Fashion

RIP: Columbia Sportswear’s Ma Boyle

by The Editors on November 3, 2019

We are saddened learn that Columbia Sportswear’s guiding force of nature Gert Boyle died today (Sunday morning, November 3, 2019), according to a story in the Oregonian. She was 95.

Boyle’s dedicated work with product and more importantly her full embrace of quality advertising and willingness to be the face of her company inspired thousands.

A resilient, demanding, charismatic woman in what was long an outdoorsman’s world, Boyle ran Columbia Sportswear from 1970 to 1988, firmly establishing the company’s brand. . . Before her son, Tim, took charge as president and CEO, Gert inspired the 1984 ad campaign, “One Tough Mother,” a catch phrase that also graces her 2005 autobiography.

Seeing her at the old SIA Shows will remain one of the highlights of our time on the show floor. Our thoughts are with the entire Boyle family. 

[Link: The Oregonian]

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Hurley Stumbles Deeper Into Zombie Horde

by The Editors on October 29, 2019

After 17 years with their pinkie toe dipped into the surf industry wading pool, Nike has finally jettisoned Hurley out into zombie brand land by selling it to Bluestar Alliance for an undisclosed sum on October 29, 2019. Bluestar, owners of other zombie labels like bebe, Brookstone, and yak pak, seem very excited about the licensing opportunities ahead.

“We have always admired the Hurley brand as it has maintained its leadership role and premium positioning in the surf world,” stated Joey Gabbay, CEO of Bluestar Alliance. “This is a transformative acquisition for Bluestar as Hurley’s international footprint will enhance Bluestar’s reach around the world. We look forward to building upon the existing Hurley network and expanding to additional countries with the deep relationships that already exist within the Bluestar portfolio of brands. We see Hurley continuing to evolve into a 360-degree lifestyle brand, with action sports playing a key role.”

We see this as one more reason to never, ever, name your startup after yourself (not saying that fellow OCers Paul Frank, Shawn Stussy, and Mossimo aren’t great Zombie company for Bob and the boys). For the official word from Bluestar Alliance, please follow the jump.

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The Hundreds x 686 Collection

by The Editors on October 22, 2019

An outerwear collaboration from the heart of LA? Yeah. The Hundreds has joined forces with snowboarding brand 686 to bring a collection of outerwear to wish for.

The Hundreds X 686 features bright pops of neon colors, bold stripes, classic Jib branding, even down to the placement of the logos. Everything about this project was a throwback for us, pure nostalgia. The memories you have of riding up to the mountain with your friends for weekends that turned into whole seasons, the last run of the day before the first party of the night.

 The rad collection goes on sale October 24, 2019 through The Hundreds App, Online Shop, and select retailers worldwide. For all the details, please follow the jump.
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Vans Steps Into Hong Kong Quagmire

by The Editors on October 8, 2019

The downside of holding an open design competition is that someday, someone is going to design something that someone else has a problem with. Well, Vans experienced that this week, according to a story on CNN. The someone is “a Canada-based user named Naomiso” and the someone else with a problem just might be the People’s Republic of China. Vans reportedly pulled the design (along with others) from their Custom Culture design competition on Saturday, October 5, 2019 saying in a facebook post: 

“As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company’s long-held values of respect and tolerance, as well as with our clearly communicated guidelines for this competition,” the statement said, without referring specifically to the protest-themed design.

The shoe, shown above, features “a red bauhinia, the flower on Hong Kong’s flag, and one of the yellow umbrellas synonymous with the city’s 2014 pro-democracy protests.” The designer was told the submission was pulled for the following reason:

“Not allowed: Trademarked or copyrighted material, business or brand logos, images of celebrities, professional team logos or mascots, nudity, images of weapons/violence, images referencing drugs, alcohol or smoking, offensive contest, obscenity or hate.”

Obviously, there are a few people upset by the shoe’s removal, and now a #boycottvans movement has apparently started. According to CNN, one Hong Kong shoe retailer has closed three of their stores because of “the controversy created by the contest.” Rough going for a contest about creativity and expression. For the rest of the story, please click the link.

[Link: CNN]

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Authentic Brands Guts Sports Illustrated

by The Editors on October 4, 2019

It was only a matter of time before old media sports titan Sports Illustrated felt the bite of digital publishing, and that time was yesterday according to a story in The New York Post.

Zombie brand collector Jamie Salter’s Authentic Brands Group, which purchased the venerable Sports Illustrated brand in May 2019, ended up cutting 40 of the magazine’s 150 staff members on Thursday October 3, 2019 through their contract publisher Maven.

As news of the impending cuts circulated, about three-quarters of the staff signed a petition calling on SI’s new owner, Authentic Brands, to rescind its 10-year licensing deal with digital publisher The Maven, headed by Jim Heckman. . . “The Maven wants to replace top journalists in the industry with a network of Maven freelancers and bloggers, while reducing or eliminating departments that have ensured that the stories we publish and produce meet the highest standards,” read the petition, which was first reported by NPR.

Why is this interesting to us? Well, Mr. Salter was involved with Kemper Snowboards, co-founded Ride Snowboards and, in addition to Sports Illustrated, currently owns Airwalk, Vision Street Wear, and most of Volcom. And if things keep going in this direction he will eventually own everything. Yes, he’s seems to have a knack for reanimating profits from dead brands.

[Link: The New York Post]

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Rip Curl Goes to Kathmandu For $350 Million

by The Editors on September 30, 2019

Rip Curl, today (September 30, 2019) announced that they have sold the company to New Zealand camping gear company Kathmandu for a whopping $350 million Australian dollars, according to a story in the Daily Mail.

Kathmandu, headquartered in Christchurch, is buying 100 per cent of Rip Curl for $350million, it told the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday morning. . . The acquisition will create a $1billion outdoor recreation company.

Kathmandu? If I ever get out of here, that’s what I’m gonna do. Oh, sorry. Ah, we’re right happy for the Warbricks and Singers, but it is sad to see the last independent surf fashion rat launch a massive swan dive off the sinking surf industry ship. We are, however, looking forward to Rip Curl canteens and camp chairs for lounging on the slopes of Mt. Cook. For the rest of the story, please click the link.

[Link: Daily Mail]

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Boardriders Shuffles Titles and Stuff

by The Editors on September 19, 2019

The commercial entity that owns half the action sports clothing industry (Boardriders and their brands Quiksilver, Billabong, ROXY, DC Shoes, RVCA, Element “and others”) announced yesterday that they are “launching a multi-year growth agenda and repositioning. . . key executives.”

A quick read-through of the release resulted in exactly one data point that even remotely interested us and it is this: Kevin Meehan is leaving RVCA. Of course, the way they said it is epic: “Kevin Meehan has decided to take the opportunity provided by this transition to pursue new opportunities.” Congrats, Mr. Meehan.

The rest of the news can best be summed up by this quote from the boss.

“The long-term strategy for Boardriders has always been to build a solid foundation by integrating the Billabong acquisition onto a common back-end platform, to continually improve our operations through more disciplined business practices, and to achieve significant synergies that could then be invested back into the brands,” said Boardriders CEO David Tanner. “After a decade of headwinds and restructuring, Boardriders now has that strong foundation and is ready and able to invest strategically at scale in our brands, our people, and these targeted growth initiatives.”

Right. You know all that bad stuff that’s been happening for the LAST 10 YEARS? That’s all behind them now, and everything is looking up, up, up. If that doesn’t make you smile, follow the jump for the rest of the release.

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Bollé Brands Buys Spy Optic

by The Editors on September 18, 2019

After losing money each year for most of the last decade, the investors behind the Carlsbad, California based Spy Optic have finally secured an exit in Bollé Brands, according to a press release from the company. The terms of the deal were not announced.

“We are excited to have acquired such an amazing brand. SPY Optic has its own unique and irreverent identity with huge growth potential in North America, its home market, and internationally where SPY Optic will leverage our Bollé Brands international distribution network,” said Peter Smith, CEO of Bollé Brands. “Our dedicated approach, support, and investment will drive exciting new developments in product innovation and design which will form the basis of considerable global growth. This new acquisition establishes Bollé Brands as one of the key players in the premium performance sport and lifestyle eyewear and helmets markets.”

Bollé, which was formerly owned by Vista Outdoor (they sold the brand in September 2018), is currently owned by A&M Capital Europe, SCSp: a France-based private equity arm of the Greenwich, Connecticut based A&M Capital Partners. (Nice that someone is smart enough to find value in all this, right). For the official word form Bollé please follow the jump.

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Hurricane Dorian Blows Out Surf Expo

by The Editors on September 2, 2019

Tradeshows have been closing their doors for all kinds of reasons lately (consolidation, no exhibitors, etc. . . ), but Surf Expo has the best one yet: a massive hurricane named Dorian. Anyone who has weathered a hurricane party at Surf Expo in the past will wonder, “Hey, we’ve survived them before, why not this year?” And really, what’s more fun that getting drunk with all your East Coast industry friends while some poorly named storm blows your trunks off with hot rain blasting in from the Atlantic at 112 MPH? Well, sadly the State Florida no longer has a sense of humor when it comes to storms. What with the whole place predicted to be four feet underwater in 20 years, they’re just not fooling around anymore. 

“We understand that Surf Expo plays an important part in connecting buyers and sellers in the Boardsports Beach & Resort industries and that many rely on our marketplace for filling their commerce needs, but travel and logistical difficulties and, more importantly, our customers’ safety is at the forefront of our minds.  Given the state of affairs regarding Hurricane Dorian today, we had no choice but to cancel Surf Expo. We recognize that many of our customers will be directly impacted by Hurricane Dorian and feel their focus should be on their families, businesses and community at this time”, said Roy Turner, SVP, Surf Expo Show Director, Emerald Expositions.

So sip your Margaritas somewhere else this September and pray this wasn’t the final nail in the Surf Expo coffin. For more info click the link.

[Link: Surf Expo]

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Sea Of Seven + Xanadu Surf Designs

by The Editors on August 31, 2019

Encinitas, California based Sea of Seven has collaborated with Xanadu Surf Design to create their new Black & White Collection.

“I was very pleased with the work we created during our launch of the Black & White Collection. This time around, I wanted to do something very different. I chose this image as it’s one of the most powerful I’ve ever taken of Xanadu. I am very proud of it. It was my idea to split the image in half, one side showing the positive, the other showing negative and in doing so titling it Think Positive, explained Sea Of Seven founder Jack English.

The shirts are available now on the Sea of Seven website. Click here for more, or for the official word from Sea of Seven, please follow the jump.

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