Pro surfer Kelly Slater and designer John Moore prove they can conquer fashion as well as waves.”>
Even if you somehow live in a landlocked state with no access to the media, youll know the name Kelly Slater. The 11-time surfing world championwho holds the dual distinction of being both the youngest, at 20, and oldest, at 39, to hold the titlehas become a pop culture icon, dabbling in acting, modeling, writing, and music. Most recently, Slater parted ways with long-time clothing sponsor Quiksilver to launch his own brand, Outerknown.
Teaming up with celebrated designerhe was GQs Best New Menswear Designer in 2014and fellow surfer John Moore, the duo melded classic surf style with sophisticated casual design, all manufactured with sustainability as a key factor. While sustainably sourced surf wear isnt a wholly new concept, with heritage brands like Patagonia paving the way for decades, Outerknown is pushing the boundaries that have long divided outdoorsy and fashion brands. Inspired as much by travel and the lifestyle surrounding avid outdoorsmen, Outerknown have produced a line that is as at home in an upscale West Village caf or hip internet startup as it is jumping a puddle-jumper in search of secret breaks. Its a concept thats working, with the fledgling brand finding a home for their initial Fall 15 offering in big box fashion mainstays like Bloomingdales, Barneys, and Nordtsrom as well as core surf shops.
We caught up with John Moore to discuss the theory behind the label, and see whats next for them.
Since surf style is not new, why is it having such a big moment in menswear right now?
From my vantage point the surfing lifestyle has always been referenced in fashion, music, cinema, and art since the 50s & 60s. What started as this counter-culture tribe of men & women from Hawaii and southern California has evolved into this intangible cool that transcends eras and trends globally. Its a pretty romantic notionthe idea of a sundrenched lifestyle filled with traveling to exotic destinations while searching for the perfect wave. Designers love a little romance.