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 WWII, 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 carrying exceptional mens resort clothing. On his first trip to Hawaii in 1957, Reyn was captivated by life in the Hawaiian Islands. He also recognized a business 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 opened in 1959, Reyn’s Men’s Wear was one of the first shops to open its doors.

Reyn McCullough, 1959, Ala Moana Center


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 operation with custom surf trunks that were heralded across the islands for their unmatched quality. Soon, Reyn and Ruth began their partnership. 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 1956.

Reyn McCullough, 1959, Ala Moana Center

At first,

Reyn felt the traditional Aloha shirts had too bold a print and wanted to improve upon the look and construction of the Aloha shirt. Then someone showed him an inside-out shirt sewn by a local bartender/surfer, Reyn had a lightbulb 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 cloth 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 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 the Aloha shirt’s acceptance around the globe and earned Reyn Spooner the designation, “Brooks Brothers of the Pacific”.

Reyn McCullough, 1959, Ala Moana Center