Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Summer of caps. Papa Nui's 2015 line up.

Avenger Cap

The Papa's latest update of his original Corsairs Cap is the new Avenger Cap.
Following recommendations made by Com Air Pac directives the Avenger is built tough in 9oz herringbone twill and utilises a revised custom visor pattern. It's a cap that is as good looking as it is rugged. The under visor is lined in billiard green twill to tame the savage sun and is soft and pliable and ready to be flipped up and swaggered in. So whether you're strutting your stuff down Hotel Street to Wo Fats or making an entrance at the Gooney Bird Hilton its Bravo Zulu Papa all the way!


Catalina Cap

Those Navy Boys are a jealous lot! On the decks of the Bird Farm the Flyboys have been crying out for a cap of their own. 'Forget them god'damn Leathernecks Papa, give us a cap for service at sea". And so the Papa delivers a cap born of the South Pacific, designed for maximum protection from the sun but with a visor suited to cramped cockpits and gun turrets. A stubby mid weight indigo denim makes for substance while a under visor of USN life raft yellow provides a marker of safety and a signal of hope in stormy seas. The Catalina is the much favoured choice of Cat Crews and Plywood Canoes.

The Original Corsairs Cap

The Papa knows caps. A lifetime spent under the Pacific sun has taught him a thing or two about a visor of substance to hunker under when the sun would shrivel you to a New England hag, and so with a generous interpretation of the WWII A-1 sun visor the Papa introduces the Original Corsairs cap. A true aviators cap inspired by all things 'field made' and featuring a customised brim built around a period 4 panel crown. The Corsair launches onto the decks in a beautiful USMC Frog Skin camouflage perfect for the Papa's famous fighting Battalions.

Beachmaster Herringbone Twill.

A hat designed for service on land and sea. Part Daisy and part Dixie and all utility this new adaptation is taking beach heads by storm, prompting Admiral Halsey to decry, "Damn you Papa and those fancy sunbonnets of yours, there's not a man in regulation on the entire Atoll, you Huckster! You drygoods salesman!".

Beach master Italian Camouflage.

Flamboyant 'sprezzatura' M-29 Italian campaign camouflage liberated from a Salerno warehouse when the Papa's uncle, Roldolpho Russo landed there with the US 15th as part of Operation Avalanche.

So its all ahead full this summer with Papa Nui's 2015 line up made by exclusive arrangement with the John Lofgren Clothing Factory in Japan where quality is an absolute! 
The Papa is available in the Northern Hemisphere through the Iron Heart Denim Webstore, log on and check them out or ask Giles for the scuttlebutt!

Down under you'll find the Papa at RHD Righthand Distribution in Adelaide South Australia, or a select grouping through Pickings and Parry Fitzroy Melbourne Victoria. 
If all else fails email the Papa direct and let him sort you out with what you need.

Semper Papa.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Papa Nui studies cap styling in the South West Pacific.

Cap Styling.
When I conceived the idea for Papa Nui I was not looking to create a re-enactors brand or a replica product. Nothing could be further from the truth. Granted all my inspiration is drawn from original product but as I've discussed many times before the true goal in my projects was to create what we don't see. What I mean here is to encapsulate the individuality of the general issue serviceman. There's a misplaced belief that the world of war was a regimented and controlled environment when in fact it was as unique and chaotic as any other facet in human life. What I wanted to take note of was the idiosyncrasies of the average soldier and the way he carried himself and his personal style on the campaign trail, in the field of combat and in the forward bases.
This wonderful collection of photos below are screen shots from a short Smithsonian clip about aircraft Nose art and despite the interesting subject matter what really caught my eye was how each of the men featured here validated my point of view with their head gear. If they are wearing GI issues then its customised, bent, twisted or worn at a jaunt and adorned with personalised insignia, if its not issue then its private purchase or 'field' made. This is a really great lesson in authenticity as we must look deeper into our research for the finer details instead of skimming the surface and believing we have things right at a mere glance. At Papa Nui there is a solid belief that you don't completely own something until you customise it and that's why the Papa encourages all to wear his caps hard, to wash, and beat and trash and bend and then to resew or to decorate because at the end of the day as we can see in the images below, 'A man is the hat that he wears'.
Semper Papa!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

An absence of months but new tees to show for it.

Sometimes we just get caught up in things and for the Papa its been a busy period of development and networking to ensure a brighter 2015. Add this to the convenience of papanuisays on Instagram and its easy to see how the blog can be neglected. For now then a glimpse of current projects, two new tees.

The Papa Fuckin Nui tee is the all time I don't give a shit print. Developed from a chance posting on facebook by Matt Stickland of  Warpath Leather regarding one's introduction to the Devil, the Papa was quick to capitalise on the quip. The quote more potent when considering the plight of independent makers globally competing in a market controlled by giants financed to the hilt. Papa Nui's punk rock ethos is underpinned by a killer skull graphic taken from a WWII Royal Navy battle flag and is printed on recycled tees from Dead Union Vintage. The art was recklessly compiled by young Adelaide artist Tobias Zwarthout whose brush stroke lettering makes these tees a defining statement of expression, "Im Papa Fuckin' Nui! who the hell are you?" a slogan spat eloquently at 'Inspiration' or the Devils doorstep, which ever comes first!

Number 2 on the hit parade is another longtime coming collaboration, this time with vintage aficionado, collector, artist and blogger supreme, Patrick Segui of Riveted. The Segui x Nui tee celebrates a mutual friendship built over the years via the net and based on an shared aesthetic of all things military, do it yourself and handmade. These are the very principles that Papa Nui was built on, a fascination of the resourcefulness of the soldier in the field, the can do attitude and the desire to make an old idea even better. Its a salute to the Seebees, the Riggers, the ground crews, the wheelers and dealers and a nod to Luther Billis and Milo Minderbinder.
The collaboration tee takes the form of the squadron mascot for VF-3 and bares the image of Felix the Cat. VF-3 was a aviation unit that flew Grumman F4F Wildcats off the decks of the USS Yorktown at the time of the battle of Midway and Patrick Segui's interpretation has Felix strumming on a banjo in a graphic style that enhances the feeling of a print done aboard ship whilst on active duty or 'field made'. The print is screened in water based inks and then hand painted by the Papa in an olive green acrylic wash, a technique passed onto the Papa by Patrick. The 'wash' gives the print depth and a sense of authenticity. Again the base tees are sourced via Canada by Dead Union Vintage so each one is completely unique and equally fucked up and used, yellowed and aged to perfection and resembling the personal tee of each Naval Aviator that grabbed theirs out of their kit to take down to some resourceful sailor who printed them up as unofficial totems for the squadron.

These tees are exclusive to the Papa and can be purchased for $45 USD. Email the Papa at for ordering and sizing info. All tees are limited to 30 pieces so to secure yours do not hesitate a moment longer alternately go to my store at

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Papa on da Rock and the new Original Ships Cap.

  The Papa sat framed against a tropical postcard background of the white sand and sparkling shallows of Waikiki. He was on R'n'R from the Atoll and wore a pair of cut off marine dungarees, frayed and oversized, a khaki light poplin naval aviators jacket, sandals, a mesh type ships cap and a flower behind his ear. He was truly the Dean of beach boys.
  Florsheim, one of the local kanakas and so named because he occasionally wore shoes, looked at the Papa with admiration. 52 years old and still giving the Wahine's what he called Papa Nui's surfboard cure for misery. It just couldn't get any better than that. 
  He also noticed the Papa's manner, a mixture of relaxation and insolence, sitting back his arms folded behind his head with his cap tilted at a jaunty angle. Florsheim studied the cap. Like mos' stuff the Papa owned it was da kine, he thought. Bruddah what a cap! he whistled out loud. The Papa looked up. Florsheim said, "Hey Papa, where you find such da kine cap? Mo' bettah dan anythin' I seen"
  "Florsheim ol' buddy", the Papa replied, "This here is my Original Ships Cap, its the new cap of choice for the Battalion." He reached deep into his musette bag and pulled out a HBT frog spotted beauty, a cap of class, embroidered with the Papa's mantle in a golden yellow thread the colour of the Hawaiian sunlight. He tossed it towards Florsheim who caught it, his mouth was agape, lost for words. Florsheim recovered, looked at the cap and with his big hands curved the brim to his liking before perching it atop of his dark locks. "Aloha Papa, shaka brah, Aloha and Mahalo", said Florsheim gratefully. 

   And so to all Battalion men out there, those that are veterans and those that are new the Papa once again introduces a new product. The new cap of the season, The Papa Nui Original Ships Cap. Painstakingly developed to be the best mesh cap on the market, the Papa joins forces with his great friends at the John Lofgren Clothing Factory Japan to bring to you a solid and weighty 9 oz HBT twill adjustable cap with reinforced twill tape trim and double fold sweatband. Adorning this masterpiece and taking pride of place of the foreheads of a thousand men is the Papa's mantle emblazoning the crown, a patch that declares to all the pride of the Beach Battalion! So come winter or summer, sleet or sun always remember the Papa has you covered. The Original Ships cap comes with two patch options, the Frogspot matching or the Olive drab HBT contrast, so choose the colour of your patch. All caps are fully adjustable to fit and are available through the Papa for $75 USD including free international airmail* no tracking. Check them out via, papanuisays Instagram or papanui clothing on Facebook. Email for any queries and send all PAYPAL payments to

Papa Nui products are renown for quality assuredness a detail that the Papa insists on, each cap is manufactured in the finest Japanese factories using the best skilled labor available and all under the watchful eye of John Lofgren, who ensures an integrity befitting the Papa's reputation. All Papa Nui products are of a limited quantity so first in best dressed. All wholesale enquiries are welcome with generous concessions in order to spread the Papa's message. Be the first retailer in your region to take up the fight and back the attack as the Papa launches his assault on mediocrity.

Aloha from the PAPA!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Papa Collaborates.

There's a lot of discussion these days about country of origin, of the source of products and who makes them. I believe there's a fallacy emerging that suggests that unless a product is made in the USA or Japan then it is in some respects inferior. Now all arguments of nationalism aside I know for a fact that many of these perceptions are just not true.
Many many years ago before many of the current crop of Vintage aficionados had come to an age of consciousness, there were two young Thai guys that lived in Sydney. I used to see them every weekend at every flea market. They would travel from one market to the next with keen eyes fixed on buying vintage. They were so far ahead of the game it was ridiculous to watch. I would hold a stall stocked with Americana goodies from my personal collection that one clueless Rockabilly after another would walked aimlessly past, and yet these two Thai guys would zoom in turning denim legs inside out looking for selvedge and single stitches and buying up big to send back home. These goods no doubt were destined to be sold in the Bangkok vintage markets in Chatuchak.
Jumping ahead 30 years the appreciation for vintage in South East Asia is still as strong as ever and whilst the markets are still a draw card for the acquisition of original pieces there has also been a proliferation of original makers who have been inspired by their forbears and by the sharing of new technology and the web connecting the world.
The Papa, forever on his endless quest for great product stumbled onto two great resources lately, both markers and craftsman of a very high degree and both steeped in the necessary background to produce goods of a very high standard.

With pleasure the Papa introduces Saneer Lohvitee of Solomonmini and Ed of The White Hat Club. Both of these artisans were chosen by the Papa to produce a small range of bags for the men of the Beach Battalion. The selection criteria was simple, a rugged soul, an individual interpretation, a sense of history, a pride in craftsmanship, both makers passed with flying colours.
Having seen these two guys work its instantly apparent that its not so much about where you are from but how much integrity you have at heart. I have seen of late a denim industry assualted by the worst infiltrators of all, Jeanery's. Especially in Europe, the mainstream Jean store has become the new self claimed expert in denim goods, carrying exotic quality brands but sold without soul, sold without any interest other than the pursuit of a dollar. I take solice however in the fact that out there in the world be it the back streets of Bangkok or regional America or even the grimy streets of Ol' Blighty there are so many young enthusiasts carving out there own niche and a fresh take on a old industry and so there you have it, its not so much about the country of origin but the origin of the soul thats important in this day and in the integrity of product. This is the way the Papa thinks and these are the people that the Papa supports.

 Saneer Lohvitee of Solomonmini
 Solomonmini x Papa Nui Beach Bag.
 Solomonmini x Papa Nui I-Pad case.
Ed of the White Hat Club.
The White Hat Club x Papa Nui Battalion Bag.

Inspirational. The Papa's Ode to John Kelly.

   I have many inspirational figures in my life and often they fill a certain need or more likely they serve as an aspirational guide for me to follow, almost like a compass in some respects, I reach a certain point or come to a cross road and ask my myself what steps I would like to take and what path would my mentors choose. Their guidance although unspoken has clarity in my personal vision of how I want my future to manifest itself.
   One of my shining beacons is the late John Kelly (1919- 2007). John Kelly, surfer and artist, represents to me a lifetime commitment to the beach and the environment and embodies the art of ageless gracefulness.

Here is my favourite photo of him, taken by Art Brewer shortly before his passing several years ago. At 88 years old he stands straight and strong his shoulders pulled back revealing a life dedicated to pursuits in the ocean with skin caressed by the light of the sun and weathered by the salt and sand. Looking at this image I observe the contemplation and reflection, the appreciation of a moment, the strength and poise of conviction and a life spent in harmonious balance with the natural elements. My personal strength is drawn from aspiring to role models such as John Kelly who remind me daily of living in the moment and planting my feet firmly in the future. Rest well my brother and reflect in your endless sleep that many follow your path and your legacy is not quickly forgotten.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hit The Beach with the PAPA ! All new summer release of the iconic Combat Beach Battalion Hat.

Now hear this!
Masters of Buckets, Tin cans and Battlewagons. Ahoy men of the Battalion!
Exciting news hot off the press, straight from the broadsheets of the 'Atoll Defender'.

Papa Nui relaunches his iconic Combat Beach Battalion Hat.

Adapting the very best elements of the G.I issue Daisy Mae, the Papa reworks his Battalion Hat for this coming Northern Summer, providing a rousing salute to his heroes of the South Pacific and the homefront workers who back the attack, the Naval Yard crews, the Aircraft plant employees, grease monkeys machinists and carpenters.
Joining forces once again with the John Lofgren Clothing Factory, the Papa ensures that quality is an absolute. The Japanese production takes this new edition Battalion Hat to the next level by using a beautiful mid-weight cotton woven into the tough stuff, rugged Frog Spot Herringbone Twill and twisted yarn Salt and Pepper Chambray, providing you with two great options for your styling pleasure.
Across Continents, Islands and Atolls alike, men trust the Papa! His experience in the Tropics, in the surf, the sea and the sand, guarantees you maximum protection from the harshest elements, the searing Oriental Sun, the burning coral glare and the choking clouds of Volcanic dust. For surf or service the Combat Beach Battalion Hat has you covered. So hunker down with the Papa and choose your shelter.
Become a Battalion Man Now! PayPal the Papa.
$85 buys you your choice of Frog Spot Herringbone Twill or Black Salt and Pepper Chambray, in two size options Medium 58cm and Large 60cm. Sizes either side of those available can usually be achieved by either stretching or shrinking. The Papa recommends the wet and stretch method or the stove top Frog Spot soup.
All Japan Manufacture by exclusive arrangement with the John Lofgren Clothing Factory.
Quality and Integrity guaranteed. Country of Origin Hino Maru internal patch, hand stamped Papa Nui Unis markings. Handmade swing tag. Papa Nui signature olive drab stitching throughout, HBT taped seams.

 Classic Daisy Mae shape reimagined in USMC WWII frog spot herringbone twill.
All Battalion Hats are pre-washed to break the shape and make them your instant best friend.
 Traditional grommets replaced by embroidered eyelets so there's no parts to break or fall off.
 Stitched to perfection. John Lofgren Clothing Factory quality make.
 The Papa's summer selection for sand and surf.
 Papa Nui channels an eclectic mix of Col.Kilgore and Sgt.Striker.

 Hino Maru dynasty of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. Country of Origin tag that assures quality absolute.

 Papa selects summer options for Northern Climes.
 Hino Maru and olive drab herringbone twill taping.
 Olive drab embroidered eyelets.
 Beautiful midweight twisted Japanese yarns make this Salt and Pepper chambray.
 Iconic Combat Beach Battalion shape crafted in traditional workwear fabric.
 Quality detailing inside and out.
 Papa Nui Unis and Hino Maru.
 Salt and Pepper Papa.
 Southwestern highlights mixed with traditional worker style and topped by the iconic Battalion Hat. Perfect gig for restoration work out at a Chino hanger or for exploratory expeditions into the desert on a mission for denim relics.
Close up of the Battalion at work.

Free International Shipping! 

Dont pay over $100 for other brand hats and then get stung for shipping on top. The Papa hates that shit! Papa Nui includes international airmail postage* and keeps it as simple as possible.*( no tracking provided as this service costs extra dollars)

If you have a store and wish to buy into the Papa, wholesale orders of 6 hats are the minimum.. The majority of the Papa's customers are located in the Northern Hemisphere so why not stock a small selection of the Combat Beach Battalion Hats? round out that order with Papa Nui's Corsairs Cap as well and double your pleasure. Get in now at a ground roots level and be the first retailer in your country to be a Battalion prefered stockist. With what's lined up in the near future and with the collaborations afoot you'll be glad you did.