A metaphor of sorts. Photo: AVG
Dane Reynolds Is Starting His Own Wetsuit Sub-Brand
Under the banner of an unlikely manufacturer.
Since leaving Quiksilver in 2015, Dane Reynolds has had the freedom to don whatever neoprene catches his eye.
We’ve seen him wear suits from Xcel, Buell, Feral, Matuse, and small Japanese brands but none had officially locked him down.
We know of at least one offer Dane received in that time from a staple wetsuit brand. For the use of their neoprene alone (no clothing etc.), Dane was proposed a 3-year, $100k per-year contract.
He turned it down.
Dane’s refusal to sign with Brand-X adds considerable weight to his most recent venture, which is starting his own wetsuit line under the banner of a surprising rubber-maker.
Yes, that Buell.
The same one that designed JOB’s lifesaving turtle shell impact shorty. That made Kelly a surprise 18-suit quiver. That added an arguably-needed, arguably-passé splash of color to your local lineup in recent years.
But you won’t see Dane rocking any skeleton or tortoiseshell suits soon. The way their deal works, Dane will have his own sub-brand within the Brand, kinda like Air Jordan and Nike.
In other words, Dane will be designing his own suits with complete creative control. The line will be called Buell Subdivision, and we were leaked a sketch of one of Dane’s first designs.
You might be wondering what Dane and Buell’s financial setup looks like. While we don’t have the hard numbers, it’s known that Dane will receive a monthly salary plus a percentage of the sales specifically from Subdivision. This is a valuable payment structure for both Buell and Dane, as they both stand to make more money as Subdivision succeeds.
Does this mean we’ll see Dane doing wetsuit promos on his social platforms or Channel11.tv? If history tells us anything, Dane’s not one to sell his soul for some spare change, but it’s covid times so who knows. He’s got three kids’ and a host of obscure animals’ mouths to feed.
You might be thinking that Buell, with their flamboyant and in-your-face branding, is a strange brand to partner with Dane, who’s always had a more classical and refined taste. You’re not wrong. But we see this relationship as completely symbiotic.
Dane brings his low key style and vision to Buell’s otherwise loud wetsuits and branding, and Buell—as a financially-independent and freethinking wetsuit brand whose production and distribution is well-established—gives Dane the freedom to create whatever the hell he wants while keeping the operation relatively cheap and turnkey.
The alternative would be Dane starting his own brand from scratch (which after how difficult it was to get Former in a stable position, was never gonna happen) or he’d partner with a more established wetsuit brand, which wouldn’t allow him a fraction of the creative liberty.
So if you think about it, Buell is the perfect fit.
We can’t wait to drape ourselves in their Subdivision silk in early 2021.