Stab Magazine | A little more Outerknown data

And The Winners Of The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Are... Watch The Pick-Up Episode 5, Presented by Vans, To Find Out

400 Views

A little more Outerknown data

Words by Jake Howard | Photos: Business Of Fashion/Todd Glasser/Outerknown There are two ways to start a surf company: the easy way and the hard way. A degree in astrophysics is not required to print up a few tees, trucker hats and stickers and let your garden grow organically. After all, the punk approach certainly […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Jake Howard | Photos: Business Of Fashion/Todd Glasser/Outerknown

There are two ways to start a surf company: the easy way and the hard way. A degree in astrophysics is not required to print up a few tees, trucker hats and stickers and let your garden grow organically. After all, the punk approach certainly worked for folks like Volcom and RVCA.

But Kelly Slater, a man renowned for his competitive streak, isn’t making room in his mom’s garage for extra inventory. As details continue to emerge regarding his clothing startup Outerknown, two things are clear: the man loves a challenge, and cashmere is in, denim’s out.

“Our whole goal with the brand is transparency,” said Outerknown lead designer John Moore in a recent Business Of Fashion feature.

The sweet aroma of irony hangs around the comment considering Kelly’s arguably the most enigmatic surfer in the world. But to be fair, while he may be putting his image and insight (which seems to be pulled straight from the pages of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s book “Let My People Go Surfing”… which is a good thing) into the Outerknown effort, there are bigger forces at work.

With a planned launch for Fall 2015, the role that French conglomerate Kering, owners of labels like Gucci, Saint Laurent Paris and Volcom, will play is coming into sharper focus. Looking to grow their lifestyle holdings, they’re the muscle behind the infrastructure. From logistics to e-commerce to building a top-shelf team of fashion executives, the Kering machine will be driving things behind the scenes.

John-and-Kelly-Inset

John and Kelly.

“Kering has a whole sustainability team working on it long term and we are able to entrust that to them,” said Kelly in the same story. “You have to have certain sized batches. You have to order a certain amount of material. You have to have firepower behind you. We can share the sourcing with their other brands.”

As far as look and feel, the relationship between Kelly and John, who was named Best New Menswear Designer by American GQ for his surf lifestyle label M.Nii, is the critical cog in the wheel. They’re the two really driving the direction of the brand. Their men’s line will launch first and be primarily comprised of standard tees, woven shirts, knits, chinos and jackets. It will be made of pieces “that you won’t get called out on,” as John puts it.

The women’s side of the brand, which will launch later in the year, will be considerably more, dare we say, high fashion. “With women we are exploring many more categories, more of an emphasis on style and being relevant to what’s happening in fashion, whereas with men it’s extremely timeless,” said John.

As noted, sustainability is one of the founding principles of Outerknown, so look for them to use everything from organic cotton to recycled fishing nets in their fabric choices. This also means they won’t be getting into denim anytime soon.

“We aren’t doing denim to start with, because we can’t do denim in a way we feel is environmentally friendly at this point,” said Kelly. “It uses a lot of water and if you go to the places where they make the denim, the rivers are blue and there’s nothing alive in them.”

In Let My People Go Surfing, Chouinard dissects the concept of slow-growth success, and after watching Quiksilver and Billabong go public and implode, Outerknown’s team is also adopting a slow-growth model.

“Because we are small and we’re private, we’re able, on a board level, to scale back if we need to or change direction,” said Kelly. “I’m not saying we need to be a massive huge company. In a positive way, if we do it well, we might be that, but the intention is to make good products and to source sustainably and produce clothes with people who we know and whose standards we believe in.”

Read the Business Of Fashion story over here.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

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.

Jan 27, 2023

38:24

The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023

Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson

Because it's the right thing to do, of course.

Jan 26, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Jan 25, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela

Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…

Jan 25, 2023

“I’m Not A Big Wave Guy”

How Kai Paula accidentally made his mark at Jaws three weeks after surfing it for…

Jan 24, 2023

Everyone Went.

A toes in the sand, phone in the lagoon account of the 10th Eddie Aikau…

Jan 24, 2023

Breaking: Another CT Rookie Injured Before First Event

Sophie McCulloch pulls out of Pipeline due to Snapper Rocks snafu.

Jan 23, 2023

23:26

Watch: ‘Toasted,’ By Caity Simmers

Your favorite surfer directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film. 

Jan 23, 2023

On-Duty North Shore Lifeguard Luke Shepardson Wins The Eddie Aikau

Local man prevails over 39 big-wave heavyweights at 29ft @ 19 seconds Waimea.

Jan 23, 2023

The Eddie Aikau Invitational Is On

Grab a beverage and enjoy surfing's Super Bowl Sunday

Jan 22, 2023

The Women’s CT Is About To See A Generational Shift 

Only three women have won a Title in the past 15 years. Here's why that's…

Jan 22, 2023

4:58

“One For Marcio” – Albee Layer’s Tribute To Mad Dog

Imagine treating 30ft Jaws like Backdoor.

Jan 22, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Noa Deane, Jamie O’Brien, Parker Coffin, Cliff Kapono, and Brendan Buckley

Day 7: "It's like he feels more comfortable when it’s as gnarly as it gets."…

Jan 21, 2023

Five Reasons Why The Eddie Still Matters

With better waves around the world and likely no prize money, why is The Eddie…

Jan 20, 2023

35:26

The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 4

The science behind morning sickness, Sunset sliding with Noa Deane, and bailing on a President…

Jan 20, 2023
Advertisement