Giving History A Modern Look
FITTED was founded in 2005 by ex-pro-skater Rene Matthyssen and former Tori Richard designer Keola Nakaahiki Rapozo, and together they’ve taken what started as a simple hat brand and expanded it into a full-fledged clothing company that now produces T-shirts, accessories, outerwear and more.
“We all have very eclectic backgrounds and all bring different ideas to the table,” Rapozo says of his team. “One thing we all have in common is a strong sense of educating ourselves on history and culture. Through lots of digging, we unearth lots of lost history and try to educate through our product.
“What we do well is execute graphics and themes that have a direct connection with modern and cultural lifestyle and translate them through our merchandise,” he adds.
Rapozo graduated from Honolulu Community College in 2000 with a background in fashion technology, later obtaining an internship in the art department at Tori Richard. It was there that he says he acquired the knowledge necessary to operate a successful clothing company.
“The idea for FITTED came about from the lack of quality headwear and quality brands that represent the lifestyle we live in the islands,” Rapozo explains. “What’s gratifying is being able to work with my team and being able to be sufficient.
“We all have a lot of kuleana because we’re a small business and every day it’s up to us to succeed, but it’s been a great ride so far - we are blessed to have amazing customers who stand in line waiting for releases,” he says. “It’s the most humbling experience to be able to create something and have a response like that. I love our supporters.”
Most recently, FITTED also added sizes and styles specifically geared toward women and children to its already established men’s line.
According to Rapozo, it’s the company’s mission to teach Hawaii’s youths the importance of embracing culture and history through its products.
“What I would say is a great character trait about FITTED and our team is that we are constantly thirsty for knowledge, discovering something new to us and sharing it with our community is an amazing feeling,” Rapozo states, adding, “knowledge, wisdom and understanding constantly keeps us inspired and elevated.”
FITTED is located at 1438 Kona St., across from Ala Moana Center and its merchandise also is available online. For more information, visit fittedhawaii.com or call 942-3100.
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