The Reyn Spooner Story
Reynolds McCullough (known to everyone as Reyn) grew up in California on Catalina Island. When he came home from service after WW II, he began working at a men’s shop in Avalon on Catalina Island. Reyn proved to have a keen eye for fashion and marketing; so in 1949, he bought his employer’s shop and renamed it Reyn’s Men’s Wear. Eventually he ran six stores in California, and was known for always carrying exceptional men’s resort clothing and sportswear. On his first trip to Hawaii in 1957, Reyn was captivated by life on the Hawaiian islands. He also saw an opportunity as jumbo jets made tourism possible and statehood was imminent. A year later, Reyn moved his family to Honolulu, and when Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu (the largest in the US at the time), opened in 1959, Reyn’s Men’s Wear was one of the first to open its doors.
Meanwhile, in a little grass shack that was set up in 1956 under the palm trees on Waikiki beach, seamstress Ruth Spooner was busy building her one sewing machine empire with custom surf trunks that were heralded across the islands for their unmatched quality. The two began a partnership immediately after Reyn arrived in Hawaii. Reyn would design board shorts and shirts and Ruth would see to their thoughtful construction. Soon Ruth merged her business with Reyn’s, and the name Reyn Spooner was born in 1961.
At first, Reyn refused to carry Aloha shirts in his stores thinking they were too loud and too poorly constructed. But when someone showed him an inside-out shirt sewn by a local bartender/surfer, Reyn had a light bulb moment. He combined the inside-out method with his own eye for more sophisticated prints and paired it with the classic tailoring of an oxford shirt. In essence, he combined surfer “cool” with Ivy League traditionalism and created something that was attractive to entrepreneurs, artists, business leaders and surfers alike. His innovations continued with the introduction of the Spooner Kloth™, a blend of cotton and spun poly that’s amazingly durable, wrinkle free and breathable. Reyn created enduring classics that paved the way for Aloha shirt’s acceptance around the globe and earned Reyn Spooner the designation, “Brooks Brothers of the Pacific”.
Today, Reyn Spooner has grown from that first store in Hawaii — still located at the Ala Moana Center — to a global presence with modern, high quality Aloha inspired apparel built on tradition and innovation. Still focused on that combination of relaxed “cool” island style with unique prints designs and consummate tailoring.