Shaheen, Alfred


Alfred Shaheen is one of the best known of the Hawaiian garment and textile designers of the 20th Century. Shaheen was active from 1948 into the 1980s, but he is best known for his work in the 1950s.

He was the son of custom Hawaiian clothing manufacturer George Shaheen, and after college and serving in the military in WWII, he returned home to work in the family business. His plan was to expand into ready-to-wear, and in 1948 he opened Alfred Shaheen to make Hawaiian shirts for men and dresses for women.

At first he used fabrics brought in from the US mainland, but he soon realized that profits would be greater if he printed the fabric in Hawaii. He set up Surf ‘n Sand Hand Prints to print the colorful Hawaiian fabrics. His handprinted textiles were based on the flora and fauna of the Hawaiian Islands, along with Hawaiian traditions and authentic tapa cloth designs.

Shaheen produced not only the fabric, but they also manufactured clothing made from it. Shaheen was known for their sexy sarong dresses and swim suits, Hawaiian shirts and halter dresses with full skirts. The company closed in 1988 when Alfred Shaheen retired.

Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com

from a late 1940s shirt - Courtesy of fast_eddies_retro_rags

from a late 1940s shirt Courtesy of fast_eddies_retro_rags

from a 1950s sarong dress - Courtesy of bigchief173

from a 1950s sarong dress Courtesy of bigchief173

reverse of above label - Courtesy of bigchief173

reverse of above label Courtesy of bigchief173

from a 1950s circle skirt - Courtesy of sweetrockingal

from a 1950s circle skirt Courtesy of sweetrockingal

from a 1950s dress - Courtesy of bombshell*frocks

from a 1950s dress Courtesy of bombshell*frocks

from a mid-1950s shirt - Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

from a mid-1950s shirt Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

from a 1950s sarong dress - Courtesy of artisannes

from a 1950s sarong dress Courtesy of artisannes

from a 1950s muumuu - Courtesy of  pinupdresses.com

from a 1950s muumuu Courtesy of pinupdresses.com

from a 1960s sundress - Courtesy of madvintage

from a 1960s sundress Courtesy of madvintage

from a 1960s dress - Courtesy of firehawk325

from a 1960s dress Courtesy of firehawk325

from a 1970s sundress - Courtesy of amishtaxi

from a 1970s sundress Courtesy of amishtaxi

signature from a 1970s print - Courtesy of thevintagepeddler

signature from a 1970s print Courtesy of thevintagepeddler

from a 1970s maxi-skirt - Courtesy of glamoursurf

from a 1970s maxi-skirt Courtesy of glamoursurf

from a 1970s dress - Courtesy of vintagefashionlibrary

from a 1970s dress Courtesy of vintagefashionlibrary

from a 1970s dress - Courtesy of shopdesignarchives.com

from a 1970s dress Courtesy of shopdesignarchives.com

from a 1970s halter dress - Courtesy of 1950spinup

from a 1970s halter dress Courtesy of 1950spinup

from a 1970s Junior Line dress - Courtesy of fuzzylizzie.com

from a 1970s Junior Line dress Courtesy of fuzzylizzie.com

used in the 1970s and 1980s - Courtesy of denisebrain

used in the 1970s and 1980s Courtesy of denisebrain

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