Saturday, December 8, 2012

Papa Nui Combat Beach Battalion.

Combat beach battalion hats get 'em now! Don't wait for the impending summer to warm you ears be prepared, close your eyes and think balmy thoughts, swaying palms, endless peeling point breaks, white sands and golden tans, all bought to you by the Papa!
$50 buys you the dream! includes shipping international airmail. This is the last run, QUALITY MAKE, all native labour, support Makolo and his mary's, Chief Urulu is always on his case to meet minimums of the Naval production contracts so don't let him down. Get one today, sizes 57cm-61cm. Paypal the PAPA,

Papa Nui Enterprises Inc.

Papa Nui Enterprises, purveyors of cold beer, grass skirts, polynesian pop and Pacific rim souvenirs, plate lunches, stocks and bonds, marriages and divorces, liquor, tattoos, surf surplus and supply, hats, caps and t-shirts, munitions, cat food, WWII collectibles, hula supplies, aloha curios and live bait.

Papa Nui Frog Spot.

Stamp testing on brown beachside out frog spot camo. Courtesy of Maloko's product development department, Taratupa Island, Some where in the South Pacific.

Meet Moloko.

For those of you who are curious about Papa Nui's secret island production facility here's an introduction to our head man. Meet Moloko. Moloko is in charge or the native labour force working on Navy Department Contracts. All of Papa Nui's Combat Beach Battalion Hats are made under Maloko's watchful eye. The complaints department Maloko wears in his waistband, his machette, 24 inches of blackened steel courtesy of the US Marine Corps.

Papa Nui's Beach Assassins.

Get off my beach Nazi kooks!!

Loose Lips sink ships.

Keeping the gaff to a minimum cause enemy ears are listening. The search goes on to uncover the mysteries behind Papa Nui.


"Where there is no hand there is no heart ". Michelangelo.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A seat on the PAPA's truck or a life of anonymity?

Now hear this! This is your Papa speaking.
Men of the Beach Battalion, your mission is to spread out wide and seek new members to join our elite team of sartorial watermen. Let it be known that this is the final roll call for the frog spot issue design and that $45 plus $5 postage will buy you a seat on my truck. Be swift and enrol now or be forever a part of someone else's army. The choice is yours.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Buy Now! and back The Beach Battalion.

Papa Nui's Combat Beach Battalion Hats are back!
Finally there's a new run to fill back orders and all those of you that were desperate to pick one of these frog spot beauties.
Papa's unique take on the WWII daisy mae breathes new life into an old favourite. Rare USMC pattern HBT camo with a soft flexible brim that can be customised a dozen ways. Grab one now as numbers are limited and many are pre-ordered. Sizes are 57cm through to 61cm. All beach battalion hats are washed by the Papa and come with personalised tag.
Send AUD$45 plus a flat $5 for all destinations international airmail to Papa's paypal:
Any questions? Just ask the Papa.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Here we go again friends, The Papa offers you two beauties from his island quonset PX.
The first is the all so hard to get Post Overalls Royal Travellers vest in light weight khaki poplin. Not only are these difficult to come by but they cost a fortune especially with the Yen conversion, the ridiculous payment methods and trying to find one in stock and an outlet to sell you one, all the dramas of dealing with Sakurasville. This one is a true size medium, so if you wear a 38"-40" chest then this is for you. this vest is extremely popular because of the quality make and the unique 30's style pockets on the exterior. on the inside there also two pockets, see last photo of vest turned inside out.
This is hardly even worn, perhaps three times so it goes up for sale at $325 including international airmail to any location. I assure you this is a lot less than what I ended up having to pay once I was committed. First in best dressed so email me at and its sold to the first email I get.

This amazing Japanese replica is a 1930's style Mackinaw sports parka. A highly desirable and rare commodity. Heavy wool with side zip to pullover as well as front half zip and two great hand warmers at front. Bought back in the early '90's in Tokyo and then really never worn, I think maybe once as it never got as cold as what I wanted it to be. From memory I believe this one is from the Buzz Rickson stable, perhaps Style Eyes. Size is Medium 40". Price Im going for is $400 on this one as its a piece you never see anymore and anything comparable from Bootleggers is in the $800 vicinity in todays dollars, so a fair price, post on this however will be perhaps $50 as its a heavy garment. Again same deal as above email me if want this.

Im selling these two off reluctantly as usual but in order to build better Papa Products I need to grease the wheels of industry first.
Thanks a looking forward to your emails,
Semper Papa.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Papa x Birdwell Beach Britches.

There's no need to reinvent the wheel as the Papa can attest and as  much as I would love to develop my own surf trunks I have to admit there is nothing on the market quite like Birdwell Beach Britches. Since 1962 Birdwells of Santa Ana have been making bullet proof surf trunks that are legendary. In this day and age its so easy to make unsubstantiated claims about quality and the big three of the surfing industry are often the worst offenders, serving up the latest and greatest in a hope to win over the uninformed and to schmooze shareholders focused on dividends, but Birdwells? Birdwells just make great shorts, pure and simple. The Papa's has owned 9 pairs and every pair has lived up to expectation before being passed on or sold off to finance a new pair.
Taking advantage of the custom make service, the Papa has pulled out all the stops this time around to create a truly unique pair of trunks for this summers surfing season using the last of Birdwells WWII USMC frogskin camo nylon. Custom options include 60's inspired football lace front and double rear pockets and in the true nautical tradition of the US Navy, matched silk liberty cuffs on the internal waistband that evoke the mystic power of the Sirens and enlist the fortuitous blessings of Neptunus Rex allowing the Papa to wear the mantle of the Seaweed Caesar.

Over time Birdwells take on a patina second only to vintage denim, the constant assault by salt water, sun and wax bleaching out the print and encrusting the thread lines. Shown below are my old pair which are 6 years old, battered and beautiful showing all the signs of a mutual love and hard wear. The Papa now looks forward to his new pair and a new era on the beach, the adopting of a new favourite and the riding of  new swells, the future is bright indeed!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Papa recalls.

It would seem friends that Ive been a little hasty in congratulating Makolo on his good work. Whilst preparing battalion hats to go out to a new batch of customers the Papa was dismayed to discover that his exacting specification have not been met and that Makolo has been at the torpedo juice instead of monitoring the floor at the production facility.
In a just move the Papa has not sacked Makolo but merely demoted him from captain of the native labour force and put him back on the line tying grass skirts for tourists.
The hats, well the Papa has had no choice but to withdraw them from the market and refund the monies already paid by those wonderful customers that have been quick to purchase this lastest collection. The Papa is sincere in his apology but will be back in near future when all issues have been resolved. As for Makolo, well I'd be checking the knots in the next grass skirt you buy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Beach Battalion is back.

  Friends, its been a long absence, but I've not been idle. Things here on the Atoll have a way of frustrating a man and nothing ever seems to happen in an instant. Not so long ago when I was down visiting the production facility I came across Maloko, who heads up the local native labour force. He was excited and animated, jumping up and down and brimming with pride for the Papa because of the success of  the initial order of Beach Battalion hats. It would appear however that Maloko took matters into his own hands and decided to do another run of hats, "For you Papa", he said, ''No waiting, Maloko have hats now!" Arrgghh I thought what do you do? Luckily with the sale of the first order I still had many potential customers who missed out on these frog skin beauties and who had been on my case waiting for another chance to buy, and so I had to pat 'ol Maloko on the back and thank him and take possession of another order which now I can offer up for sale.
  So hear this, the Papa officially announces the sale of 34 new Beach Battalion Hats, sizes 57 through to 61. These are expected to move quickly as many are back orders already so don't avast a moment,  tell it to the Papa and send $50 Australian which includes airmail worldwide, to the Papa's PayPal address, and include your size requirement.
Semper the Papa!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Eastman and the Papa.

So much focus is placed on the Japanese flight jacket market these days that one begins to believe that Sakurasville is the only place where they're switched onto the good stuff. This isn't necessarily true because plodding away hidden from the limelight of the Nipponese media and the likes of Free&Easy there exists companies like the Eastman Leather Company. Eastman have had their fingers in the pie for a long long time and deservedly their product is right up there with the best of the best. Their leather jackets are a worthy investment in a historical legacy that stretches back to the war years.
Through mutual friends Heritage Research UK, the Papa was hooked up with Eastman's new US Navy ballcap. Its a style I had long tried to get my hands on and its the style synonymous with Naval and Marine aviators, PT commanders and Submarine men. It was also the cap favoured by Hollywood goes to war and perched atop John Wayne's head in Operation Pacific and They were Expendable. Originals of these are rare indeed and any find on Ebay is usually of very poor condition. Eastman have taken this cap and perfected it so that it appears to have been purchased at the PX yesterday 1945. The secret here is in the use of super fine pure wool jersey as opposed to a heavy wool broadcloth one might see in use at Ebbets Field Flannels. Its this fine grade of wool that made this cap so comfortable in the climate of the South Pacific and under Oriental waters and its also the reason why there isn't any to be had today in the vintage market, owners of these caps just flogged them to death with wear. Of course there is also the green twill underside of brim but what I found really lovely and especially comfortable is the super thin split horsehide sweatband. Its not often that I really love something and this usually leads me to make my own stuff or have a hand in the creation of others but the Papa must admit that this cap is a beauty and an absolute must have.
Look up Eastman today and get one of these caps, tell 'em the Papa told you so and let's support those brands that are truly putting the good stuff out there.

Nocturnal Insertions.

There is no length to the efforts the Papa is willing to go to.
Sometimes on the Atoll one must seek out hit and run nocturnal raids in order to secure difficult and hard to obtain supplies.
One such evening this week, the Papa went in to liberate a bolt of selvedge denim fabric from a guarded Oriental compound. Slipping in unseen on the midnight tide the Papa literally paddled to the wire and after some quick sapper action captured his prize. On the way out however all hell broke loose when an alert guard turned on the spots. Sprinting to the beach the Papa made good his escape amidst the commotion of a woken camp.
The question remains however, what carefully laid plans has Papa Nui got for this narrow loomed, red edged piece of indigo finery?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HALSEY and the PAPA, new projects adrift.

"I missed the fourth because of this ridiculously short red cap, I cant wait for the new Papa Nui's Combat Corsair Cap, it'll keep me flying on target".

I was hanging out in the hut adjacent to the Papa's manufacturing facility the other day, enjoying the early morning cool and unwinding from my dawn operations out at the islands' reef break, when all of a sudden Admiral Bull Halsey comes barging through the door, raging and storming like the old fog horn he is.

" Damn you Papa Nui and damn your hats! You montebank! You huckster! You dry goods salesman! Not only have I got half the base out of regulations wearing those ridiculous 'sun bonnets' of yours, but now I can't find a native anywhere on this godforsaken island to do a days work for the Navy because YOU, have the entire village employed to support your shenanigans!"

Old Halsey was a bullish man, a giant of tireless energy and brilliant mind, a commander who truly loved his men. He sighed deeply and then slumped into one of my chairs seemingly dejected.
"Admiral", I soothed, "Please, allow me to fix you a drink".

He raised an eyebrow as I poured him a shot of my locally distilled torpedo juice, tempered with just the right amount of coconut water and lime. Lifting the glass to his lips he refreshed his parched throat and then held me in his steely glare. " Papa", he said, " I'm worried about my fly boys. Those fearless lads are out in their Corsairs all day, mission after mission and what have they got for sun protection? Those piddly short brimmed mechanics caps, that's what! Why, just last week that incessant glare off the coral airstrip sent two of my boys off to the base hospital until their eyes recovered."

The Admiral sluiced the last of his drink and added, "That flimsy piece of HBT is all that stands between them and that damn Oriental sun and I wont stand for it Papa, I wont! For god sake man couldn't you design something that will protect my aviators?"

"Admiral", I said, I've got just the thing! How about a deeper crown and a more substantial peak? A multi-stitched wider brim clad out of our regulation OD herringbone twill with a sweatband and inner taping trimmed out in Marine pattern frog skin?

Halsey eyed me off and smiled, "Genius Papa, pure genius. Reduce the glare and keep my boys focused on them meatballs! Now get to it man, I want those caps as soon as possible! The coconut express sails in a few weeks and I want my aviators outfitted. Understood?
"Aye aye Sir", I replied as Halsey removed himself from my shack.

And so the task is set. The Papa assembles his crew, nimble fingered Marys, resourceful Sea bees. The 'union specials' are cranking and production begins day and night.

On the side however, the Papa produces a secret stash. Extras. Over runs from his Navy Supply contract. Enough additional caps to outfit his loyal battalion of followers. Soon the word will be out, coast watchers will signal the fleet but until then the Papa works tirelessly on, making those limited edition magnificent items for you to have. Stay tuned my friends, support the Papa effort and surf in freedom for those that can't.

Last Chance. BUY NOW!

Ahoy saliferous old salts, now is your last chance to add one of Papa's beach battalion hats to your kit. There's only a few sizes left in 57cm, 60cm and 61cm so let me know quick if want to get one. These wont last long so email the Papa NOW!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Critiquing the Market, lets be honest.

Today was one of those days when the combination of cold and rain drives you to find tasks around the house that you have been putting off for ages and so after an early morning paddle down at the Alley I decided it was time to get my bookshelves dusted and sorted.
If you really want to assess who you are, your hobbies, interests and passions, a review of your book collection can be a great way to validate the person you've become. I came across some beauties in my collection that made me reflect on how long I've held some of my interests and how in an age of pre-Internet I came to learn about the things that I love.

While sorting piles of books on flying jackets and early aviation I began to think about replica vintage clothing and about the rise in popularity of WWII leathers. I remember pawing over Avirex catalogs when they first came out and then how bitterly disappointed I was when I finally arrived in New York to visit the Cockpit and realised that their interpretation was not exactly an authentic take on the style. With this in mind I became pretty good at critiquing the market and calling companies out on their claims.

Arriving in Tokyo in the early 1990's with a note book full of addresses and hand drawn maps that Id gleaned from Lightning magazine I finally found my way to the Real McCoys Rough Riders store which was a pokey little hole in the wall store that was a adjacent to the Daikanyama railway station. I stood in that tiny space completely dumbfounded, my eyes wild while trying to absorb all that was for sale in there. Racks and racks of A-2's, G-1's and heavier sheep skin B-3's and D-1's lined the walls. I was completely overwhelmed. As is usually the case there is so much going on that you end up in a bind as to what to spend your money on. I think this time I kept it very simple. I had a very limited budget and so I just bought a whistle, some tees and a pair of goatskin flying gloves. I would certainly make up for this on subsequent visits when I moved up to Tokyo for work.

The McCoys at this point were perhaps the most relevant vintage replica company anywhere in the world. There were others however that sat on the peripherals that were equally proficient like Pherrows and Buzz Rickson and even the original conception of Evis produced some amazingly beautiful garments. These companies were everything that I came to associate with integrity and authenticity and for many years I was a die hard customer. Sometime during the 2000's I began to feel uneasy about many of these Japanese companies and the direction that they were taking or not taking as the case may have been. The McCoys underwent a strange break up of partnerships that is forever difficult to understand unless you are an insider and rumours ran amok that the president had squandered the profits on ridiculous things including a B-17 bomber. As it happened a new Real McCoys / Toys McCoys emerged but it was different with Hiroshi Okamoto at the helm gone was the feeling of ultra authenticity and stripped down military utilitarianism and what replaced it was an air of safeness, a cutesy world of Disney characters and the over exploited Felix the Cat icon that smacked of the same Japanese-ness that exploits Hello Kitty or Captain Santa, essentially I felt the Real McCoys had become the Cockpit, over indulgent, over detailed and overpriced.

Buzz Rickson soon followed suit. The difference was in the details or perhaps too much details, not the quality but the execution, t-shirt prints changed from period correct water based ink stencil types on wonderfully thin authentic fitting garments to ridiculously heavy cotton yarns decorated with designs front back and both sleeves in plastisol thick inks more akin to commercial street brands or even worse to those mock military tees that are all over ebay and aimed squarely at military moms or veteran dads. This is not to say that in 'general' either company were not putting out some nice jackets and other vintage garments but I really felt that the essence, their very soul seemed misplaced or tired and that all that was left was to flog a dead horse albeit 20 years down the track

What I found truly interesting however was as the same time as the top become self indulgent and stagnant the middle ground opened up with a new swag of up and coming manufacturers and companies whose enthusiasm soon surpassed anything the big two could develop. Among these were the Japanese owned Bootleggers Reunion / Freewheelers and the iconic John Lofgren brand.
These two arrived at a time when there was a huge resurgence in the interest in heritage style garments, vintage denim and in the face of rampant commercialism, quality and soul. What made all this more interesting was that these two brands were focused on garments other than the military jacket market. While the McCoys may have capitalised on work wear with their Joe McCoy sub brand they had in reality only scratched the surface with recreating the era, but the Bootleggers, they kicked the door in and took it to another level, focusing on the earliest turn of the century styling and on garments so rare and unusual that they exist only in the best archival collections assembled in vaults. Their take on work wear and their unique interpretation of outdoor goods was revolutionary. They had tapped into a global vibe that was happening in the cyber space of collectors blogs and very small enthusiast brands. Instead of a focus on WWII leathers this new batch of vintage stars were tapping into 1920's and 1930's civilian styling.

Leading the pack here was David Himel's Himel Brothers Leathers out of Canada and his superb take on the A-1 or civilian Cossack style jacket,

but also awaiting in the wings are the developments of French American Patrick Segui of the Riveted blog fame and his amazing versions of half belted back leathers. Patrick is one of those rare individuals who has a great understanding of the Vintage American apparel industry through years of exhaustive research and investigation and flea market and vintage store scouring. The biggest stand out however would have to be John Lofgren.

John is a Californian native living in Japan and taking the Japanese on at their own game. In the past few years John Lofgren has grown to surpass the Japanese reputation by his excellent taste and out of the box thinking. Focusing on American work wear he brings to the table an honesty and integrity of product that shines as a beacon of how things should be done and that flies in the face of the overly commercialised and childishly 'kawaii' product selection shown in the lines currently being produced under the guidance of the McCoys Hiroshi Okamoto. John is not in the big league by any stretch, nor is David Himel or any of the dozen or so manufacturers that exist outside of Japan, however collectively they are offering a very new and fresh take on the vintage replica market and have breathed a new life into something that in general the Japanese have failed to capitalise on.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Combat Beach Battalion.

In a long line that stretches back from Roosevelt's Rough Riders, Carlson's Raiders and Merrill's Marauders comes Papa Nui's Combat Beach Battalion. Join the Papa now and enlist for the CBB!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

AHOY! Masters of Vessels, Skippers and Mates avast!
The wait is finally over.

In the true spirit of 'field-made', the Papa has taken the humble Daisy Mae hat, added native labor and some good 'ol Seabee know how and rebuilt it from 100% cotton herringbone twill in the vintage frog skin camo pattern of the USMC.

The ultimate utility in sun protection this exclusive beach hat has a multi-layered soft brim styling with 4 panel construction and 8 breathable eyelets and is the essential addition to any summer kit. Shield your eyes from the shimming heat of Oriental waters, the fierce Pacific sun or the savage tropical coral glare.

The perfect combination of Papa's styling makes this hat an absolute necessity for beach landings and surf recon missions, standing in the chow line or tinkering under the hood in the motor pool and of course just the right attire for nocturnal manoeuvres inside the nurses compound.

A truly inspired piece that's individual, personal and looks better with every wear, so wash it, dry it, fade it, bash it, pop the eyelets out and trash it; the saltier the better.
Choose a look or wear it your own way!
The Napoleon with front brim turned back, is the choice of future Generals. 

The BARRYMORE, worn with the correct tilt, is for the casual debonair type. 
The PAUL REVERE is a tricorn effect and most becoming to slim, long faces.
The PORKPIE is for the studious type and is reminiscent of college campuses. 
Papa Nui's Surf Surplus & Supply department have created this limited edition run of only 30 hats to be sold world wide and exclusive to Papa's online cohorts.

So dont hesitate one minute, BUY one NOW! and join Papa Nui's Combat Beach Battalion.

Papa Nui's Combat Beach Battalion Hats are available in 3 sizes, 58cm, 59cm and 60cm and have been pre-washed for initial shrinkage. Orders should be placed by email to and payment through PAYPAL at the same address.  Hats are $45 USD plus $5 shipping by airmail to all locations worldwide. Please feel free to ask all questions prior to purchase.

Papa Nui, storming a beach near you.

 Papa Nui, Papa Nui's Combat Beach Battalion, Papa Nui Surf Surplus &Supply and Papa Nui Soul Crafted are all the intellectual property of John Tesoriero curator and author of the Papa Nui Says Blogspot.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Papa's PX sale, The Last Blast!

 So folks here we have the final last blast sale. This is the moment you realise there are other priorities to focus on. For the Papa there's major work to be done on the Cherokee plus registration, a pending nuptial and Chief Urulu's dowry and let's not forget the Papa's secret projects. So much to be done, so little money.
And we begin, email me and ask any questions or if you wish to take advantage of any of these great items. First in best dressed. Shipping is always a bitch and so I'll try to keep that at a bare minimum but remember that's out of my hands. 
Item 1. Vintage Mexican leather tooled brief case with silver conchos. A real beauty and a Papa favourite, excellent condition, could do with a condition maybe, press studs a little stiff but what a killer item.
Price $50. SOLD to the illustrious and talented Mr. FCC my man on the Continent.

 Item 2. Vintage sweat medium size, great scoopy neck, looks great with white tee and jeans, beaten and weathered with the best print I've seen in a long while. You know how much these sell for in Japan?, well lets say they have them in a glass cabinet in all the stores in Shibuya.This one is all about looking lived in!
Price $100

 Item 3. 80's USN deck jacket UDT-20, A custom print and a beach favourite of the Papa, fleece lining is great for early morning patrols on the sand. Size Medium 38-40.
Price $60 SOLD to a brother.

 Item 4. Magnificent vintage Lee Union-alls, the au rigueur of the Salt flats. Add a pith helmet and you have the ultimate in true Hot rod style, think SCTA! Sized to fit a medium from my height 5'6" with turn ups or 5'11" perfect. Condition is perhaps deadstock but they have been washed and cleaned because of original fold marks, almost perfect.
Price $75

 Item 5. Oh man I've had this baby so long, purchased in Long Beach 21 years ago, what an amazing jacket! I absolutely love G-1's but have never had much luck finding a smaller one in the condition I want and with the orange/brown collar. Possibly an earlier Brill Bros but definitely a Size 42". Elastic is battered but very livable and jacket has the best patina ever, photos tell all.
Price $225

 Item 6. Ah the Real McCoy! On pay day once a month I'd finish work and hump from Ebisu Garden Place up Komazawa dori to Daikanyama and down to the McCoys store for my monthly spend up, those where the days! this is the last of my Chambray work shirts. This is their Steelers shirt in a size 16-16.5, its a beautiful chambray with lots of grain and character and beautiful detailing. Has a couple of spots but big deal this is where it all began, the 8 hour union.
Price $100. SOLD

 Item 7. Better than CHAMBRAY? This is the wool version of the Steelers shirt. A limited edition made in super low numbers and sold through the original hole in the wall McCoys ( the Rough Riders )store down the back side street that runs parallel to the local Eki. This was in the pre-catalog days, pre-volume1 and back when the collection was printed on a color A3 sheet and then folded over. Unbelievable shirt and worn lightly one winter when I lived further south. Immaculate but with a little flaw in the bottom front fabric as seen in photo.
Price $180 SOLD

 Item 8. The piece de resistance! the Real McCoys Michigan Ave jacket. heavy melton type wool with leather detailing in the true 30's workers style. Half belted and pleated to perfection this jacket is the best ever and in immaculate condition. Cotton unbrushed flannel lining. Size 40.
Price $450 SOLD to the illustrious and talented Mr. FCC my man on the Continent.

I really hope some of my friends out there buy and enjoy this stuff as it represents a very special time for me when there wasn't too many people switched on to what was happening up in Japan,( my first visit was Tokyo and Osaka in 1982) I was just fortunate enough to be there at the start of so many of the brands that now represent the pinnacle of the art, so you are not just buying a replica shirt but a part of contemporary style history. For me it has been a wonderful journey and I wish that you all enjoy these pieces as much as I have.
Always the PAPA.