Notes | July 7, 2017

It’s time to… Hula Blues

Maui Jim and Vinylize collaborate to create limited edition Hula Blues sunglass merging art, style, music and technology.

words Editorial Staff

Summer 2017 sees two of the most innovative companies in the eyewear industry join forces with a limited edition sunglass model that captures the essence of both Maui Jim and Vinylize. The collaboration is born on the beaches of Maui (Hawaii), the home of performance sunglass-maker, and features the distinctive musice and culture of Hawaii encapsulated in the distinctive Vinylize concept.

This limited-edition frame will only be available in 6,000 pieces on Maui Jim’s website and retailers,. Each Hula Blues frame is handcrafted from a vinyl record in Vinylize’s European workshops. The interior is detailed with vibrant artwork inspired from the original 1923 sheet music booklet for the Hawaiian classic Hula Blues. “Music is an important part of life in Hawaii and the islands have a laid-back sound that is instantly recognizable. We chose the iconic song ‘Hula Blues’ to represent the culture of the islands and used a new pressing of the record by TOLO on 12” vinyl to make the frames,” explains Vinylize founder Zachary Tipton. The Maui band’s album features 6 tracks, which can be seen on the front of the frames, one of them inspired by the original Hula Blues recording. The remaining LPs not used to produce the frames will be available to the general public in the end of July through Vinylize’s website.

The eye-catching graphic imaging on the interior of the frame is inspired by an original vintage printing of a sheet music booklet for the song that gave the model its name. The designers took elements of the original design and created a pattern which was used to decorate the inside of the frame as well as the wiping cloth, case and packaging. The Hula Blues sunglass frame was co-designed by Maui Jim and Vinylize. The teams were headed by Richard Walker and Zachary Tipton respectively. “We wanted to create a single frame with the potential to become a timeless classic that transcends gender, race and age by fitting an incredible number of faces,” Tipton explains. Available in Neutral Grey and HCL Bronze lens colors, this new frame is intended to offer a timeless look while enhancing the world’s true colors and vivid details.

Tipton has family ties to Hawaii, so when the opportunity arose to work together with Maui Jim, he grasped it with both hands. “We were lucky to find a partner in Maui Jim who was willing to respect our invention and the cost to make it. They didn’t want to take any shortcuts on quality, so it was a pleasure working with them from beginning to end. We have been approached by other sunglass manufacturers in the past, but it never really materialized until Maui Jim came along,” says Tipton. “Their prescription-ready, durable, and polarized sunglasses, and ties to Hawaii, are exactly what we needed to create a unique product to highlight both of our proprietary technologies.”

The team at Maui Jim is also happy with the results. “The Hula Blues sunglasses merge classic vinyl, modern style and state-of-the-art eyewear technology, to create a one-of-a-kind, fashion-forward premium sunglass,” says Jay Black, VP of marketing at Maui Jim. “While vinyl is enjoying a revival because people love to own their music in analog format, we saw an opportunity to create something never before seen in sunglasses, a unique combination of old and new technologies, of fashion and function. We couldn’t be more excited to have Zack and the Vinylize team as partners. We feel the collaboration has resulted in something that our customers will love just as much as we do.”