Beauty in Simplicity | A Look at the Brands Using Simplicity in Aesthetics, Production and Fabrication, and Distribution in 2016/17
Reporting by Kelsey Smith and Kailee Bradstreet – sourced from Agenda Long Beach, Agenda Miami, SIA, AXIS, and Agenda Las Vegas
There is beauty in simplicity—a mantra that transcends all areas of fashion, technology, and hardgoods. Collections are thinner, the SKU count has decreased for the better, and most brands are boasting more quality in their products.
In a resounding way, the winter tradeshow circuit revealed confidence in simplicity across all areas, offering a more simple aesthetic, minimalist fabrication and construction, and a more sustainable manufacturing process. Years ago, we saw brands dipping into every category, using a myriad of fabrications, and arguably, extending themselves beyond their means. Going into 2016, brands seemed confident in smaller product offerings, while delivering an overall high-quality standard on goods, and lighter look and feel.
One overlying trend we saw in the men’s market was higher-quality, higher-price-point outerwear pieces with a very simple aesthetic from brands like OurCaste, Insight, Depactus, SUPERbrand and more.
The premium basic tees are also trending. A simple tee is making its resurgence from the retro '90s era, and various brands are adding their own touch to the men's basic.
Brother's Marshall put a spin on the men's tee by adding an extra thick neck, another homage to the retro '90's era with a L.A. surf culture twist.
RipNDip showcased their ‘Falling for Nermal’ upside-down pocket tee—so very avant-guard for a basic. The ‘Falling for Nermal’ tee is the sequel to their Lord Nermal tee last season.
Both Vissla and Banks boasted all-black silhouettes when it came to men's wetsuits. Vissla first introduced its “black on black” logo-free suit to team riders. They never anticipating what would happen next: “Our SoCal Sales Rep Bobby Lockhart first realized there was a real opportunity when The Froghouse contacted him about the suits,” says Vissla VP of Design Rob McCarty, explaining that surfers in the area had begun inquiring at the shop. Needless to say, the brand made a decision to take production from extremely limited to a few more in quantity to see how they performed. “They sold before they landed,” in SoCal, according to McCarty, and nearly a year later, the brand is seeing a similar demand in Europe, he says. The results show a demand for this minimalist, clean aesthetic at an accessible pricepoint. “It’s resonating with a younger audience,” says McCarty. “It’s different than what their dad is wearing.”
Banks’ line of neoprene suits has a similar look and feel with an all-black silloette and a simple embossed logo.
LIMITED EDITION DISTRIBUTION
Rome's Degenerati collection was littered with the most top secret features, we really can’t talk about it – just kidding. But this limited edition collection is made for core shops and core shops only. The selectivity in Degenerati’s distribution is what puts this collection on our ‘Less is More’ list. The entire collection pays homage to that loyal Rome rider.
As part of Element’s new collaboration with the exclusive Griffin Studios, they’ve created this piece, The ‘Black Sky Sleeping Bag Coat,’ which retails for $399 and features a zip feature allowing the jacket to attach to the sleeping bag component. Looks cozy!
PRODUCT & FABRICATION | LIGHT WEIGHT
Native Shoes is infamous for their vegan or "Beast Free" offering and a light-weight feel in their boots and shoes. The brand added another point of differentiation this year, tacking on a winterized Scotch-Guard coating to their line of rain boots, winter boots, and sneakers.
Electric and VonZipper are in a bidding war on who has the industry's most lightweight goggle. Although we haven't weighed the goggle's ourselves, both Electric's ‘Eletrolight’ and VonZipper's ATL hover around two-ounces. "The ALT is one of our modern marvels and also one of the lower price-point options for our brand," says Brian Green, Marketing Manager for VZ.