Very few institutions in the world of surfing hold the same historical and cultural relevance as SURFER — a source of inspiration for the surf community for 57 years.
Over time, SURFER has evolved, coming alive — alongside its pages — through many other mediums, and taking shape in iconic locations like Turtle Bay Resort with Surfer The Bar.
Paying homage to its history in the space, Surfer has cultivated yet another way to speak to its audience with a new capsule of T-shirts, hats, and fleece — staples to any surfer’s closet and emblematic of both the past and future of the sport.
To do this in the most thoughtful way possible, it has partnered with United Surf Co-op, a company working to elevate and bring together surfing's most influential designers, athletes, personalities and artists.
To better understand this project, and what United Surf is all about, we caught up with VP of Marketing Trevor Wessman-Lavelle and VP Sales & Distribution Rob Zseleczky.
Why are you excited about partnering with SURFER on this collection?
TWL: SURFER’s legacy and reputation for unique editorial and unparalleled surf photography puts them at the heart of surfing life around the world. In any industry segment, it would be considered an honor to work with a brand of that legendary stature, but it’s especially rad when your entire business model is centered around quality and craftsmanship in surf products.
SURFER undeniably exudes both characteristics and immediately recognized the value this collaboration would have in the eyes of their audience.
What was the design and development process like, and how did you decide on what to include?
RZ: We worked very intimately with SURFER’s management, creative and editorial teams to explore the evolution of the SURFER logo and establish a lineup of staple pieces including tees, hats and fleece using two of the most iconic versions: the original logo, hand-drawn by John Severson and featured on the cover of the very first issue of the magazine, and the most current logo you see today.
It was important to start with the basic yet most fundamental element of the SURFER brand, but as we look ahead, we’re really excited to dive into the exploration of SURFER’s near bottomless archive of unforgettable covers and timeless photography with their team.
Tell us a little more about the United Surf platform: what’s it all about and what does it stands for?
TWL: First and foremost, United stands for SURF.
We partner with brands like SURFER and Destination, as well as renowned shapers like Jason Koons and Roy Sanchez, who are indisputably central to surfing with authentic, connective brand stories. Collectively, United and all of the brands we work with complement each other.
RZ: This synergy is critical, from the development of each unique partnership, the products we create or solutions we deploy, through to our direct-to-consumer and wholesale pipelines manned by a veteran industry team that includes Tony Lincoln on the East Coast, Bill Keller in LA/OC, and Brady Mitchell in San Diego.
Our tag line, "United by Surf. United by Craftsmanship," truly is our guiding force. It resonates at every level of this industry, from brand executives to retailers, shapers to professional surfers. It's the culmination of our entire team’s experience and history in the surf world, and it's already been a great ride.
Where will the Surfer apparel be available besides on United Surf and Surfer? Will any brick and mortar shops carry the product?
The full range is available at select surf retailers in Southern California through Holiday, and will expand nationwide in Spring ’18.
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