CATEGORY: MEN’S SURF APPAREL
BRAND: RIP CURL
INTERVIEWEE: HENRI RODRIGUEZ (HEAD OF SURFWEAR DIVISION)
How has the Surf Apparel segment evolved since last summer season in terms of products, categories and SKUs?
For the next summer, we’ve based our range structure according to consumers, customers and retails needs and expectations. Indeed we want to concentrate our offer depending on, products we wish to place on the market, and customers’ understanding in terms of products, stores and merchandising. As well, we’ve worked on the offer proposal according to product’s deliveries for a better consistence.
How do you deal with competition from fast fashion and chain stores?
Well, we do not sell the same type of product as fast fashion and chain stores. Our products are based on our values and DNA which are surf, functionality, and quality, and our customers know that. Our products are reliable and made for comfort, performance and durability and our priority is to lead our customers to live the surf lifestyle experience. We’re looking for bringing innovation on the Surf Apparel Market. And that’s why we’ve restructured our products deliveries for bringing novelty to our consumers.
What are the main trends you see popping in your SS18 Surf Apparel line?
Our motivation on the SS18 collection is to combine technicity, functionality and creativity with our brand story and our DNA within our product offer. That’s our mainspring for work. We are constantly working on new designs, product’s details and added value for standing out. For example for the next summer we’re working on historic logos combined with new fabrics and shapes. Also, we’re looking to develop our functional and technical range such as VaporCool or Boardwalk. And, we wish, as well, to push up our complete Surf Craft eco-friendly line, because it’s really matters to us.
What are the key inspirations behind your collection this year?
In the first instance, each product we design is inspired by The Search, then we work within functionality and technicity to reach the quality that we’re always looking forward. For SS18, we’re going back in time, the modern retro surf is the trend that we are following. We’ve mainly combined technicity, modernity, comfort, functionality, and quality with Rip Curl’s historical logos, for added value to our products and to satisfy our final consumer.
What are your colour palettes for men’s SS18 season?
Our color palette is driven by products’ delivery window. Indeed the introduction line is built within warm and neutral colors, such as earthy shades. Whereas summer is contrasted with bright and pastel colors.
In terms of fabrics and materials, which new stuff are you working on for next season?
Innovation and technology is our priority. Thanks to our suppliers we developed a complete range of tee, fleece and pants within a new technologic and technical features fabric called “VaporCool”. A fabric made from variety of lightweight and moisture wicking for keeps the holder dry, cool and comfortable for longer. The “VaporCool” technology is into the fabric and onto the individual fibbers, it’s not just a treatment we add on the final product. We’re still pull in for new fabrics and material innovation. Indeed, our Boardwalk range is made from stretcher and lighter fabrics, and for our Boardshort range we’ve developed a 4-way stretch fabric and we’ve brought a new material construction for more comfort.
In terms of prices, which demographic do you target?
For everyone who’s understanding our brand’s value and who can identify himself to those value. For everyone who’s looking for an innovative product combining quality, and durability. For everyone who is finding a meaning, a differentiation, an added value into our products… In other words, for everyone who is looking to live the search!
Please take us through 3 of your key products that retailers should put on their order sheets.
As technological boardshorts are more sought. Seems to be an obvious choice, for retailers, to put our boardshorts on their order sheets. Cause we have expanded our mirage range and the technology, even into our classic boardshorts.
Add as well, our most innovative and functional products such as VaporCool products for being kept cool and dry while being active. Boardwalk the surfer’s boardshort to wear in the water and on the land. And Anti Series for inter-seasonal product keeping you warm and comfortable while out in the elements.
Then, also place pieces from our eco collection Surf Craft made of recycled and organic fabrics. The purchase behaviour of consumers is diverging. Have eco responsible products into your retail is a real added value for your shop.
How do you make your business more eco-friendly?
We developed a line called “Surf Craft” which is based on “Rip Curl planet” eco-responsible products for all categories: jackets, tees, fleeces, sweaters, shirts, walkshort, boardwalk and even boardshort. It’s a real determination for Rip Curl to reinforce our environmental value, because it’s a huge part of our DNA. For the next summer collection, the surfwear eco-friendly line will represent 10% of our global offer. Most of our products are made from organic cotton, the other part is made from recycled fiber, and all products of this line are made up to a minimum of 50% “green” fabric. We’re looking for push our eco-friendly products, we know it’s one of the biggest issues nowadays to take care about environment.