CATEGORY: WOMEN’S OUTERWEAR
BRAND: RIP CURL
INTERVIEWEE: EDOUARD COUSTY (MOUNTAINWEAR PRODUCT MANAGER)
What’s the overall theme behind your 2017/18 outerwear?
The overall theme behind our 2017/18 outwear is eco and durable, worrying more about nature and environment which is our playground, always with fun and performance at the centre of what we do.
From where do you take your inspiration? What other brands, designers, artists or collectives do you follow who influence the style of your brand?
We take our inspiration from the search, the exploration of our playgrounds, from our athletes and the trips we make, and from the mountain environment where we spend the most part of our time. We always care about being in harmony with nature, don’t disturb it, and perform as best we can as we are the Ultimate Surfing Company. For a North-American touch and design inspiration, we also worked with a Canadian design agency.
What are the two most important products in your 2017/18 range? Why? Please tell us about them.
One of the most important products in our 2017/18 range is the AMITY SEARCH JKT. 20K20K PET membrane, it’s a PFC free jacket, using 133gr/100gr PrimaLoft® Eco insulation (with 60%-recycled materials). It has a tall, relaxed snowboard fit and all the feature needed (articulated sleeves, drop tail, pant-to-jacket connectors…).
The second one is the LIBERTY SEARCH PT. Built like the jacket, it’s a 20K/20K pant, PFC free, with PET recyclable membrane and a 40g PrimaLoft® Eco insulation. Slim fit, it has articulated knee shape and pant-to-jacket connectors. These two products are parts of the new Search Series, and thus are durable and eco mountainwear.
What percentage of your outerwear is sold online vs in store? What’s the best way to connect with customers who buy via both of these channels?
25% of our outerwear is sold online. The best way to stay in touch with our customer is to have promotional actions in the field, such as on-snow grass-root events or during our movie-tour around Europe. In-store clinics and online training activation is also a key strategy. Our local-hero program is activated in key areas with our local dealers, it allows us to showcase the product with opinion leaders every day on the snow, while staying in touch with our wholesale customers and Rip Curl flagship shop.
Are your price points going up or down?
For mountain outerwear, prices are stable and our accessory prices are going down slightly.
What new fits / silhouettes are coming next year?
This year, silhouettes for women are more fitted and even slim for pants, with technical features that add comfort. Jackets are a bit longer but still fitted, yet still providing warmth and a sexy fit is always a priority.
What’s new in colours / prints?
With being more eco we played with earthy colors that will recall our “Search” environment, with a deep purple, deep red (almost ocre) that we managed to use for women as well as for men. Prints, sometimes inspired by our Bikini range must be fun and remind us all that we are the Ultimate Surfing Company and we are fun.
Here’s the place to talk about fabrics, features and technical innovations. Here we’re principally interested in *NEW* technical stories that you haven’t offered to retailers previously.
Talking about the technical stories this season, Rip Curl actually has, as for men, two series we have to talk about.
First, the Gum Series, that already existed, they are waterproof and breathable mountainwear designed with stretch fabrics and features for the best comfort.
And then, as mentioned above, the great innovation this season is the launch of the Search Series, with strong and durable mountainwear, made from a selection of recycled and eco-friendly materials, that will stand the test of time. For the first time, we made PFC free products, with a PET recyclable membrane and Rudolf Eco DWR (PFC Free water repellent).
We also PrimaLoft® for some padding, combining 60% recycled materials with advanced fiber technology, to create a high performing eco-friendly insulation. For the Ultimate products of the Search Series we are using the 37.5 technology, allowing up to 40k breathable and 30k waterproofness. All together, we managed to keep keeping the best performance level, with an eco-friendly construction for a lower carbon footprint.
Any played-out trends that your brand is moving away from?
Our brand is moving away from colour block and baggy fits.
BASE LAYER FOCUS: Do you do baselayers? What’s happening here, what’s your base layer strategy next year? Please let us know your tech innovations, materials, colours and pricepoints.
For the first time year, we chose to move away from our classical polyester t-shirt and pants. We wanted to have for women, as well as for men, a sportier look for a more technical use: We used a seam-less technology thanks to a body mapping study: its construction allows either warmth, breathable or flexible zones. We believe that will add comfort when riding long days and especially during hiking. Added to our new Polartec technical fleeces or to our new Down-puffer, our multi-layer system is optimised to its best. Price points is around 60€ for a top.