Kelly Slater’s new brand Outerknown is not a traditional surf brand. It’s not going head to head with Billabong, Quik or Rip Curl but instead has positioned itself in highish-end fashion where people are prepared to pay $425 for a hoodie. It may come as a surprise for many surfers who today woke to news that Outerknown is officially open for business. Kelly made the announcement on Instagram and people were quick to express their disdain at the price range.
“Never thought is see the day @kellyslater sold out. My idol since childhood has now been tainted with these INSANE Louis Vuitton pricing. What surfer in his right mind would pay for this besides Beverly Hills poser clowns. Fucking goon.”
“225$ a sweater… You drunk”
“Are those prices for real?! Way too expensive. Not cool at all!”
“Can i finance a beanie ? @kellyslater”
“I’d have to agree with everyone else, love what you’re doing but the price point is way off the mark.”
If you trawl through most of the 770 comments (so far) you’ll find most people are especially outraged with price of the baby alpaca beanie, which comes in at $95.
But why so angry? Kelly has always set out to be different and partnering with award winning designer John Moore was a clear indication that he was looking at an alternative business model. As one commentator said, “This is a step above a surf brand” and that means pricing, styles and materials will be reflective at the hip pocket.
“I created Outerknown to smash the formula. To lift the lid on the traditional supply chain and prove that you can actually produce great looking menswear in a sustainable way…the last two years have been a huge eye-opener for me. It’s clear now just how challenging it is for any brand to put sustainability at the forefront of their business and I’m proud that we’re one of the few taking the lead,” said Kelly on his website.
While the pricing will repeal most surfers away fashion and style experts GQ are already applauding it. They’ve got a gallery of “Kelly Slater Cool-Ass Surf New Surf Line” live on their website and are a big fan of his vision.
Whether you decide to swipe the credit card or not it’s hard not to appreciate Kelly’s innovation. At 43-years old and with his retirement just around the corner the 11x world champ has planned a very busy future ahead.