Stab Magazine | The Stab Boardshort Rule Book - with George Henderson, VZ
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The Stab Boardshort Rule Book – with George Henderson, VZ

The first rule? The word trunks sounds so much better than boardies. So wordly! So surf! Apart from that little aural aside, we asked a dozen of the world’s best surfwear designers for their take on this, the most precious item, in our summer wardrobe. Scroll down for the answers… Stab: How long have you been […]

style // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The first rule? The word trunks sounds so much better than boardies. So wordly! So surf! Apart from that little aural aside, we asked a dozen of the world’s best surfwear designers for their take on this, the most precious item, in our summer wardrobe. Scroll down for the answers…
Stab: How long have you been designing trunks?

 GH: Six-and-a-half years.

As far as jobs go, how is it? You like? Detest? What kind of hours do you keep? Pretty dreamy, actually. I like being able to design product that I would like to see or wear to the beach. I detest seeing long length trunks. Keep it above the knees kids, more so just for function than anything else. What kind of hours do I keep? 8:30 till 5:30 five days a week. With a couple of surfs thrown in for good measure.

What gives you a thrill in the office? When samples start to come in. It’s like Christmas four times a year.

What are the fundamental rules of trunk design? Anything goes with design as long as it’s functional. I like to stick to above the knee, 46cms no longer. I am not a big fan of this whole technical stretch crap. Keep it simple, lightweight canvas or standard supreme suede is fine.

Whose trunks, apart from your own, y’diggin? Robbie and Stevie at Insight are always leaders of the pack.

Do you have a design signature? Not really, I kind of like to mix it up every season.What sets your design apart from others in the market? Our trunk program works really well due to the offering of product, covering our basic customer and the more forward cats.

Leg lengths: What works? Both standard leg and scallop legs. What’s popular? The longest we do is 46cm (18”). What are the advantages and disadvantages of each length: There’s no advantage with the longer length – all you get are white pasty legs

and no movement in the water. Just plain rank, if you ask me. Shorter length advantages are better movement and tanned pins.

Do you have a favourite fabric? If I could make every pair in canvas, I would.

A hypothetical: you’re designing the ultimate pair of trunks, with no cost consideration nor retail concern, what would you make? I would love to deconstuct an old leather Hells Angels biker jacket into a pair of trunks, keep the zippers and everything on. It would be shithouse to wear but you’d be looking good. Fashion over function.

Y’travel for inspiration? Where do you go? Paris, London, LA, Tokyo etc. I get a lot of inspiration out of Europe. I designed all of our summer collection while I was in Paris this year. Good tunes, good people and even better vin rouge. I still love vintage shopping in the States and Tokyo. I would love to do a trip to Morocco or India.

Why snaps or a string? I prefer to surf in a pair with string and roll the streets with snaps.

Of all the offshore factories, who makes the best trunks? China? Bangladesh? India? Indonesia? And, if trunks were made in Australian factories, what would be the string, price-wise? I would love to keep it all Australian-made but China does such a great job and is the best on price. I would pay close to 100 bucks for a dreamy pair of Australian-made cloth.

Who or what is the biggest influence in trunk design? For me, it’s simple – music and the ocean.

What’s the best pair of trunks you’ve designed that didn’t make it past the sampling stage? I am pretty lucky, most of them get through. But, one in particular a couple of season I did – a pair that were plain back canvas with a heavy stone wash. No logos or any features, just an easy-wear worn black. So hard to sell, though, as these days it’s about how many technical features and logos can you fit on a pair. -Derek Rielly

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