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Orca S/S 2024 WETSUITS Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Wetsuits S/S 2024 Retail Buyer‘s Guide
Brand:  Orca
Interviewee: Ian Clarke – Brand Manager, UK, Ireland & US

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?

Coming off the back of some very busy years and with the forecasted economic position for 2022, it was clear that the year wouldrealign the sales and focus on building strong retail partnerships for the future.

In 2023 we have seen Triathlon come back stronger and the recreational consumer has been impacted by the inflationary pressures. Consumers are being very careful with their investments, and we need to support them withproductthat offers the highest value in the market.

Vitalis Product

Vitalis Product

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

Consumers are very aware of where they are investing the money and evaluating everyaspects of their purchase. As a brand, we focus on offering the best technical value at each price point, while providing products that will last as long as possible and providing the performance requirements.

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?

With the increase of female participation across all watersports, there is a need to accommodate many different requirements/usages. Whether it’s different sizing or cuts. It is just to what level, as a brand can flex with the requirements while remaining commercial.

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

In our market, the fullsleave suit is still the favorite. We are seeing an uptick in shorties and neoprene swimwear.

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

As we operate a minimum of two-year retail cycle on our neoprene ranges, 2024 is a carryover wear.

That said, we are continuing the expansion of our Surf Range, by adding the Bossa product family. This new family allows us to bring the benefits of Yamamoto neoprene in Surf to a wider range of consumers.

We are also seeing a growing awareness of the benefits of Yamamoto within Surf, from our retailers to consumers.

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

We do get lots of requests for strong colourways. However, as we use Yamamoto neoprene throughout our entire range, it is not possible to go too crazy with printing colours due to our performance requirements.

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

Having reviewed all current options, taking into account elements such as the carbon footprint of the transportation involved in the give-away/recycling pathway and processing of wetsuits. We believe that currently the most impactful action is to improve our manufacturing standards to keeping reducing our warranty rate to reduce theunnecessary wastage.

Key Product

Vitalis Shorty Wetsuit

The Vitalis Shorty provides the perfect multi-use wetsuit, ideal for a swim in the summer while being able to jump onto your SUP or Kayak without having to worry about wear and tear. This crossover wetsuit allows for total freedom of movement and makes the wetsuit easy to put on and take off.



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