse prints were a way to emulate the faded shirts worn by legit surfers. If Reyn Spooner® allegedly pioneered the technique, surf-related brands such as Ocean Pacific® or Lightning Bolt® widely used the reverse print gimmick on their gear in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
In the Hawaiian islands today, reverse prints are considered proper business attire, a thought that suddenly makes corporate board meetings almost sound appealing.
The base fabric we chose for our Upa Upa Shirt is a handsome slubby bark cloth-type woven textile, with more slub than our Saigon Cowboy“Tahiti” Shirt, but from a similar weave family. Here is a quote about that fabric, dug out from our original post, which you might want to double-check the historical accuracy of, before engaging on reddit:
“The base textile (…) is reminiscent, in texture, of those vintage kitschy 1960’s/70’s cotton Hawaiian shirts sometimes referred to as ‘bark cloth’. In the 1940’s/50’s, a thick and heavy version of that dobby weave cotton cloth had become a standard feature in most American households, in the form of printed curtains and upholstery fabric. All those vintage iterations were modern renditions of the ancient Hawaiian kapa (or tapa in Tahitian, meaning ‘the beaten thing’), the natural wood pulp bark cloth of early traditional Polynesian attire that so impressed Captain James Cook back in 1769. “This stuff is awesome! Where to cop?” he reportedly said on his final voyage to the Pacific Islands, before being clubbed on the beach.”
Anyhow, the chest horizontal band graphic of our Upa Upa Shirt is typical of Tahitian vibe shirts and T-shirts popular in the beach communities in the mid sixties, swinging their hips to the ocean swell during the day, and to Dick Dale at night. Many ads in vintage issues of Surfer Magazine corroborate. This traditional Polynesian Art-inspired graphic we used is similar to that on the MF® Paréo, a mighty garment that has quickly taken over beaches around the World!
We know because social media don’t lie.
(Instagram action shots courtesy of our friends Markues, and Jay & Amber. Thanks for being good sports and for showing us how it’s done on location! Please note that this is by no means an endorsement on their part of the above ramblings.)
So, if you ran out of fishing wire after busting all your ukulélé strings, spin a Barefoot Boys record (this one), slap on three coats of monoï, tie-up your paréo, slip on the Upa Upa… Time to show the world your best tamouré moves.
And once your partner has hopelessly implored you not to share a clip of that on Instagram, do tag us (#MisterFreedom) for a chance to win a gallon of warm yak milk, or a limited edition printed “Skipper” bandana.
The Upa Upa Shirt is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
SPECS: Inspired by traditional Tahitian culture, 1960’s-70’s Polynesian attire, lounge wear for the marina playboy, and vintage beachcomber accoutrement.
FABRIC: 100% cotton slubby weave bark cloth-type textile, displaying the reverse side of the print due to partial bleed-through of the ink, for a subtle motif effect. Woven and printed in Japan.
Two attractive color options: A)Upa Upa Aqua: Aqua blue base fabric with coral pink printed chest band graphic. B)Upa Upa Lava: Black base fabric with aqua blue chest band printed graphic.
DETAILS: * 1960’s surf safari type shirt pattern. * Five-pocket style: Four large patch pockets with flaps with extra small arm pocket.
* Sixties-style double button flap closure. * Genuine coconut shell buttons. * Side slits. * 100% cotton thread. * Narrow caballo chainstitch construction. * Made and printed in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: The Mister Freedom® Upa Upa Shirt comes raw/unrinsed. We recommend the usual initial 30mn cold soak/occasional hand agitation/spin dry/hang dry process. The shirt in both options will shrink to tagged size. The Mister Freedom® Upa Upa Shirt is true-to-size. I opted for a medium, my usual size in mfsc shirting. For general instructions on how we size Mister Freedom® garments, see here. Please refer to sizing chart to figure out what works for you, depending on your own body requirements and silhouette preferences.
The fit pix are featuring the MF® Malibu Sea Denim, and a pair of PF-Flyers (Center Hi model, made in USA).
Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails, like after a particularly competitive beach twerking contest.
Machine wash. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Mister Freedom® x Sun Surf ROCK’n’ROLL Shirt “Action Packed” model
Spring 2015 Limited Edition
Toyo Enterprises 50th Anniversary
You enjoyed the MF® Juke Joint? Well now dig this…
Toyo Enterprises 50th Anniversary in 2015 gave us the opportunity to collaborate with its “SUN SURF” label, of Hawaiiana garment fame. It was a great honor to collaborate with Toyo’s textile and manufacturing experts on this project. While we were diggin’ the boogie in California, we heard it was a painstaking journey for our friends, Otsukaresama deshita. Rayon, a fiber made from wood-pulp and originally called ‘Artificial Silk’ until 1924, is getting hard to come by these days because too labor intensive to produce. We chose a specific blend of cotton and rayon from reliable sources as the base fabric, combining the coolness of rayon with the strength of cotton.
Our fabric graphic design is adapted from a vintage 1950’s novelty print swatch from the MF® archives. It features diving, racing, flying, surfing, boats, cars, airplanes… Action Packed, baby.
For the Man of action, we re-worked it in three options, playing with color combinations until we remembered there was life outside.
This shirt intentionally departs from vintage traditional Hawaiian shirting, a domain SUN SURF has masterfully cornered for many years. No coconut buttons or wing tip collar, but a 50’s greaser approach instead. I almost feel like taking up smoking again. (Hey, before the PC brigade gets its undies all in a bunch, my Dad lost to lung cancer from Dunhill reds, so I allow myself a little joke here and there, capisce? Personally been off that junk for three years now, no regrets.)
Oh, and our Rock’n’Roll shirt comes in fancy packaging, a cardboard box featuring a vintage LP-inspired cover. For the cut & paste-inclined, the doodle is 100% original MF® artwork.
I’d gladly bore everyone to oblivion with an intro mentioning the origin of music as an imitation of Nature’s sounds. Followed by how my personal record library is heavier in Carl Perkins than, say, Kanye West, and why I’d rather hear Cliff Gallup’s guitar play than Justin Bieber’s fingers snap, but I got a 06:30 to get a tattoo. I’ll let the twelve terabytes of jpeg do the walkin’ and talkin’ on this number.
Carl Perkins (1956)
Gene Vincent (1957)
Paul Burlison, C. Gallup, J. Burnette (1956)
Bo Diddley (1958)
Phantom 309 (1996)
The “Action Packed Rock’n’Roll Shirt” is designed in California and manufactured in Japan by Sun Surf and Sugar Cane Co, marking the 50th Anniversary of Toyo Enterprises in 2015. Dig it.
50% rayon and 50% cotton, milled and printed in Japan.
* Classic 1950’s casual shirt pattern.
* “ACTION PACKED” model, vintage inspired novelty print for the Man of action.
* ‘Shark Fin’ collar, typical French 1950’s ‘Col Requin‘
* Corozo wood buttons, aka ivory nut.
* Single chest pocket, matching graphic pattern.
* Narrow flat felled seams, chainstich.
* Rayon MF® x Sun Surf collab label.
* Made in Japan.
This cotton/rayon garment was professionally rinsed and steam pressed, and is ready to wear. Random fold marks from being packaged in the box will even out with wear, and the fabric will ‘flow’ into a natural drape rapidly.
The R’n’R shirt is designed to have a 50’s casual shirt type length. True to size, the shirt has quite a comfortable roomy fit. If you are usually a Medium in mfsc shirts, you are a Medium in the R’n’R shirt.
CARE: Professional dry-clean only, from your local eco-friendly cleaning facility. This is a relatively fragile garment, prone to snagging and delicate. Wear accordingly. Do not hot-wash and not not machine dry.