Oakley is entering into the surf/lifestyle apparel market. At last week’s Surf Expo trade show in Orlando, Florida, the eyewear brand showed retailers its Summer 2002 line of boardshorts, walkshorts, tops and denim.
“For us, surf has always been the most important action sport to be entrenched in,” says Scott Bowers, Oakley vice president of sports marketing. “Because of the relationships we have with some of the top surfers in the world, strong distribution in the surf market, and an apparel designer that was ‘freaking’ over the need to make better, more functional stuff, we just couldn’t hold out any longer.”
Former Lost designer Lawrance Quigley is leading the design of the apparel program. The line is decidedly Oakley, with an influence on innovative materials and the brand’s affinity for molded plastic. Oakley has an in-house facility for textile R&D.
“We built a functional surf line with Oakley’s passion for the unexpected in mind,” says Quigley. “This first season will showcase a condensed line that supports our athletes in the water. This first season’s line only scratches the surface of things to come.”
With its launch of surf apparel, some existing Oakley teamriders have signed on to be part of the brand’s head-to-toe crew. Most notably, Damien Hobgood, Bobby Martinez, Dean Morrison, and Brian Conley will each be rocking Oakley apparel.
“With Oakley’s recognition in the surf market, building surf apparel makes total sense,” says Oakley U.S. Surf Marketing Manager Dino Andino. “I’ve only been with Oakley for a year and I’m so stoked to be working with these guys! Bobby, Damien, Brian, Dean, Bobby Hansen, and Royden Bryson are all progressive surfers who define its future. They’ve become the foundation of our apparel surf program, which will only continue to grow.”
Damien Hobgood – At 21 years old, Damien has just been awarded most improved surfer for 2001 and has wrapped up tenth place on the WCT. Damien loves to surf big waves and with his crazy aerial approach, has become one of the most versatile surfers on the planet. He is also one of the top picks to get a world title in 2002. When not on the tour, he loves to fish with his twin brother C.J. and hang with family and friends in his Florida hometown.
Bobby Martinez – Bobby was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. At the age of nineteen, he holds the record in the NSSA for the most wins in a single season, including winning double divisions in National Championships. He has now stepped it up to continue with the WQS to qualify to become a future world title contender on the WCT tour. Bobby’s smooth, radical style has gained him respect worldwide amongst his peers to be one of America’s to prospects to contend on a global level for a world title. When not competing, Bobby loves hanging with his family and friends at home and surfing his local break.
Dean Morrison – This twenty year old Australian Junior and State Champion is currently ranked fourteenth on the WQS, holds first place in the 2001 Australian Junior Championships, and is ranked fourteenth in the 2001 WQS overall. He has the ability to make a tough looking section look easy by using a polished and mature style of wave riding. He is part of the Gold Coast brat pack and surfs along side the likes of Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning. He has also won the coveted Narrabeen Pro Junior, Australia?s most prestigious junior event.
Brian Conley – As an amateur, Brian?s won the West Coast Championship and has since been pushing the level of freestyle and big wave riding. At the age of 21, he lives in Encinitas, California and enjoys big mountain riding when not surfing.
Bobby Hansen – This fifteen year old grom, surfs with the well-respected Gisbourne crew. His progressive powerful style has secured him second at the World Junior Championships, second overall in the New Zealand Open Championnship for 2001, and second overall in the New Zealand Pro Circuit. His goal is to become New Zealand?s first World Champion.
Royden Bryson – At the age of eighteen, this South African took 2001 by storm. In the infamous shark-infested waters of East London, he finished a respectable 113th on the World Qualifying Series, his rookie year on the WQS tour. Small in stature, he has proven himself to be an aggressive competitor, with a vast repertoire of maneuvers that make him exciting to watch. He is the number-one ranked junior surfer in Africa having taken the Billabong/Polar Ice Junior series and the ASP Africa Junior title.