Started back in 2012 when the world was supposedly going to end, Duvin Design Co., aka Filthy Flamingo Surf Gang, was launched under the careful guidance of Austin Duvall. The Florida-based fashion brand has set themselves apart from other competitors by applying unique aspects to each of their products, whether it’s pockets on the right side or sunglasses keepers on our tank tops — Duvin just wants to add a little radness to your day.
We recently interviewed Austin about his Florida-based apparel company and what he wants to do with it, as well as some bonus questions regarding things completely off-topic. Enjoy.
Let’s start off by giving me a brief background on yourself and how you ended up in Florida.
Austin: I was born and raised in Florida. My dad was a pro-water skier and Florida was the place to be for that. I grew up around all his sponsorships like O’neill, No Fear, Oakley etc. and started becoming more interested in the Industry. As I got older, I decided I wanted to get more involved, and here we are.
How did Duvin Design Company first begin? Where did the idea come from?
It started as an idea toward the end of high school, but was put on the backburner until after college. After I graduated college, I got together with some of my lifelong amigos and felt there was still an opportunity to do something unique in Florida. I remember growing up and freaking on what the surf brands were putting out because it was so unique at the time. But as I got older, the clothing in the market felt a little dull and our crew’s style got a little more unique. We got the sense there were other people out there that felt the same way.
There is obviously a lot of competition in this realm (apparel), so why do it?
For one, we had some experience in the industry. Growing up working at a surf shop, as well as interning for brands like Element, helped build the base for what we created. I also felt like the industry was so concentrated on the West Coast, and being based in Florida, we could speak to people on the East Coast first and then head west. When Duvin started, everyone was wearing super dark stuff. We saw an opportunity to put bright colors and pastels on everything and let people know we like to party 🙂
What was the inspiration behind Duvin? Was there something you wanted to mimic at first or was it always a unique approach?
I like to say it’s a modern take on retro-surf culture … which seems confusing. But really, we try to take those retro colors, patterns and fits and apply a more modern design to them. We are always trying to balance the line of super funky beach apparel vs. clothes to wear out at night. The line has definitely evolved throughout the years into the niche we have now. It started as a “surf lifestyle” brand and has evolved into this collection of creatives and athletes that are all just trying to have maximum fun and look good doing it.
What made you choose Orlando as a home base for Duvin?
We all grew up outside of Orlando and it just made sense. My parents actually own a surf shop, Curl by Sammy Duvall, so they let us steal some warehouse space early on, which was huge (once we outgrew our ware “house”). Thankfully we’re not too far from the beach, so it’s easy to escape every once in awhile.
What are the plans for the future of Duvin? What can people expect to see from you guys in the near future?
We named the brand “Duvin Design Company” because we always saw the opportunity to design and create things outside of clothing. So this month, we are launching a new line of accessories and home goods that include pillows, bags, posters, etc. We are also partnering up with some really cool retailers in 2017 that I think are going to surprise people. Stay tuned!
So, what’s your take on
shitpocalypse 2016 the 2016 presidential election?
Have you ever seen “Idiocracy?” I would highly suggest it to anyone that hasn’t … we feel eerily close to it haha.
But either way, I couldn’t feel less comfortable with either of the candidates, so Im just gonna go stick my head in the sand.
You guys have a killer presence on social media, but what do you love/hate about it?
It’s been pretty great all around. It’s just such a direct way to have a conversation with our consumer and get feedback on what we’re doing. Instagram has been huge in particular, because what we create is so visual. Sure, we get the occasional troll haha, but that’s how you know you’re on the right track … right?
What’s your favorite meme from 2016?
Can I switch to GIFs? I’m currently all in on Rick Flair GIFs. Highly recommended.
What’s the most annoying thing/person you have to deal with in the apparel business?
Manufacturing in general is pretty tough. It requires a lot of effort and it’s so easy for things to go wrong. It is usually the cause of most of headaches, but that’s the game we play.
So you guys are getting into women’s apparel finally? Where did that idea come from and what are you planning to do in that area?
We’re finally dipping our toes in the water with women’s apparel. A large portion of our customer base have been girls buying for themselves or making their boyfriends buy Duvin. So, we’ve always wanted to do something for them, but wanted it to be unique like the guy’s stuff we are already producing. With the launch of our new line, we are releasing nine full-workout sets with Duvin-styled prints on them. The feedback I have gotten on the samples has been insane, and I’m really excited for everyone to try them out. As for the future, we will see how this goes and move from there. The women’s apparel won’t have set lines like the men’s (three per year), so we will continue to just launch new and unique projects as we see fit.
Is there anything I missed?
I just want to say that this crew is just getting started! It has been super cool to see this community of people we are bringing together and how it’s been growing. I hope everyone will come check us out and drop us a line, we love talking with everyone whether you are interested in our products or not. Grab a drink and let’s party.
See everyone out there 🙂
DuvinDesign.com | Instagram : @duvin