The news has broken today: Quiksilver has teamed up with the French designer Julien David to create 6 capsule collections over the next 3 years. The designer is known for his effortless and stylish clothes for girls and guys.
The collection is to include men’s boardshorts, wetsuits, rashguards, and tee-shirts.
According to Andy Mooney, CEO of Quiksilver, in an interview with WWD: “I hope Julien’s progressive and unconventional outlook on fashion will draw a different type of consumer to surfwear.”
The first collection will be showed as part of Julien David Spring/Summer 2015 show during Paris Fashion week.
I think it’s a good thing even if it’s a bit late. Quiksilver should have been inspired by brands such as Volcom and even Saturdays NYC earlier. They should have felt the trends. Zara, H&M or Hollister are inspired by the surfwear, so why Quiksilver, Billabong, Rip Curl couldn’t create collections dedicated to the urban consumers. Who cares about the surf lifestyle? No one, except during Spring and Summer. Zara, H&M, and Hollister understood that point -along with Volcom and Saturdays NYC.
Along these last decades, the profile of the surfers has changed: a surfer is not only a guy or a girl living by the beach anymore; it’s someone who grew up by the beach and moved to a city far from the sea for professional reasons -like me-; it’s someone who grew up in a city far from the sea and discovered the surfing during holidays and tries to surf every time they have some days off. So how come the surfbrands didn’t realize that the surfers’ profile changed? How come didn’t they adapt themselves to these changes earlier?
In my opinion, the surfwear brands should have thought this way: having the surfing as the DNA, and the urban trends as lifestyle. Look at Deus or Electric: their founders are surfers, but they don’t dedicate their brands to the surfing. Maybe they don’t earn (much) money, but at least, they seem to go (a bit) better than Quiksilver and Billabong.
The company who made a smart move is Rip Curl. They decided to reduce their clothes range -and unfortunately their staff as well- and to focus on what they do the best: the wetsuits. Apparently, the results are here. I mean, the specialized and financial media don’t talk about their financial issues, contrary to Quiksilver or Billabong, right? So I guess, the situation of Rip Curl is better. (Note of the editor: I’d be glad if some insiders could provide me with this information. Thank you!)
I don’t have the figures of the previous collaboration between Roxy and Diane von Furstenberg. But to me, it was more original than anything else the brand had done before. Because it positioned Roxy in the consumers’ minds as a brand they can wear everyday, like Zara or H&M -the latter collaborate/d as well with designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Marni. When a core brand collaborates with a fashion designer or a mainstream artist, they break barriers down. Isn’t that what Andy Mooney wants with this Quiksilver x Julien David collaboration?