Fashion

Forbes Checks In With Chip Wilson

by The Editors on January 5, 2024

The thing that no one ever mentions about Westbeach (and Lululemon) founder Chip Wilson is that the guy can dance. Put on some swing music and he will drag the most uncoordinated person out on the floor and make them look like Willa Ma Ricker. This vision keeps coming back to us as we’ve watched Wilson negotiate all kinds of business successes and snafus over the years. But now, as a guy with a reportedly $7 billion wallet and a large chunk of Atomic and Salomon parent company Amer Sport some are wondering what he’s been up to lately. Forbes finds out.

Wilson, who famously stepped away from the yoga-inspired fashion brand he started in 2013 after landing in hot water for blaming an issue with see-through leggings on “some women’s bodies,” specifically those with thicker thighs, has spent a good chunk of the past year opening up about his disease, a rare form of muscular dystrophy that slowly eats away at muscle strength in the upper body and shoulders. Though he was diagnosed with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) over 30 years ago, more than a decade before he started Lululemon in 1998, it wasn’t until last year that he revealed his diagnosis and launched a full-scale assault on FSHD, which impacts an estimated 870,000 people around the world. Citing his likely need for a wheelchair in the next few years, the Vancouver-based billionaire in March 2022 pledged the equivalent of $75 million to a new organization he set up to stamp out FSHD by 2027.

For the rest of the interview, please click the link and if you don’t have a subscription to Forbes, you can just turn javascript off in your browser and read it for free.

[Link: Forbes]

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Monster Children Turns 20 Years Old

by The Editors on November 29, 2023

Congrats and happy birthday to those stalwart Aussies hipsters who keep the action culture print dream alive with their parties, promotions, and pop-cultural sensibilities printed on actual paper and distributed the old fashioned way–by truck.

Twenty years is a long time to be at the wheel swerving this way that that to avoid the potholes most other print publications have fallen into on their profit driven roads to ruin. To celebrate the staff in Sydney threw a monster party and apparently it was rather large.

It was huge. We’re still hungover. Was it a dream? Thank you to all of our friends, staff, contributors, and fine people who work so closely with us now and throughout the last twenty to make Monster Children what it is that came out to celebrate. After all this time, it is you who keeps us in the game.

If you’re in NYC stop by Saturdays NYC on Crosby Street tonight (Wednesday, November 29, 2023) for the stateside version of the birthday party. Free everything will be provided apparently. For photo proof of all the Sydney festivities, please click the link.

[Link: Monster Children]

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Authentic Brands Group Liberates Boardriders

by The Editors on September 27, 2023

Today (September 27, 2023), Jamie Salter’s Authentic Brands Group announced that they have chosen Costa Mesa’s Liberated Brands as the licensee for several of their recently purchased Boardriders brands.

In the deal, Liberated will run retail and e-commerce ops for Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, RVCA, Honolua and Boardriders in the US and Canada. They will also act as the official licensee for the Billabong, RVCA, and Honolua brands. The press release makes it seem like they’ve reached outside Authentic Brands to do a licensing deal, when it’s actually more of an inside play. ABG owns a rather large chunk (officially a “minority stake”) of Liberated Brands so they’re basically licensing the brands to themselves while building in a little distance. Here’s how Nick Woodhouse explains it:

“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Liberated,” said Nick Woodhouse, President and CMO at Authentic. “As evidenced by their focus on the growth of Volcom and Spyder, Liberated’s unwavering commitment to innovation and community engagement makes them the ideal partner to take on Billabong, RVCA and Honolua, as well as the retail operations for the best lifestyle brands inspired by skate, surf and snow. Together, we look forward to implementing our strategic vision for growth and expanding the brands’ presence in the US and Canada.”

Yes, your own business usually makes a great “partner.” Sorting out the facts of this announcement are well above our pay grade, but let’s just say it is always entertaining to see how these businesses shuffle things around. Side note: if you’re a graphic designer, Liberated is looking for a few good people to shape the vision for the brands moving forward. For the official release, click the link.

[Link: Authentic Brands Group]

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Jamie Thomas + Otis Eyewear = The Outsider

by The Editors on September 20, 2023

Legendary skateboarder and businessman Jamie Thomas has teamed up with OTIS Eyewear on a new frame named The Outsider.

The Outsider draws inspiration from vintage frames, while adding bow tie temple pins as a nod to the classic fashion of the 60s. An unpolished finish on the nose bridge then brings out the personality of Jamie’s skate culture – raw and unrefined. The frame comes in two different sizes, offering a tailored fit in the hero dual tone colour or matte tortoise shell, plus a larger version in classic black and tortoise too. Every piece is made with optically correct, scratch-resistant mineral glass lenses, offering the clarity and focus Jamie demands of himself.

Look pretty nice, don’t they? For a look at the official line click here.

[Link: OTIS Eyewear]

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The Expanding Art Universe of Trevor Andrew

by The Editors on September 6, 2023

A great snowboarder who became the darling of the art world. How did Trevor Andrew do it? If you’ve always wanted to know the story behind Gucci Ghost, he explains it right here in an interview with Art Plugged.

With skateboarding and snowboarding, my mom worked at the little local ski hill in Nova Scotia, and I went there every day after school and then started competing, and those older guys started bringing me around to contest. Then I left home at like 15, dropped out of school and just went for it. I was committed to making it work. There was no plan B.

Apparently, he has applied the same all-in method to music and art. Click the link for the entire interview.

[Link: Art Plugged]

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Merge4 x Minna Stess Collab Drops

by The Editors on September 4, 2023

Rad sock makers Merge4 announce a new partnership with skateboarder Minna Stess.

The MERGE4 x Minna Stess collaboration will showcase art by Kayla Caballero, skateboard legend Steve Caballero’s daughter, designed exclusively for her. The design will feature bats and donuts on MERGE4’s performance socks. “I have always loved my MERGE4 fam, and they have always been so supportive of me since I was a little SF Bay Area skater. Having my own sock means a lot to me and I’m super stoked on it!“ Said Minna Stess.

For a better look at the new socks, plus all the others, please click the link. Or follow the jump for the official word.

[click to continue…]

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Andy Howell Sails His Ghost Ship Home

by The Editors on May 25, 2023

From the “whatever are they up to now” files comes this story of former pro skateboarder, artist, New Deal co-founder Andy Howell, his return to the Outer Banks in 2021, and the startup of his skateboarding x fishing brand Ghost Ship, from the pages of The Outer Banks Voice.

“Point blank, my best childhood memories are from here,” Howell told the Voice. “My dad taught me to fish the surf here, and I caught my first fish off the beach in Kitty Hawk. First time I ever stood up on a surfboard was in Kitty Hawk. My first surfboard was a Lightning Bolt from Secret Spot. The first skate park I ever skated as a kid in the late 70’s was Barney’s Concrete Curl. Those moments are so core to who I am.”

Ghost Ship is a “lifestyle brand specializing in skateboards, surfboards, fishing rods, apparel, and accessories that represent Outer Banks history and culture.” Click the link for all the details.

[Link: Outer Banks Voice]

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Requiem For The Surf Industry

by The Editors on April 3, 2023

In one fell swoop, the entire surf industrial complex has disappeared from the world. Poof! All the stories, all the late-night parking lot parties and premieres, and all the dreams of kids from the dusty streets of middle America who longed to reach for the beach. Today, Jamie Salter’s oxymoronically named Authentic Brand Group has agreed to buy Boardriders (Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, DC Shoes, RVCA, Element, VonZipper, Surf Dive & Ski, and Honolua) from Oaktree Capital for a reported $1.28 billion, according to stories in the Chain Store Age and the Australian Financial Review. Here’s how Mr. Salter spins it:

Along with the great brands and impressive global reach that will come with this acquisition, we see Boardriders’ potential as a thriving online marketplace under Authentic’s ownership,” said Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of Authentic, whose brands include Reebok, Eddie Bauer, Nautica and many more. “With Boardriders’ proven retail playbook, we also see tremendous opportunities to accelerate the expansion of its shop-in-shops, branded retail stores, wholesale and e-commerce worldwide.”

By far the funniest quote is from Boardriders CEO Arne Arens:

We are proud of our deep connection to the global action sports community, industry-leading brands and world-class teams,” said Arne Arens, CEO of Boardriders. “Under Authentic’s ownership, Boardriders will be uniquely positioned to expand the reach of our iconic brands to millions of consumers, capture market share in our core categories and grow white spaces, including premium athleisure, training and lifestyle.”

We know Mr. Arens has to say this, but does anyone really believe it? We don’t. In the meantime, make sure you buy from. . . well, authentically authentic action sports brands that are privately owned and funded. If you know of any, please help us out and leave them in the comments.

[Link: Chain Store Age and Australian Financial Review]

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So That’s Where Doug Palladini Went

by The Editors on January 30, 2023

Ever since Doug Palladini disappeared mysteriously and suddenly as Vans global brand president on March 17, 2022, we’ve had a nagging sense of “wonder what happened to Doug?” And not being close to Doug it was not a story we pursued with anything nearing tenacity. We’d ask here and there, some would make hints, but no one seemed to have the details, or was willing to share them with us.

Well, last month, on December 28, 2022 Doug shared his story with his Instagram followers. It goes something like this:

On December 28, 2021, I went to see the cardiologist with a strange “twinge” in my left shoulder. Two hours later, I was in the cardiac ICU and two days later I was recovering from quadruple bypass open heart surgery. Today, exactly one year later, as I watch the sun come up over the Sierra’s, I am overcome with gratitude: gratitude to still be here, gratitude for the doctors and nurses who literally saved my life, and gratitude for all of the friends and family who got me through a very difficult recovery. Because of your love and support I am today the healthiest I have been in 20 years, because without health, nothing else matters.

Great news. According to his most recent Insta post, Doug is now an adjunct professor at San Diego State University (his alma mater) teaching, no surprise, brand marketing and communications. As so many have pointed out, those seniors are lucky to tap into a wealth of in-the-trenches wisdom from someone who has done it all and done it well. Seriously.

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What Is Shaun White Thinking?

by The Editors on January 20, 2023

We really haven’t followed Shaun White’s thoughts or career for years. Yes, he’s a great snowboarder, and he’s sold some pretty cool houses, but that’s about our only interest. If you’re interested in more than that, like his thoughts on fashion for instance, or more specifically his new line Whitespace then you might enjoy this interview with Footwear News.

Speaking with FN last month, White said that as he enters the next phase of his life, he has big aspirations for the business. “I’m a competitor, it’s what I do, and it’s every little thing I can do to make better products,” he said. “That’s the sort of attitude I took to my sporting career. It’s this endless pursuit of progression.”

Strange. Didn’t think he was making shoes. Oh well, if you find anything interesting in this interview please let us know in the comments, because this story has been linked, not read.

[Link: FootwearNews.com]

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