Print Master Alfred Shaheen dies at 86

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The LA Times this weekend announced that the master of Hawaiian and Polynesian prints, Alfred Shaheen, has passed on December 22, at the age of 86 due to complications of Diabetes.

Every vintage picker and buyer knows the feeling of scoring a vintage Shaheen. One of the most coveted labels in vintage clothing, and especially in Hawaiiana, Shaheen revolutionized print manufacturing when he struck out on his own with four seamstresses and equipment he made himself.

Shaheen patterns were innovative. He traveled and sent designers to exotic locations to find the best textiles and patterns in the world. He was determined to create beautiful garments, often traced with gold details, that were unlike anything ever seen before.

“I wanted a certain look that was different from everyone else’s,” Shaheen said in an interview for Hope’s book. “I would not do hash prints or chop suey prints. I avoided bright or garish colors.”

Alfred Shaheen was a 20th century fashion icon who has forever changed our notions and appreciation of Asian and Hawaiiana fashion. You made our world colorful and exotic Mr. Shaheen. Rest in Peace.

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1 penny { 01.06.09 at 10:56 am }

oh no, that’s terrible :(
i love that last dress, the colours are gorgeous

2 pearl { 01.07.09 at 2:19 pm }

Hi Sandra, Thanks for your comment on my blog about the YSL skirt. And looking back now (after having learned much more about vintage clothing in the past 6 months), I do wonder why I decided to change it. In the end, it did sell, but next time I know to keep the classics just that. ;)
Your blog looks like a great resource for newcomers like me, thanks for sharing!

3 Sandra { 01.07.09 at 5:03 pm }

Hey there Pearl!
Thanks for responding and for not taking it the wrong way. I was afraid to offend you, unintentionally. I’m glad you love vintage! As you can tell, so do I. And thanks for the nice compliment. Comment anytime! If you ever have any questions, let me know.

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