Here Comes Oxbow

After setting up operations in San Diego approximately one-and-a-half years ago, Oxbow USA recently signed a multi-year deal for the license and distribution of sportswear, apparel, and accessories from its parent company in France. “We’re excited to finally launch Oxbow in America the right way,” says Ivan Linde, Oxbow USA president.

Although many consumers have only a vague idea of what Oxbow is, in Europe it is a leading brand with sales in excess of 75-million dollars built around four sports relating to surf, snow, wind, and motocross/ “My entire company is 100-percent commited to supporting the Oxbow brand in the U.S.A.,” says Oxbow International CEO Phillipe de Vilmorin.

Prior to beginning his work with Oxbow, Linde gained 30 years of experience in various executive positions in the apparel industry including his most recent with Reebok. He wants to rely on this experience to start things off on the right foot. “We want to leverage the strong brand presence Oxbow has created in Europe,” he says.

In May, the first lines were delivered to specialty stores in California and Hawai’i. And starting in September, the fall lines go out to both the East and West Coasts. Linde is also excited about distribution in Puerto Rico.

It’s also looking to make a presence with the men’s and juniors’ lines at the upcoming trade shows. “After an in-depth market study we’re satisfied that our brand offers something fresh, new, different, and exciting,” says De Vilmorin.

Worldwide, the Oxbow team is an amalgamation of athletes representing the wide range of markets it sells to. The company also hosts international events that include the World Longboard Championship, the Windsurf World Cup, and International Boardercross events.

That doesn’t mean it will do the same here. Although Oxbow sponsors Australian WCT tour veteran Shane Powell in addition to various international surf veterans, it’s focusing on the domestic surf scene. In May, Oxbow USA sponsored the California State Junior High School Championships–a far cry from the huge international events and the making of a different U.S. presence.