Rusty Apparel Relaunches in Europe

Heritage brand Rusty is relaunching its mens and womens Apparel range in Europe. We spoke with Rusty’s  Christoph Gross to learn more about the new set up.

What was the thinking behind relaunching Rusty in Europe?

Rusty, established in 1985, is a globally recognized brand. Rich in history and well known for the R.Dot. Maintaining a presence in Europe is crucial for Rusty. The brand was always available in Europe, but the newly created set up ensures efficient distribution and supply of our products across the entire European market. The headquarter for Europe with a fully operational warehouse is based in the north of Germany closed to the dutch border.



Please give us a short history of the brand

Founded by Rusty Preisendorfer in San Diego, California, the Rusty DNA was set in stone back in the late 80’s. Born when like-minded people came together in pursuit of an ideology that meant something more; creation, pride and resilience. They were a mishmash of surfers, shapers, skaters, musicians and artists all vying for a shot to set the pace for the future.

Rusty began as a surfboard label but the brand quickly became synonymous with surfing, known for its innovative board designs and distinctive ‘R-dot’ logo. Expanding into apparel in the 1990s it maintains well known for their clothing lines.

How is the brand now distributed across Europe?

Over the past year we shaped a sales team of independent agents and distributors across Europe. They all access our operations and warehouse in Germany. Sales management and marketing are also co-ordinated from there. We work very close with the offices in Australia and USA to make sure we follow the global brand direction.



What is the first feedback in the market on bringing back Rusty?

The response we are getting from the market is amazing. We started with Autumn 24 as our first indent order season. Not usual, but a great opportunity for us to re-enter the market showcasing our products and get interested retailers prepared for the upcoming Spring Summer 25 season. Our sales team did an amazing job and we have been able to open 60 doors across Europe. Quite a few accounts also bought into Spring Summer 24. We are excited for the upcoming sales campaign.



Please take us through your s/s 2025 brand highlights?

The Spring/Summer 2025 collection is driven by Rusty’s surf roots infused with contemporary trends. Our range is quite big and we can offer both, products that align with the heritage of the brand as well as more trendy and fashion forwarded pieces.

This will be visible in our graphics for Tees and AOPs. Boardshorts are very 90s driven and iconic with longer leg width. It is definitely worth taking a look at the new range.

We are also very excited to see the performance of our pants and denim category, which is currently doing very well in Australia and America.



How do you see the European Surf Apparel market developing over the next few years?

The increasing popularity of surfing as both a sport and a lifestyle choice should promise substantial growth within our market. We are also seeing global trends emerge in markets such as Australia and America that we have adopted that we being successful in the European Surf apparel market. Aside from this, we as a brand have re focused some of our attention to that younger customer that is first hearing about Rusty as a brand. This has already begun being successful for us direct to consumer and we are really excited to go to our wholesalers with the new confidence in this customer growth segment.



How will you be marketing the brand across Europe?

We adopt and localize the global marketing strategy and campaigns for the European Market. For Rusty’s new surf movie “Revival” we are working on a global premiere tour with a few stops in Europe. Digital content that highlights our brand story is important to us but we also want to be physically present and get involved with the communities. Furthermore, we plan to support our retail partners with co-branded campaigns and in-store promotions to drive traffic and conversions. Our goal is to create a unified brand experience across the entire chain.

Lastly, activating customers that are fans of the brand around Europe is a focus for us. We plan on rolling out a UGC campaign around key locations in the EU focusing on new customer growth in key geographic locations that not only support our brand B2C but support the areas in which we have seen wholesale support as well.



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