Quiksilver 2023 S/S Wetsuits Preview
Retail Buyers Guide: Wetsuits S/S 2023 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Interviewee: Mael Armellini, Boardshorts & wetsuits Merchant
To cut a long story short: Will the Spring and Summer 2023 wetsuits (3/2mm to springsuits and neoprene jackets) suffer from shortages, as in other segments of the boardsports hardware market?
Like every brand on the market we got caught off guard by the increasing demand for outdoor products. It took us a few seasons to adjust our buys and supply chain to this unexpected demand but we’ve already seen some major improvement, we hope to be back to normal for Spring-Summer 23.
The surge of smaller brands has been shaking up the market for a handful oy years. What would be your analysis of the phenomenon? (Is it for the best or did the biggest players lost their grip?)
I don’t think the big players lost their grip, but it certainly keeps us in check. I think a lot of brands struggled to deliver products on the markets, at this point in time some of them had stock and took advantage of the situation. Good for them! Time will tell if the these can keep up and deliver the same customer service we have in place.
If you were to name the biggest evolutions in recent years within the Spring-Summer wetsuit market, what would they be? (technologies, cuts/fit, buying practices, designs, durability…)
I would say our major evolution is the improvement of our sustainability: We’re not claiming to be perfect but we’re improving season after season: since 2022, 99% of our lining are now made from recycled polyester. We’re using water based glue, recycling scrap rubber tyres, recycling neoprene production waste, using dope dyed yarn…and all our hangers are now made from recycled marine plastic.
Can you briefly sum up your Spring-Summer ranges are built, so we can understand how they are distributed in terms of performance, constructions, prices?
Our segmentation has not changed since we relaunched the category in 2021. Highline: our most stretchiest and comfortable suits, made for progressive surfers- from 389.99 EUR Marathon Sessions: the warmer you are the longer the longer you can surf, this is the suit for the coldest days of the year. Functional, warm and durable- from 359.99 EUR. Everyday Sessions: every session, all season, the suit you can trust- from 279.99 EUR. Prologue : Durable and warm, good value for money. Designed for beginners- from 139.99 EUR.
Which are your key innovations for SS23? (materials, constructions, styles…)
We’re introducing the HIGHLINE PRO IMPACT VEST for big wave surfing. We’ve been perfecting this product for some time now and are super excited to bring it to the market. We believe this product will be a gateway for general core surfers into bigger and heavier waves. The confidence it provides in larger conditions is astounding, so far everyone on our team is super happy with it.
Even if graphics are less prominent nowadays on wetsuits, what is your take for SS23?
Yes graphics on wetsuits are generally becoming more subtle, for our main range we’re keeping it pretty clean and simple with a technical feel. We have capsule collections within the EVERYDAY SESSIONS segment where we’ve had a bit more fun with graphics, the Mikey Wright and Saturn collections feature 90’s inspired logos presented in a modern way. Aside from that we’ve also been having a bit more fun with some graphics on our boys wetsuits as part of our Radical Times collection.
Sustainability and wetsuits: how do keep up with the environmental efforts while price inflation is stressing out the market?
I think for most brands in the industry sustainability is a no-compromise factor. We just must be clever with how we can continue to increase our sustainable materials and practices across the line, which might mean pulling back on some areas which are not necessary.
Mikey Wright’s wetsuit. Mongrel tested and approved. WARM-FLIGHT ECO VELVET : Exceptionally comfortable lightweight thermo fleece liner across the entire interior of this suit. STRETCH FLIGHT : Flexibility where you need it. durability where it counts. This neoprene is designed to give you the best of both worlds. GBS SEAM : Glued and blind-stitched seams only partially penetrate the neoprene, which reduce water entry and increase durability. NATURAL LIMESTONE NEOPRENE: replacing petrochemicals. WATER-BASED LAMINATION: using water-based glues eliminating the need for toxic solvents. RECYCLED MATERIALS: Recycling scrap rubber tires and neoprene waste.
WARMFLIGHT ECO VELVET : Exceptionally comfortable lightweight thermo fleece liner across the entire interior of this suit.
STRETCH FLIGHT : Flexibility where you need it. durability where it counts. This neoprene is designed to give you the best of both worlds.
GBS SEAM : Glued and blind-stitched seams only partially penetrate the neoprene, which reduce water entry and increase durability.
NATURAL LIMESTONE NEOPRENE: replacing petrochemicals.
WATER-BASED LAMINATION: using water-based glues eliminating the need for toxic solvents.
RECYCLED MATERIALS: Recycling scrap rubber tires and neoprene waste.