- Aussie menswear brand Mr. Koya's website crashed after it offered Hawaiian shirts featuring Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
- The shirts went on sale amid reports that Scott Morrison and his family took a trip to Hawaii at the same time that bushfires rage through New South Wales.
- Mr. Koya said the number of shirts ordered have been "in the hundreds."
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison might have left the country, but back home people are loving the shirt he's inspired.
Melbourne-based menswear company Mr. Koya has released a Hawaiian shirt featuring the Prime Minister's face after it was believed he had taken a trip to the Polynesian islands.
Morrison's getaway has gained widespread criticism on social media, with Twitter users angry that he would take a holiday in such a picturesque location while bushfires burn through his own country.
So our Prime Minister is luxuriating in Hawaii while Australia burns. I’m sure our unpaid volunteer firefighters would prefer a tropical holiday than fighting the #MorrisonFires. What a coward Morrison is! https://t.co/tAy6kWhVg3
— DoctorWho MindRobber (@VivienFleming) December 16, 2019
Like Carmen Sandiego however, no one is exactly sure where in the world is Scott Morrison. While Hawaii remains the predominant theory, Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack would only confirm Morrison is overseas with his family.
Amid the hoo-ha, Mr. Koya released "Mahalo Scomo" shirts – bright orange button-down shirts with ScoMo emblazoned all over it, with all the funds raised from the shirts to be donated to Australian firefighters.
On Instagram, My Koya wrote, "Australia is reeling from an unprecedented bushfire emergency, and to rub basalt into the wound, the Prime Minister has smirk-bombed his way to Hawaii for a refreshing mai tai.
"To mark this momentous abrogation of responsibility, MR. KOYA has created the Mahalo ScoMo – an enduring combination of Hawaiian vibes, bodacious leadership vacuums, and the colours of an increasingly-combustible Australian summer."
The internet went predictably gaga for such political memorabilia, and the website went briefly offline. Yema Akbar, who works on Growth and Creative Direction at Mr. Koya, told Business Insider Australia in an email "the response [has] been overwhelming", with the number of shirts being ordered "in the hundreds."
"We had a website crash and the team pulled an all nighter to get things up and running again," Akbar said.
And it's not just Australians supporting the cause, the shirts have also gained interest internationally, with sales made in London, California, New York and Nagano in Japan. Upon news of ScoMo's alleged getaway to Hawaii, Akbar said there was "a bit of universality in the response across the country".
"People are sort of scratching their heads wondering, ScoMo – where the bloody hell are ya?" Akbar said.
The shirts were thus a way to signify this moment in time.
"We want this shirt to immortalise this moment as a time when Australians came together to have a laugh, and support the brave in a beautiful ScoMo smirk infused shirt," Akbar said.
The shirts are pre-order only at this stage and will become available in the New Year but Akbar said the donations "will be organised more immediately as the funds come through".
Akbar said they will be donating $10,243 to the NSW Rural Fire Service following the shirt sales.
Akbar added that Mr. Koya works with various artists to create t-shirt designs that mean something, whether it is "artistic expression" or a particular cause.
"We’re not really into mass production. We don’t typically have one style, rather each shirt is designed to be its own original classic. It’s about extending what a shirt, or any garment for that matter, can actually mean to someone."
Mr. Koya is also challenging ScoMo to buy a shirt to support the firies.
The missing Prime Minister is yet to respond.