After Essentials Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand:  After Essentials
Interviewee: Remi Chaussemiche, Marketing

How was the market for Changing Robes and surf ponchos in 2023?
In 2023 we feel that the changing robe Market is still growing, but it also has become way more competitive. The offer has expanded and plenty of non-specialized brands have dived into the market. At After Essentials we have been in for years now, and has been identified by the retailers and consumers as an established and reliable brand in the segment. To remain relevant, it is important to keep involving and renewing ourselves by proposing new designs, new collaborations with artists and surfers, new product categories such as the rain ponchos for a more urban use, different sizes and shapes for tiny babies, babies, toddler and kids, some warm and comfy ponchos for more of a domestic use etc…

The element resistant Changing Robe is extremely popular, way beyond the boardsport community. Did you have to address new channels to reach the casual customer? Is it different for Surf Ponchos?
From our perspective we see element resistant Changing Robe getting more and more popular in the colder European countries (UK, Ireland, North of France etc…), for the rest Europe it seems that this product category interest more a population of professionals who spend a lot of time on the beach facing the elements: Surf, Wind, Kite instructors or coaches. The price positioning is different and the market is way more niche than a traditional changing poncho. At After essentials we propose 3 models in the collection and we sell them more for the winter season.

Is the term “changing robe” still relevant as many (most ?) of the people use it as a jacket or an additional shell for tough weather?
We call them “The Shelter”, as we consider it more as an extra protection for extreme weather conditions. They are more designed to stay warm and dry in between winter sessions

What are the trends within the Surf Poncho category: core riders, kids, women, beachgoers, seasonality?
The surf poncho are more beach ponchos now. And that is how we like to call them at After Essentials. Even though they all have been designed in a surf state of mind and surfing is part of our DNA, we feel like anyone who go for a swim or any other aquatic activities would need a poncho to get dry and changed. Surfer for sure, it is convenient when you have to put on and of your wetsuits. It is even more convenient for women who surf or practice aquatic activities so they avoid some acrobatics to get changed. For parents and kids, it is super useful, way more than a traditional beach towels, easier to use, easier to dry off, easier.

Which price points are best-selling for Surf Ponchos and Dry Robes? What are the entry level and high-end rates?
Our best-selling surf ponchos’ public price are 64,95€, our higher end dry robes are sold at 159,95€ public price.

What are the key materials in your line for both product categories?
Our standard beach ponchos are made of terry fabric 50% cotton 50% Polyester. We also propose some poncho designed for travel, they are lighter easily packable made of highly absorbent and quick drying microfiber, all made of 100% recycled polyester. Our Shelter robes rain ponchos are all made of 100% recycled polyesters.

Bonus specs for functionality are much appreciated: what do you offer in this regard?
All of our beach ponchos feature wide sleeves and side openings to get changed easily and quickly, a large hood to keep you warm and dry and a chest pocket with a key loop to maintain your belongings safe while surfing or swimming.

Which are your key colors/prints/pattern of 2024?
For 2024 we developed our artist collaboration with Quentin Caillat, Juliette Béchu and Nathalie Fercoq. We also launch a series of print inspired from the rebirth of the nature during the spring season, the colors are bright the patterns are joyful and fun. Another series of prints are inspired from the hippie movement from the 60’s -70’s: flower prints, psychedelic patterns tie and dies. Another Serie is the Native display a wonderful collection of ethnic prints all inspired by traditional fabrics from different population of the world. We also carry over our best models and series that have become iconic of After Essentials: the destination Ponchos, the fun and fancy all overs etc…

How are you helping retailers to sell more of your product?
We provide retail marketing support digitally and physically. In store we are implementing a retail marketing program with POS, hangers and for our biggest client some custom window displays. Digitally we invest a lot on producing all the useful content to promote the brand and the product on retailers’ socials and website.

Key Products:

Artist Series Juliette:
Born and raised in Reunion Island, Juliette is a talented artist. She fine-tunes her technic in les Beaux-Arts then to his ESDAC in Aix en Provence. Passionate longboarder, she moves to South West of France to fully live her dream life mixing art, surf and travels. Her creative energy is inspired by her lifestyle: the beach, nature, adventure and permanent search of simple pleasures. Her illustrations stand out by her unique style: candid, colorful and humoristic.  Her last creation? This collaboration poncho with After Essentials, an all-over print on a 50% cotton / 50% polyester terry fabric with hand drawings paying tribute to the Log, the Longboard classic approach. The message is clear, fun first, no matter what the waves are, small or big, powerful or weak, hollow or mushy, have fun. There are no bad waves…

Juliette Poncho

Juliette Poncho

Spring Series Lemon Poncho:
Made of a very comfortable terry Fabric, The Spring Series Lemon Poncho provides a soft feeling and some exceptional absorption properties, ideal to get dry after a swim or a surf session. The delicious lemon prints reminding sunny spring days present a cool and happy style for your beach days. Once you are ready to go out in the water, don’t worry your car keys are safely hooked on the chest pocket loop.

Lemon Poncho

Lemon Poncho

Native Series Poncho Morocco:
A surf trip from Safi to Taghazout, a visit to the Marrakech souk or an expedition through the desert, anyone one who has travelled to Morocco has been seduced by the traditional fabrics of this beautiful country. Patterns with geometrical forms, tribal symbols, and bright colors are often displayed on carpets or clothing. Created after a surf strike mission in around Essaouira, The Native Series Poncho Morocco is inspired from the Moroccan art and culture, a tribute to ancestral berbere traditions. It represents the warmth, the hospitality and the kindness of local people. The Large fit and hood reminds us the traditional outfits of the country.

Morrocco Poncho

Morrocco Poncho

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Retail Buyer’s Guides


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