|The Seea x Royal Hawaiian Doheny Rashguard photographed on an outrigger canoe in Waikiki beach.|
|A vintage postcard of The Royal Hawaiian Hotel.|
Covering ten acres of prime Waikiki beachfront, the site of The Royal Hawaiian holds a special place in Hawaiian history. Before foreign visitors frequented the islands, Waikiki was home to Hawaiian royalty and chiefs. Since the day The Royal Hawaiian Hotel opened in 1927, the original six-story, 400-room structure fashioned in the Spanish-Moorish style of architecture has attracted the most elite of guests including an array of pop culture legends: the Rockefellers, the Beatles, heads of state and celebrities Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Dean Martin and Shirley Temple during the golden age of Hollywood.
|The historic Waikiki Beach Boys. Photo courtesy of Waikiki Beach Services.|
Traci Bush, operations manager for Waikiki Beach Services — which runs the beach and pool for The Royal Hawaiian Hotel — discovered Seea on a surfer in Waikiki. “One of our beachboys spotted a fellow surfer wearing a Seea rashguard in the lineup and thought it was a very original-looking top. He asked where she got it from, we looked up the brand online and we were immediately in love!” says Bush, who grew surfing in Waikiki.
The beachboys and girls working for Waikiki Beach Services come from a long line of expert watermen, famous for their talents in the ocean and beloved for their generosity and aloha. The iconic Duke Kahanamoku and his ‘Waikiki beachboys’ were the first beachboys to work from The Royal Hawaiian, and were known as the ambassadors of aloha.
|The pink sleeves were inspired by the Royal Hawaiian's famous coral pink painted walls, seen in the background. Photo by Bryce Johnson.|
|Seea x Royal Hawaiian Rashguard photographed in Waikiki. Photo by Bryce Johnson.|
Designer of Seea, Amanda Chinchelli was honored to be given the opportunity to translate the hotel’s illustrious legacy into a special rashguard for surfers in Hawaii.
"The Royal Hawaiian and famous Waikiki beach combined was an epicenter for surf culture in Hawaii during that glamorous 1950s-1960s era, which is at the heart of Seea's inspiration. Being able to experience the hotel's historic architecture in person, surf Waikiki’s gentle waves, and then create a special rashguard using the distinctive pink color felt like a match made in heaven," Chinchelli says.
Bush was stoked with the outcome of the collaboration and how it honored The Royal Hawaiian.
|Riding an outrigger canoe in Waikiki. Photo by Bryce Johnson.|
Bush says that Waikiki played an important role in surf culture growing in popularity. Before air travel made Hawaii more accessible, travelers had to embark on a minimum five-day sea voyage across the Pacific Ocean and as a result, stayed for a weeks at a time in Hawaii. They brought numerous steamer trunks, servants and even their luxury Rolls Royce automobiles. Their first introduction to surfing was through the Waikiki beachboys.
|Vintage menus for the "Surf Room" restaurant in the Royal Hawaiian. Photo courtesy of Waikiki Beach Services.|
|Playing surf water polo in Waikiki. Photo courtesy of Waikiki Beach Services.|
"Duke Kahanamoku, a Royal Hawaiian beachboy who grew up and worked on Waikiki beach his whole life is credited with bringing surfing to the world. After winning a silver medal in the Stokholm Olympics in 1912, Duke toured around the world putting on swimming exhibitions with the rest of the team; in addition to the swimming, Duke began incorporating a surf show for the audience members.
In ancient Hawaii, a few of the surf breaks in Waikiki were so coveted that they were made kapu, or sacred, with only royalty being allowed to surf in those spots. Surfing was considered an art form and was taken seriously, with many heiau, or temple, dedicated to performing rituals to appease the gods to send good waves. A heiau at the base of Diamond Head, overlooking the surf breaks in Waikiki is credited with having the world’s first surf report--kahuna (priests) would fly kites to represent certain surf conditions in Waikiki."
|Inside the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.|
Special thanks to one of newest Seeababes, Kauai-based Ashley Johnston (look out for her interview soon!) that modeled the rashguard on location at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Waikiki Beach and Bryce Johnson photography.
|Get yours at theSeea.com! Photo by Bryce Johnson.|