By Kate Menard
If you take a look at the ‘Surfwear’ industry, big brands such as Rip Curl, Quiksilver and Billabong have fallen out of fashion and into debt. This is not a reflection of consumers’ interest in surfwear, however. Indie surfwear brands are cropping up around the world and flourishing.
First opened in SoHo by Josh Rosen, Colin Tunstall and Morgan Collett, Saturdays Surf NYC is a prime example of an indie brand that has exploded on the surfwear scene. Initially a boutique that sold an array of brands, plus its own small line of namesake t-shirts, Saturdays Surf NYC now produces its own diverse range of clothing—including T-shirts, collared shirts, denim, board shorts and outerwear.
Saturdays Surf NYC is currently stocked in major retail stores and opening new locations globally. Its founders were also nominated for GQ’s Young Menswear Designer of the Year award in 2012, proof that surfwear is most definitely still fashionable.
Several other smaller surf-lifestyle brands have succeeded, such as Lost Weekend, also based in New York City, and Cuisse de Grenouille in Paris. Finisterre, a small Cornwall, England-based brand, is rooted in founder Tom Kay’s dedication to design for purpose. His product is highly technical surfwear for cold-water surfers and fills an important gap left by lifestyle brands.
Born from a counter-cultural ethos, authenticity is vital to the survival of surfwear companies, and it remains to be seen how successful brands such as Saturdays Surf NYC will navigate the balancing act of branching out, while maintaining its indie roots.
Based on the article ‘Surf’s Up for Indie Brands’ by Lauren Sherman as seen on www.businessoffashion.com.