Pineapple Palaka, a fine clothing company specializing in handmade silk neckties, recently launched its first line in October. Founded by Jonathan Fong and Rick Abelmann, the ties are designed by local artists and are described as unique pieces of art incorporating designs that represent the aloha spirit.
“We both worked on the Mainland and wore suits and ties regularly,” explains Fong, who graduated from Kamehameha Schools before attending Brigham Young University-Provo, and worked in sales for the past 10 years. “On the days that I wore aloha shirts, I would always get crazy looks. I wanted to create something that I could blend in and still show my Hawaii roots. Rick (who also went to BYU-Provo, and law school in St. Louis, and worked in Hong Kong before moving to Honolulu to start a law firm, Abelmann Rollins) wears ties regularly to court and wanted something that embodied the aloha spirit.
“We spent over a year looking for the highest-quality materials, construction and manufacturing processes to create the perfect tie. Also, our classic palaka backing and tie loop make our ties very unique. We chose palaka because it represents strength and has many deep ties to old Hawaii.”
A second collection of ties is in the works, as well as a kid’s line, which is expected to arrive early next year. They also are looking into creating a women’s line centered around palaka.
Pineapple Palaka is available at Trump Hotel Waikiki, Island Treasures Art Gallery in Kailua, Island Treasures at the Marina, Polynesian Cultural Center’s new outdoor marketplace and online at pineapplepalaka.com. Also, follow them on Facebook or Instagram for holiday deals and giveaways, and see if you can spot some of the many local celebrities and sports stars wearing Pineapple Palaka neckties. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 375-8311.
photos by Nathalie Walker
page design by Kamele Eskaran