Surfboards hardgoods have largely benefited from the freedom craze after the lockdowns. How was it for the wetsuit market?
Following the lockdown, the wetsuit market for Picture did not experience a big boom. We have a more French clientele in the south-west of France, German in Germany and English in the UK, little tourism, so a lot of locals have equipped themselves. The hard-goods market, like in the bike industry, has known a big boom, when on wetsuit or textile, the trend is quite similar to last year.
Can you please give an overview of your different ranges (performance, constructions, prices for s/s 2021)?
The range is divided into 3 main categories.
The DOME category which is the most technical, with Eicoprene bonded in Aqua Alpha and recycled nylon laminations. The products are designed in body mapping with more stretch parts at the joints, underarms, and shoulder blades. These are products that have a lamination with DryNow on the inside: a lining that dries very quickly is stretchy and does not absorb water, allowing the combination to have the same characteristics in and out of water. In terms of price point, the range is between 300€ and 400€.
The second category is the EQUATION range. A range that has the same ecological properties, however, no body mapping, the lining is 100% WPF (absorbing a very thin film of water to keep the surfer warm and guarantee high levels of stretch). In terms of price point, the range is between 250€ and 300€. This is the range that today targets the largest number of surfers and is the most popular on the market.
Finally, the third range is the META range, with products that are not mounted in glue and blind stitch GBS and taping but are mounted either in flatlock or B Stitch and which are dedicated to surfing in temperate water. These products are equipped with FlexSkin technology, our SS21 innovation, allowing these summer products to provide even more comfort.
Which are your key innovations for s/s 2021? (materials, constructions, styles…)
The great novelty at Picture for SS21 is the FlexSkin technology, a neoprene, and eco-friendly lamination technology, allowing you to have an exceptional stretch and to wear a suit as you would wear lycra. We have very good reception at the retail level and pre-orders for 2021 are on the rise. The average price of these wetsuits is between 260€ and 300€, with products in 3/2, 4/3 and soon 5/4 and warm water ranges with products such as shorts, long legs, and short sleeves, with constructions either in GBS full TIP or in B Stitch.
S/S wetsuits rely more on colors & graphics than winter pieces: what are the styling options in your range?
In the men’s ranges, we have returned to black & grey blend or anthracite grey ranges. We had a bad experience with prints and products that were too “flashy”, which were not at all adopted by the surf community. Therefore, we have re-oriented the design-brand part on this men’s wetsuits category. On the other hand, for the women’s lines, print is the leitmotif of the purchase because we associate both technicalities and look, the “fashion” aspect being essential in the sale of women’s wetsuits. Our prints and color graphics are a real strength for women when for men, we have gone back to more basic tones, black or gray.
Sustainability is key in the wetsuit category: which materials/process do you implement in s/s 2021?
We are still using the same technology in the “construction” aspect of the wetsuit, which is Eicoprene foam laminated with solvent-free Aqua glue and recycled nylon fabrics from fishing nets on the exterior and interior laminations. The social and ethical aspect of wetsuit production is also an element that has not been overlooked since our wetsuits are produced in Fair Trade factories. The FlexSkin technology, new for SS21, is also made of 100% recycled nylon fabric. This means that we have durable properties on all materials and Picture ranges.
Please name and describe your 3 highlight pieces and items that retailers should definitely order.
META LS 2/2 FREE (Men)
The Meta range combines our lighter materials and style for versatile wetsuits. Our Meta wetsuits are made with Eicoprene which is a non-petroleum-based synthetic foam coming from a mix of limestone and recycled tires (30%). The lamination process to paste the recycled polyester lining uses Aqua-A™ water-based glue which is completely solvent-free and with no harmful chemicals. The Meta LS 2/2 zip-free long sleeves version is designed for your spring and summer sessions. It stands out thanks to Flexskin technology which provides ultimate stretch and comfort in order to ride big waves no matter what the conditions outside. It also features flatlock seams which give flexibility and enhance radical moves. This added to fuse cut and drain holes allow minimal water entry and maximal water draining. Last but not least, the Meta 2/2 features the STD lining to insulate and retain body heat. A minimalist style for great sessions!
META LL 2/2 FREE (Men)
The Meta LL 2/2 zip-free long leg version is designed for your spring and summer sessions. It stands out thanks to Flexskin technology which provides ultimate stretch and comfort in order to ride big waves no matter what the conditions outside. It also features flatlock seams which give flexibility and enhance radical move. This added to fuse cut and drain holes allow minimal water entry and maximal water draining. Last but not least, the Meta 2/2 features the STD lining to insulate and retain body heat. A minimalist style for great sessions!
BONIE 2/2 SPRINGSUIT (Women)
The Bonie 2/2 spring suit provides you all the comfort you need while remaining stylish! It is made of Eicoprene which is a non-petroleum-based synthetic foam coming from a mix of limestone and recycled tires (30%). The lamination process to paste the recycled polyester lining uses Aqua-A™ water-based glue which is completely solvent-free and with no harmful chemicals. This eco-friendly shorty wetsuit is stitching free underarms, features anti-irritation seams where needed for extra comfort and motion pattern which is a specific shoulder construction for you to paddle.