The year was 1958. His name was Hank. He drove a cherry red Maverick, played guitar and had a way with women.
Originally from Greenwich Village, Hank, like generations of free thinkers before him, was inexplicably drawn across the country to the beach culture of southern California.
Once there, Hank made friends with an eclectic group of misfits, who lived life to the fullest. An amateur painter, musician and surfer, Hank became well known for adorning long boards with his self-styled graffiti. Testing the ocean’s limits on a board of his own. Hank loved the freedom of the sea.
Searching for a look to fit his new lifestyle, hank began creating his own clothes. Working out of his garage, he hand dyed and printed t-shirts. His instincts led him to the familiar comfort of well-washed cotton, the authentic colors of nature and the fit of confident sexuality. Soon locals offered to buy his clothing and as word of mouth spread, people simply started calling these creations Hank’s.
By the 60’s, Hank’s were all the rage up and down the California coast, but his spirit was too free to time to one place. Leaving behind the garage and printing press, legend has it; he followed his heart and the waves to the next new adventure. He embarked on a trek across the globe from the rain forest of the Amazon to the Fiji islands.
In 1999, Sandy Weintraub, a garment manufacturer and distant relative of Hank, came upon old photos of the first Hank’s. he decided to resurrect the legend by creating a line of women’s and men’s clothing under the label Hank. Taking the carefree spirit of the early California surf culture as inspiration, the collection stays true to its roots. A favorite of the line is the “Beach Bum” pant.
Made in Hollywood, each garment is hand-dyed using many of the same processes Hank used in creating his classic designs. The line is treated and washed giving each item a familiar, vintage feel. Keeping with Hank’s sense of humor, the collection incorporates light hearted and clever screens.
Over the years, the design team headed by Alen Vartanian, has searched flea markets, vintage and thrift stores to collect many of the original, vintage Hank’s. A growing collection of originals is being assembled at the Hank corporate offices in Hollywood. The line has grown to include a hand embroidered and beaded collection called Hank’s Vintage Threads and a collection of super soft supima cotton t-shirts called Hank Sof-Tees. Continuing Hank’s legacy, the line is constantly evolving while keeping an eye on the past.
From time to time, we still get a postcard simply signed “Wish you were here, Hank”.