Interviewee: Mike Pickering
According to you, what has been the most noticeable evolution during the last few years in the wetsuit market?
One of the things that we at Gul have noticed is how we are seeing increased activity from European dealers that have been buying into our 2 year line programe. We believe that this has enabled dealers to buy into the brand knowing that the stock is good for a longer period so less pressure to go into end of season sales.
We have also noted that more consumers are talking about sustainable products which is something we are working on.
How did you build up your range in between styles, constructions and pricepoints?
We look at the market and Gul’s position within the market place, we then structure our price points to fit entry level, flatlock suits , mid-level GBS with critical taping, top–level GBS and all over internal taping.
Gul’s real strength is in the entry to mid – level range of suits. We put a huge amount of resources into these areas of the market.
Which are your key innovations for 2020? (materials, constructions, styles…)
The Viper model has evolved. We have removed the liquid seaming and created a wetsuit that is fully taped with our exclusive “Lava Tape”, Lava Tape is as fluid as Lava, it stretches with your body to ensure no leakage as it becomes one with the lining of the suit. We have also changed the nylon to “Lava fluid stretch technology,” it’s been tested across the globe to ensure that we have the warmest most flexible, softest material we have ever used.
For 2020 we are introducing a new model to the Response flatlock range, the “Response Echo” a flatlock, chest zip suit in 150% X Flex super stretch at an affordable price. This is a model that our dealers have been asking for.
Colors & graphics are crucial on Summer wetties: what do you bring on the table?
Gul are bringing some classic styles and colours to the market. From the Pinstripe “Viper” through to the “Echo” with a play on the classic camo look.
For Ladies we are adding some panel detail in Tie Dye and Geo Palm colourways that enhance the classic go to colours of Black, Navy and Jet which consistently sell well for us.
Women wetsuits rely on a wider range of silhouettes: apart from the classic springsuit/fullsuit, which styles do you offer?
The typical Gul lady consumer is a little more conservative than buyers of some brands. We stick to the classic silhouettes of full suit and shorty but also offer GBS zip free Long Janes and flatlock Long Janes and Short Janes.
How do make your wetsuits more sustainable?
We are re-introducing the “Recore” range that started life 10 years ago as a recycled line.
Now as technology has matured, we have partnered with Yulex ® to bring back the sustainable wetsuit from Gul.
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