Fashion and surf are merging at Local Motion Hawaii
Fashion & surf merge at Local Motion.
Authentic surf clothing makes partnership with current dynamic fashions
at the Hawaii-based surfboard and apparel company, Local Motion.
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 26 November, 2005, Honolulu; - - Since its humble beginnings in the late 1970s, this brand has made the leap from a t-shirt and boardshort-dominated apparel business to a more fashion-conscious brand that hasn’t forgotten its roots. With eight retail stores in Hawai’i and a booming international wholesale business, the brand has branched out both physically and fashionably while maintaining its place as one of the only surf brands operating and designing out of Hawaii, the birthplace of surfing (most of the other surf brands are based in the mainland).
Local Motion’s upcoming Spring line, available in stores mid to late December 2005, offers a mix of traditional surf styles and popular trends in colors, fabrics, and styles inspired by the season and Hawaii’s tropical climate (of fashion and otherwise).
Simple and timeless. The Spring line of Local Motion juniors reflects the natural colors of the season in Hawaii and the everyday elegance of the beautiful, carefree surf girl. As juniors designer Tamar Hassing puts it, “Most of [the line] stays true to who our customer is: a fun-loving girl who loves the laidback ‘surf lifestyle’ and whose beauty shines when she is bikini-clad at the beach with no makeup.”
While the Hawaii-inspired collection is appropriately characterized by its vivid aloha prints, it offers everyday dresses, chic tops, quality boardshorts, comfortable beach skirts, and t-shirts that can be paired with the latest denim. Mainstream fashion trends also had an impact on the line, which reveals itself in the La Casa skirt; this piece was inspired by a Michael Kors dress adorned with that lace, and its tiered silhouette plays off the Bohemian trend of last year. This skirt also happens to be one of Hassing’s favorite pieces, which she calls “the perfect everyday skirt with a fun personality.” The casual fabric, crochet lace embellishment, comfortable elastic waist, and sorbet of colors to choose from makes the skirt perfect to be worn for work, casually on a beautiful weekend day, or for a night out on the town.
Another favorite is the Brynn Capri. “Capris and gauchos are so in right now,” Hassing explains. This extremely comfortable Capri is offered in two neutral colors, chocolate and khaki, that can be worn with any style top. The back pocket satin piping detail adds that little extra something to make it, as the designer calls it, “perfectly cute.”
The juniors screen print t-shirts and other accessories (visors, hats, and beach bags) tie into Hassing’s designs and are geared towards the beach culture and the lifestyle that Local Motion successfully portrays as a brand. In this way, the juniors’ line is such that there is something for everyone.
Variety. That is the name of the game this season. Funky, geometric shapes, plaids, abstract art, and flowers disguised as camouflage make up just a few of the many different design ideas incorporated into the brand’s eclectic Spring ’06 line.
Local Motion’s “variety is key” philosophy, however, is not limited to this season alone. According to head designer Carolyn Chu, variety is Local Motion’s goal for men’s wear every season. When merchandising, Chu pushes for an assortment of designs, prints, and styles in all categories of screenprints, boardshorts, walkshorts, denim, wovens, and accessories to cater to the gamut of customers who choose to invest their money in surf apparel. To satisfy the Local Motion customer, the designers work to create just the right balance between old school aloha and contemporary casual.
“We want to cater to customers of all ages who know what Local Motion is all about: surfwear made with aloha,” Chu explains. And the way to do that in the surf apparel market, she says, is through color and graphics.
These design elements set Local Motion’s clothing apart from others, as color and graphics come together to produce the memorable prints on boardshorts, aloha shirts, and t-shirt designs that the brand is especially known for. The lively prints that bring life to a man’s wardrobe and the hip graphic designs blending the beauty of the Hawaiian islands with elements of the surf culture have kept customers coming back for years.
And while customers may not be able to put their finger on exactly what it is that attracts them to Local Motion’s colorful designs, Chu’s explanation is simple.
“We design very saleable clothing with always an extra pop to maintain edginess.” For Local Motion, being saleable means steering clear of “funky messages” that have the potential to cause waves, as that is not what this lifestyle brand stands for.
“We’re not always out there to be the fashion innovator, the dare to be different,” she continues. Instead, it comes down to producing something unexpected yet tastefully done. Argyle board shorts anyone?
As for what’s next for the men’s line, expect no less than fresh design ideas combined with the consistent quality that the brand prides itself on. Besides, perhaps, a new “trend color” to keep up with what’s hot (right now that color is green), Chu hints that there will also be a bigger focus on the walkshort market. The fact of the matter is that, for the average consumer and sometimes even the topmost designer, walkshorts are walkshorts; it can be difficult to make one look different from another. This begs the question: what, then, will make a consumer choose Local Motion over the competition?
It’s all in the brand. “We (as the Local Motion brand) take great pains to make sure that whatever designs make the final cut be the best they can be and are executed well,” Chu says, explaining how the brand works to set itself apart.
That said, by working hard on improving the designs of men’s walkshorts, Local Motion can prove that branding beats out pricing, creating a win-win situation for both the company, who will receive a larger share of the (walkshort market) pie, and the consumer, who will soon walk home in a hip new pair of shorts.
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Industry - Surfersvillage