Cashing in on the cache of Maui, and TMZ moves up at KITV
Maui Surf Company LLC
is not based on Maui, but you may find some of its boat shoes, water shoes, or what it calls sandals, in the islands.
We might call them slippers, but from $29.95 to $59.95, sandals seems apropos as these are not your typical, rubber-zori-cock-a-roach whackers.
The Florida limited liability company was established in April and has some 900 retailers, but its e-commerce site is still a work in progress, said Joe O'Brien, president and founder.
All the styles on the site should be available by January, he said.
The company's new principal owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Marc-Udo Broich, bought the company after trying on the shoes.
Among other industries, Broich is involved in the luxury yacht-building business.
"That's where his interest came from," O'Brien said. "He tried on a pair of shoes and he was sold."
The shoes sell well among the apres-yacht set and O'Brien hopes they become as de rigueur as the Sperry Topsiders the sockless, stubble-faced Don Johnson popularized via "Miami Vice" in the 1980s. Customers as young as 18 are buying them, he said.
O'Brien's shoe days started with a shirt company, , which sold aloha shirts to retailers and branched into footwear. Old Maui changed its business model and is now online only, he said.
O'Brien's footwear is now sold under the Maui Surf Co. label, a name he chose not due to island ties, though he's been to Hawaii "a couple of times," but to reflect a lifestyle.
"We're trying to create a lifestyle brand with a performance base. Whether you're walking on the beaches of Maui or the streets of Boston, you'll look good," he said. He hails from Boston.
A boating magazine gave O'Brien's shoes a favorable review. The writer said after a weekend of wear they felt as if he'd owned them for a couple years. "Historically it takes awhile to break in (boat shoes), but ours felt like that from the get-go," O'Brien said.
KITV will move TMZ TV up from its wee-hour slot to lead out of the news at 10:35 p.m. come Monday.
It is partly to counter writers'-strike-driven reruns of Leno and Letterman, said Mike Rosenberg, president and general manager.
Say what you will about the deluge of gossip as news, Time Magazine called paparazzi-ambush site TMZ.com one of the 25 URLs it can't live without.
"They've created an entertainment niche for themselves, being the one show about Hollywood that is not beholden to any of the publicists," Rosenberg said. "They don't care who they offend."
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: email@example.com