Clothing maker Tori Richard Ltd. is turning 50
HONOLULU-BASED Tori Richard Ltd.
will celebrate 50 years of doing business next month. Co-founded in 1959 by Mort Feldman, the family-owned company is now headed by his 34-year-old son Josh -- a younger sibling of one of the company's namesakes, Richard Feldman.
The "Tori" comes from Victoria Moody, daughter of Janice Moody, a company co-founder and Mort Feldman's then-soon-to-be-wife. Feldman, designer Janice Moody and pattern-maker Mitsue Aka set out to create sophisticated women's resort wear and swimwear using company-designed artwork for prints.
Tori Richard's Ala Moana store will be the showplace for the commemoration next month. Storefront displays will feature a rotating collection of vintage apparel.
"It's from our archives. Menswear, womenswear, things that ... we still have in our archives, some from the originals, as well as from what Josh has re-collected back from the community," said Caroline McKinney, director of stores.
It is mostly womenswear, since that was the company's focus at first. Later, Tori Richard branched into menswear. For many local men, a Tori Richard became de rigueur for occasions requiring a more upscale aloha shirt.
Each Saturday in the month, the Ala Moana store will host an event as part of the celebration.
Author Jocelyn Fujii will sign the book she was commissioned to write, "Tori Richard: The First Fifty Years," from noon to 3 p.m. on Oct. 7. Hilo-based jewelry designer Paula Nurse will present her "Champagne Collection" of jewelry in a trunk show toasting the anniversary from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 14. A VIP reception Oct. 21 will unveil an aloha shirt designed to commemorate the Hawaii International Film Festival.
Also, from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 2, world-renowned Christmas ornament designer Christopher Radko will autograph limited-edition ornaments honoring the 50-year-milestone. The sparkling red aloha shirt ornaments will retail for $42.
Josh Feldman, in Paris and not available by deadline, is the only founders' offspring actively involved with the business. However, namesake Richard, a photographer living on the mainland, is the official Tori Richard photographer.
Succession planning may be a way off, since Josh's children are still very young. Like, kindergarten young.
Mort Feldman died in November 2004, "unfortunately, right before the opening of our Ala Moana store, which kind of was his dream," McKinney said.
However, "We all still feel that he's with us."
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org