High-end designer John Moore ups the surfbrand bar
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 December, 2014 - A while back Kelly Slater called up designer and fellow surfer John Moore (who was, this year, named American GQ Best New Menswear Designer for his surf lifestyle label M.Nii) to help him put his long held ambitions of launching his own brand into action.
The new label, called Outerknown, has attracted a minority share investment from French conglomerate Kering — which is expanding its sports and lifestyle portfolio and will offer the brand operational support in areas such as logistics and e-commerce — as well as an executive team that includes Julie Gilhart, former fashion director of Barneys New York and a consultant who has advised clients like Mulberry and Amazon, and Stella Ishii of The News, a legendary launchpad for young American fashion labels, known for nurturing brands like Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim in their early stages.
While Outerknown is anchored in Slater’s surfing fame, the brand is built upon a much more sophisticated, fashionable and grown up product offering than that of the ‘big three’ surf apparel behemoths — Billabong, Quiksilver and Rip Curl — which, in recent years, have suffered severe financial losses.
Outerknown’s menswear collection, set to launch for Autumn 2015, will consist of “wardrobe essentials” such as t-shirts, woven shirts, knits, jackets and chinos in muted, low-key colours “that you won’t get called out on,” said Moore.
The womenswear, which will debut for Resort 2015, will be more closely aligned with high fashion trends. “With women we are exploring many more categories, more of an emphasis on style and being relevant to what’s happening in fashion, whereas with men it’s extremely timeless,” continued Moore. “I am hesitant to define it as luxury. I hope we can be more accessible than that. The sweet spot, is anywhere from $70 to $400 — and we’ll have statement pieces, cashmere pieces, outerwear pieces that will go beyond that. Brands like Acne and APC would be great company.”