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?
2022 was complicated indeed, for 2023 the situation is still complicated. On the classic wetsuits (3/2 and 4/3) there is still a lot of stock in the stores, and sell through is very slow. On the thinner product, situation is a bit better, but still slower than before covid.
What are the biggest trends in buying habits nowadays? Buy less often but high end, go for cheap options, wait for sales period…
Picture positioning on the fullsuits has always be middle to high end. We do not offer neithercheap construction nor materials, we know how durability will reduce the CO2 footprint of the product. Moreover, consumers are more likely to spend money to get a trustworthy product, we’ve seen great growth in our Equation and Dome series, and we believe it will continue when the market comes back to normal.
On the springsuits, we believe the consumers are slightly more price sensitive. Srpingsuits are not used as much as a fullsuits, therefore there is less expectation on construction. The style of the product is very important though.
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?
Indeed, we’ve seen many new style/fit/products on the market for women. Alternative surfing is on trend now, and this gear logically pops up with the trend. We start to see more and more alternative suits on the water as well but if we have a look at the figures, we continue to sell mostly “classic” spring suits. It is alsodirectly linked to distribution;alternative productsbelong to selective and premium wholesalestores. Only a few surf shops managed to sell these new items in important quantities.
Which style are the customer favorites nowadays: fullsuit, short sleeve, springsuit, fancy styles?
We observe a general trend consisting of thewetsuits integrating front zip and back zip: the no-zip is not a trend anymore; customers want to put the wetsuit on with more ease.
The customers rather like dark coulors like dark blue or black.
Moreover, there is a tendency for the Flex Skin : the more flexible the wetsuit is, better the customer will feel like a second skin.
In winter, customers will like better a 4/3 ou a 5/4, for example.
Which are your key innovations in materials & constructions for SS24?
Always improving our sustainable engineering, we integrate OYSTER SHELL POWDER as a biosource and renewable solution. The upgraded Eicoprene technology is featured on 100% of the wetsuits
The Eicoprene technology is Neoprene free, and there are no harmful chemicals inside. It is solvent free, the material isstretch, and procurates warmth. It’s also a guarantee of sustainability.
- Flex Skin: It is an eco-friendly and extremely stretch neoprene that allows full freedom of movement while surfing by being highly flexible around the arms, shoulders and upper body. This material is subject to minor cosmetic variations from regular use that will not affect the functionality or performance of the wetsuit.
- Dry Now: This is a high-performance technology using a recycled polyester blend of hydrophilic and hydrophobic fibers that wicks moisture away.
- WPF: Built using a 3D-knit construction, the lining provides warmth by trapping air between each loop. Plus, the denser fabric provides extra comfort.
Quick colors/graphics focus: will wetsuits mimick the surf apparel for SS24 with a comeback of bold colors?
The wetsuits will stay neutral with black and dark blue colors, and some floral touches will appear to underline the global spirit of the SS24 Picture’s artistic direction.
Apart from the material sourcing and production addressed in question #5, do you implement complementary durability campaigns? (partnerships, give-back actions, recycling…)
At Picture, our main motivation as a committed textile brand is to make the textile industry less polluting, more sustainableand more sober. There are multiple points of improvement, but 3 themes clearly stand out:
- Produce less, consume less, make clothes last and repair them
- Getting out of dependence on coal and gas to produceelectricity to power spinning, weaving and dyeing machines
- Getting out of oil for materials
Getting involved on these points leads to multiple additional benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air, soil and water pollution, pressure on workers, pressure on ecosystems, etc.
This is where our B Corp certification has meaning: usingbusiness and our influence as a force for good.
But let’s not beat about the bush, the transformation of the textile sector must be organized, planned, and politicized. It is not justa matter of «committed brands». The progression of committedbrands is not much use if at the same time unscrupulous brandsare also progressing in their traditional model. It’s a piling up, not a transition. This is why we need more laws and regulations to put everyone on the same footing, without unfair competition, Penalize the worstpractices, encourage the virtuous ones.
DOME W 4-3 FZ / WVT301
The Dome range of premium wetsuits combines flexible materials with our best draining technologies to provide you with unparalleled freedom of movement and minimal drying time between two sessions. We make them with the latest Eicoprene technology, a non-petroleum based synthetic foam derived from a mix of oyster shell powder, limestone, and recycled tires.
DOME W 5-4 HOOD FZ / WVT300
Our Dome range of premium wetsuits combines flexible materials with our best draining technologies to provide you with unparalleled freedom of movement and minimal drying time between two sessions.To laminate the recycled polyester lining we use Aqua-A™, a solvent-free water-based glue with no harmful chemicals. Designed for 41°F-53°F water, our flexible and heavy-duty power seams make the 5/4 Front Zip with hood stand out.
3_EQUATION W 4-3 FZ / WVT350
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The Equation range features our most advanced insulating technologies to keep you warm. Equation wetsuits are made with the latest Eicoprene technology, a non-petroleum based synthetic foam derived from a mix of oyster shell powder, limestone, and recycled tires. To laminate the recycled polyester lining we use Aqua-A™, a solvent-free water-based glue with no harmful chemicals.