The hardgoods categories were strong in 2020 despite the pandemic and lockdowns, but how much of a hit did the men’s apparel take?
The impact on the textile and clothing sector was very profound throughout the supply, distribution, and consumer chain. And after the reopening of commercial spaces, consumers see their space reduced due to strong measures to restrict the number of people in an enclosed space. But interestingly, yes, the hardgoods increased according to its sales, in the case of Lightning Bolt the 19% increase in surfboards compensated for some of the negative impacts of the textile.
Lightning Bolt holds a reputation for amazing surfboards. With our elemental symbol centered on the stringer, each board is iconic and beautifully encapsulates a style and grace designed to out the soul spirit with each surfer who rides them.
Has the COVID-19 affected your 2021 collections? (delays, range postponed, carryovers…)
Yes, without a doubt, that affected, when the world closed to try to limit the highest peak of the pandemic, all partner businesses closed as well, suffering from drastic reductions in human resources, prolonged lay-offs, that’s why our collection presentation from SS21, the key parts were greatly reduced, adding the installed panic factor that in the course of expeditions many parts were lost, several sequential acts and of negative consequence as a result of this framework. However, in this last orderly and organized the last quarter of the year, we managed to keep planning at a cruising pace, but always with many limitations. This year of 21 is very important for Lightning Bolt because it is its 50th anniversary. we are adapting to this new reality and we hope that our anniversary will be celebrated in a big way and that the tenants that fight to keep their businesses and continue to provide a good service to their customers celebrate with us, digitally
What are your collection stories for SS21?
For SS21 we have 3 stories, the most important one is the one that Lightning Bolt celebrates its 50th anniversary and invite everyone to celebrate with us.
In the Summer of 2021, we celebrate our 50th anniversary. Fifty years ago, Gerry and Jack were busy turning a nature-inspired symbol into the most powerful icon of the surfing world and opening a style of surfing that became synonymous with the Lightning Bolt label they crafted under. Today Lightning Bolt is still a symbol that embodies a collective and universal common heritage that represents the true spirit of surfing and inspires one of the most iconic lifestyles ever.
The second story is related to human action and interference in the environment:
We named it a Call to Action. We feel harmony with the ocean and with nature; we feel humbled by its raw power; we feel reverence for all wildlife and the world within it; we feel grateful. Nature is our escape and our arrival. Wilderness can bring us together, protect us against climate changes, and help us live longer and with better health. We need to collectively decide to live as being part of the story and share more with each other and the natural world.
And the last but not least, we decided to reinforce the original and authenticity that Lightning Bolt has as its origins and wanted to give homage to our birthplace with a capsule collection: Hawaii
Hawaiian good vibes and wise words are still and ever more relevant today. This is our way of living, our home, our family, our nature. Our capsule of tees is a glimpse of why the Hawaiian culture is so inspiring and is loved so much around the world. The Hawaiian life principles are our glossary to preserve the people and the planet: ALOHA, OHANA, MOANA, MAHALO, MALAMA.
How do you mix heritage patterns and colors (floral/tropical prints/SoCal mood) with different styles?
The prints and patterns were born from a collage of iconic statements and vintage graphics, taking us to the universe of wild adventures, surf trips, and other treasures. An Aloha spirit with an Urban Heritage that leads to items finished in relaxed tailoring, with an easy, off-hand sort of elegance.
Reinforced by the color palette that features a blend of strong tones with the effects of sunshine and sand are recreated through clever coloring techniques and faded finishes.
Do the outdoor and streetwear styles influence your design?
Yes, they have a strong influence, Lightning Bolt´s design, functionality, and comfort are enclosed in versatile pieces that provide high performance at all moments, during the day, and thanks to essential silhouettes emphasized by refined finishes and cuts.
Influenced by outdoor and street we are inspired and create the right products at the right time for tomorrow’s consumer.
Which fabrics and (durable) materials are you relying on for SS21?
Currently, we are relying on a variety of materials to produce the best quality and durability of our products but most importantly we are choosing our materials taking into consideration the environmental impact that they may have. As a brand connected to the environment we always try to reduce our ecological footprint.
Are you anticipating an Olympics boost on the Surf Apparel sell-ins after this year’s postponement?
I believe because of the pandemic, in 2021, the expected year for the Olympics, there will be a big boost in the sell-ins since people will be waiting for this event for more than a year. If the pandemic doesn’t evolve and things go back to normal «, people will be more willing to buy more again.
Please name and describe your 3 highlight pieces and items that retailers should order
As a together celebration and for the allover fans the celebration tee. The waves tee that inspires who and we love to watch the sunset, but the ocean is a setting for our lives. We can be brought together by the wilderness, protect us against climate changes, and help us live longer and with better health. And an iconic Hawaiian shirt updated to the street style in cotton pique, extra comfort, and extra style