Maui and Sons
As the old surf legend goes, the Hawaiian island of Maui bore three sons: Jeff Yokoyama, Steve Prested and Rick Rietveld, who would go on to create a legacy in surf wear. Okay, so the island didn’t have children, but its waters gave life to the surfing phenomenon, as well as Maui and Sons co-founder Jeff Yokoyama.
Three surfers from Corona del Mar, California wanted a piece of the entrepreneurial pie that the financially prosperous 80’s were serving up. After a failed attempt at a gourmet cookie business, the three friends finally tasted success with an apparel business. Maui and Sons, aptly named after Yokoyama’s Hawaiian heritage, produced their first product in 1980, dishing up a heaping serving of stylish surf wear.
Their 60’s-inspired madras print Bermuda short became a hit, and the Maui and Sons cookie-shaped emblem was gobbled up by surfers and non-surfers alike. The novelty caught on, and soon the boys were expanding into other apparel. They also adopted a new mascot, the über-cool ‘sharkman,’ a ferocious, sunglasses-wearing shark who loved to surf.
Maui and Sons’ focus on exciting graphics—and the charismatic sharkman—helped to propel the surf wear to the top of a mountain of competitors. Originally sold only in specialty surf shops, Maui and Sons went big time when the founders sold off the licensing rights to an outside investor. Now Maui and Sons can be found in retail stores from coast to coast and across the world, as the company keeps a strong toehold in the wave of fashion.
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