First Look: Former, The New Brand From Dane Reynolds And Associates
From the ash of sponsorship contracts, a sartorial phoenix rises!
On November 1, 2015, Dane Reynolds took his exit from a 12-year partnership with Quiksilver, after the company’s post-bankruptcy restructuring meant contract renegotiation. Craig Anderson then chose not to renew his contract with Quik, which ended on December 31, 2015. Since then, the two have been busily constructing a new company home for themselves – and we now know the name: Please acquaint yourself with Former.
Conceived and actioned in joint with skater Austyn Gillette (Dylan Rieder was a driving force before his recent passing), Former exists in the most pointy end of the place where surf and skate dance together. We were gifted our first look at the brand this morning, when Dane released his new film Chapter 11, which had something of a Former sneak peek tacked onto the end.
If there is one inconvenient truth within our subculture, it is that skate companies understand brand DNA and authenticity far better than surf brands ever have. The best brands in skate are all owned by pro skaters, who remain the decision-makers within their companies (think: Girl, Palace, HUF, Bianca Chandôn). This ethos, coupled with the resurgence in popularity of boutique, private companies, sets the perfect landscape for Former to enter from stage right and steal spotlight.
Dane and Craig’s heft within surfing are undeniable. Dane is one of the most influential surfers ever, with a serious point of view. He shifted webclip culture through his digital vehicle, Marine Layer Productions. Stickers were jammed up on the nose until Dane stuck them under his front foot. He also normalised step-downs via the Dumpster Diver. And, (inadvertently) championed the non-gym approach to surf. Craig’s legacy has been more of an aesthetic one. That kinked back knee has become a widely-emulated stance, and the ubiquity of long hair can certainly be somewhat attributed to the South African Australian. Oh, and then there’s the whole popularising the Hypto Krypto to become the world’s best-selling surfboard, ever…
The brand might have been named Destroyer, had Stab not jumped the gun on reporting this fact, thus screwing negotiations with the gent who had already owned Destroyer as a name. Whoops. But, isn’t Former a clever, multi-layered name? And, won’t it look excellent on t-shirts?
Thing is, you might have to wait a minute for those. The gents behind Former are smart enough to start small, do those small ranges well, and then expand. And, they aren’t rushing it. Dane is a wild perfectionist (mostly to his credit) and will be a driving force in getting everything just right before Former hits eComm.
“I fucking hate uncertainty,” Dane says in Chapter 11. “Whatever you worry about or dread is never as bad as you expect. I spent years trying to validate myself and prove myself to Quiksilver and when it ended, it was like the biggest relief ever. I don’t ever wanna let some dude sitting in an office crunching numbers dictate my self-worth. Not again. And I don’t care if I ever do a contest again. I mean, what’s important; is it money, legacy, glory? For me, I just want to live with integrity and back myself, and do something that I’m proud of.”
Are you as excited as we are to watch this thing bloom?
Keep an eye out for product early next year.
Can Small-Scale Investors Buy Into Wave Pools?
Say you got $10k and a dream — what can you do?
Toasted: Reviewed By 10 Of Your Favorite Surfers
Caity Simmers' personal project on paper.
An Early Pipeline Exit For Stephanie Gilmore Amidst GenZ Glory
Day Two of the 2023 CT season was a clear notice that the kids are…
Hand-Shaping, Glassing, And Finishing ’70s-Inspired Displacement Hulls Will Not Make You Rich
Profile: Tristan Mausse of Fantastic Acid is in it for all the right reasons.
Hassling, Head-Dips, and Broken Apple Watches
The 2023 CT is underway. Here's what happened on Day One of the Billabong Pro…
Stephanie Gilmore And Filipe Toledo Are The 2022 Stab Surfers Of The Year
Caity and Hughie take Best Juniors, “NOZ VID” wins best film, and Ho and Pringle…
Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More
A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.
“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”
Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…
Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different
With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…
WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’
Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?
Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners
Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence
Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth
A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.
Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video
He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.
Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions
They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.
The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5
Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.
Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise
Can you guess who?