By Lauren Rolland
Plate Lunch: \’plat ‘lunch\ noun: Hawaiian classic- 2 scoops rice, one scoop macaroni salad (or toss salad sometimes), plus one kind meat. Can be teri beef, bbq chicken, chicken katsu, mahimahi, kalbi, etc.
Unique to Hawai’i. Original. Undeniably local.
The same can be said about Maui’s newest apparel and accessories brand, also known as Plate Lunch. Lately we’ve been seeing their logo and unmistakable patterns around the island; on stop signs, SR5 bumpers, and in boutiques like Greenroom Gallery, so it’s safe to say that a new definition of Plate Lunch is on the rise in Hawai’i. Founded on the North Shore of Maui in June 2013, brothers Cory & Gregg Kaplan spearheaded the company with the mission of making a Hawai’i based surf/skate/lifestyle brand that stayed true to their born-and-raised roots.
“Previous to Plate Lunch we were both working at Dakine helping to run their surf program alongside Micah Nickens and Mike Madlener,” explains the brothers. “We were stoked to be part of such a rad team and company, but felt it was time to break away in order to see our vision come to life.”
Featuring original art by Gregg himself, Plate Lunch has an aloha vibe that emanates through their prints and patterns. While Gregg mentions that the inspiration behind the art comes from a variety of sources, the duo mostly attributes it to growing up here in Hawai’i. “We are blessed to be surrounded by so much natural beauty, both in the water and on the land.”
It’s easy to see the roots of their inspiration – just check out the line of Plate Lunch Aloha Shirts and you’ll see trends of tapa and tribal blending with unique lines found only in Hawai’i. Reflecting the surf lifestyle, Gregg & Cory say that Plate Lunch is a likeness of all the things that make Hawai’i so special. “Surfing, skating, and art have always been a part of our lives, so it seems only natural that we build our brand around that,” the brothers agree.
Check out Freesurf’s Q&A with Plate Lunch masterminds, Gregg & Cory Kaplan, and be sure to check out their instagram @platelunchspecial and online shop at platelunch.com.
Freesurf: What is surf art to you?
Plate Lunch: Art and surfing share many of the same characteristics and qualities. Our favorite forms of both have a lot to do with being creative, pushing the limits, and doing your own thing. Shaping boards, fin and accessory designs, painting, photography, films, music, even just the way some people choose to live can all be considered an art and have all had a huge influence on surfing and surf culture as we know it today.
FS: Which surf artists are you inspired by and why?
PL: We’re inspired by a long list of surfing’s most innovative, stylish, and unique personalities for a variety of reasons. Here’s a few that come to mind…
Eddie Aikau, Ben Aipa, Dick Brewer, Bruce and Bud Brown, Woody Brown, Ben Brough, Thomas Campbell, Andy Davis, Jeff Devine, Miki Dora, John John Florence, Leroy Granis, George Greenough, Rick Griffin, Yusuke Hanai, Andy and Bruce Irons, Duke Kahanamoku, Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Rob Kaplan, Rabbit Kekai, Gerry Lopez, Clay Marzo, Jack McCoy, Matt Meola, Bob Ole, John Severson, Rell Sunn, Donald Takayama, and Joel Tudor.
FS: What is the dynamic between the work duo?
PL: As brothers we got to grow up cruising together on a daily basis. A lot of the time it’s the balance of our almost opposite personalities that makes it work so well. Play > scrap > work it out > start over, good times for sure. At the end of the day we are both trying to do the same thing and are stoked to still be hanging after nearly 30 years.
FS: Do you get much water time in these days?
PL: Yeah for sure! We try to surf or be in the water whenever we can. It helps that everyone in our family loves surfing, so most family time is spent down at the beach.
FS: Favorite wave?
PL: Ho’okipa is our favorite wave. This is where we grew up running around the beach and where our Dad taught us how to surf. There has always been a heavy crew of guys down there shredding, along with some serious cruise sesh’s going down by the uncles… It’s been fun seeing it go full circle and getting to watch the next generation start to push the limits of what is possible on a surfboard. It’s crazy how good they all are these days… Yeah groms!
FS: What’s in the near future for Plate Lunch?
PL: We’re excited about our new Summer 15 line dropping this June. It features a bunch of rad gear including our newest “Made in Hawai’i” aloha shirts in our signature “Jungle Cuts” print! We will be heading over to California for a month or so as well this summer. We’ll be over there trying to score some south swells, skating some fun parks and spreading choke aloha. While we are out there we’ll be releasing our new line and getting on some art show vibes with our friends at Thalia Surf Shop on July 2. If you’re in the zone, cruise down for some good times and ono grinds!
We also have some killer collaborations coming up…
– Island Fin Design X Plate Lunch – Coming soon.
– Super Brand X Clay Marzo X Plate Lunch signature boards – Releasing in July.
– Stance X Plate Lunch collection of Hawai’i only socks – Releasing at the end of summer.
– Fitted Hawai’i X Plate Lunch – Coming soon.