O’Neill Wetsuits S/S 2024 WETSUITS Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Wetsuits S/S 2024 Retail Buyer‘s Guide
Brand:  O'Neill
Interviewee: Tom Copsey – Product Manager

After the delivery delays and poor sell-in of last summer, was 2022 a bad year for spring-summer wetsuits? And how is 2023 doing so far?

O’Neill Wetsuits had a strong summerin 2022 with only a few cancellations due to retailers finding the general retail landscape challenging. Overall it was our biggest year ever. 2023 was always going to be a smaller year than 2022 as the market ‘right-sized’ itself, however, we are still trading above our budgets and well above pre-Covid levels.

Summer was, in fact, not the problem. Winter delays and associated overstock are causing space issues, but summer products have continued to sell in and out quite well.

WMS_Hyperfreak_2MM_SS Full

WMS_Hyperfreak_2MM_SS Full

What are the biggest trends in buying habits nowadays? Buy less often but high end, go for cheap options, wait for sales period…

The main trend we see is caution. Dealers are slow to place Preorders while they see through a full season first, and the public are saving their purchase decisions until the weather and waves align. Few are confident enough to plan well ahead.

The women category has energized summer wetsuit designs with the outbreak of multiple silhouettes (long jane, short john, wetsuit pants, etc.). Is this just a Insta fad or groundswell trend?

At O’Neill we’ve always had a wide selection of summer silhouettes in our women’s Bahia line so no massive additions for S24, just bringing back a retro Short Jane in recycled fabrics and introducing new S24 prints.Some of the more recent fashion trends such as zip placement and newer surface sports have influenced some of our re-designs and occasionally,we’ve taken inspiration from our back catalogue to make some tweaks.  We always work closely with our women’s team to ensure performance of the latest fabrics, fit and style elements combine to tick all the boxes.

Hyperfreak Comp X

Hyperfreak Comp X

Which style are the customer favorites nowadays: fullsuit, short sleeve, springsuit, fancy styles?

We ultimately sell more full suits than anything else.  All other styles are variants of these whether it’s a short sleeve full or just a john/jane.

Which are your key innovations in materials& constructions for SS24?

For S24 nearly all our UV and wetsuit styles are now using recycled jerseys on the inside and out. Most of our technical construction and fabric innovations tend to arrive in the fall/winter and carry through into summer.  TB3 and TB4 feature heavily throughout all our high-performance summer wetsuit styles including the introduction of a 3/2mm & 4/3mm Hyperfreak Wind with ‘covert drain system’ to eliminate any water build up in the lower legs.

Quick colors/graphics focus: will wetsuits mimick the surf apparel for SS24 with a comeback of bold colors?

S24 men’s UV has Jordy and Kolohe graphic collaborations on rash guards and hybrid sun shirts to merchandise with their signatureboard short lines. Our women’s/girl’s prints are shared with the S24 swim collection and casual beach range along with more global prints, these feature across UV protection, and Bahia or Epic wetsuit styles.  Bold colors and popping graphics always feature throughout our summer collection of wetsuits but there are more subtle tonal options or just black for those wanting to keep things stealth.

Hyperfreak Wind

Hyperfreak Wind

Apart from the material sourcing and production addressed in question #5, do you implement complementary durability campaigns? (partnerships, give-back actions, recycling…

We are working with several recycling partners globally to ensure our wetsuits are recycled in numerous ways, right down to reusing zips for repairs to older products.

Key Products

1WMS HYPERFREAK 2MM CHEST ZIP S/S FULL: New for SS2024, the WMS Hyperfreak 2MM Chest Zip S/S Full is made of our TechnoButter 3 and TB3X neoprene containingrecycled fibers in the liner fabrics. This exclusive technology weighs 20% lighter with 30% less water absorption than any other premium neoprene. Minimal seam design, lightweight, quality construction, and attention to detail make the this suit another team-inspired favorite.

2HYPERFREAK COMP-X 2MM ZIPLESS FULL: The New Hyperfreak Comp-X 2MM Zipless Full is constructed with Recycled TechnoButter 3X. This exclusive recycled technology allows you to perform at the highest level with construction so comfortable and light, you’d swear you were surfing naked.

3Hyperfreak Wind Chest Zip Full: The Hyperfreak Wind Wetsuit brings the ‘Feels like Freedom’ revolution to the world of wind-powered sports. Featuring the Covert Drain System (CDS), which reduces unwanted water build up in the lower leg, through perforated neoprene ankle cuffs and adjustable ankle straps.

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