What was thought to be the best prank in the surf industry has turned into a reality. Kelly Slater has officially launched his new clothing brand, “Outerknown.”
On April Fools’ Day, Slater announced his split from Quicksilver, his sponsor of 23 years. Fans across the world questioned the news with serious doubt. After all, it was April Fools’ Day. As the day progressed, the skepticism faded, replaced by rumors of what could come from surfing’s 11-time World Champion.
It has never been a secret that Slater is an avid environmentalist. Slater often speaks out about the importance of raising awareness for social and environmental issues. His new company was rumored to be something like Patagonia.
Reassurance that this wasn’t a joke was established when Slater issued a statement including his future plans for his company:
“As I contemplate the amazing opportunities I’ve had in life and the amount of good fortune I’ve encountered along the way, I’m excited to announce today that I’m embarking on a new journey. For years I’ve dreamt of developing a brand that combines my love of clean living, responsibility and style. The inspiration for this brand comes from the people and cultures I encounter in my constant global travels and this is my opportunity to build something the way I have always wanted to.
So I am excited to tell you that I’ve chosen The Kering Group as a partner. They share my values and have the ability to support me in all of my endeavors. I look forward to exploring all of the new opportunities this partnership will provide, but this hasn’t happened by chance, nor has it happened without an incredible amount of work by a few key individuals. As I embark on this new journey, I am sticking to my gut instincts and the belief that your dreams can become reality with the right intentions. I look forward to sharing more about it soon…”
In the coming months, the speculation progressed about when Slater’s new company would be released. Nobody “truly” knew anything, until yesterday when Slater released two Instagram posts explaining Outerknown.
“It’s been a long time coming and I’m proud to let you know that the clothing brand I’ve been working on has launched our ‘Handshake Website’ at Outerknown.com this morning. Our team, led by designer John Moore and supported by our strategic partner, The Kering Group, are tirelessly working on a brand that blends the relationship between style, sustainability, and travel. I believe we have an obligation to build better products and understand the way our consumption impacts the world around us. In saying that, the focus of our brand is to make a product that has a positive effect on every possible level. I look forward to telling you more as the brand develops and beginning today you can follow our daily feed at @Outerknown to learn more. #Outerknown #BeLikeWater #LaunchingFall2015”
“As global citizens, we have an obligation to build better products and understand the way our consumption impacts others. I am constantly traveling and observing the multi-cultural world we live in, and Outerknown is a brand that references my travels and stands for the values I believe in.”– Kelly Slater, Founder and Global Ambassador #Outerknown #FindyourOuterknown #JourneytoTransparency #thisisacleanslate @kellyslater (photo captured on the road by @morganmaassen)”
Today, after Slater’s release, a new rumor is circulating: “What does this mean for the future of Kelly Slater? Could this be a transition into a new, less-trophied stage of his career, or a new motivation for another world title?” With Slater, you can always expect the unexpected.
I can assume Outerknown will not be solely marketed for surf, but it will – at its core – be a surf company. Instead of your typical “baggies,” a new option will be on your shelf, geared towards a global good.
The Outerknown ripple has begun, and we’re all ready to ride the wave Slater is about to take us on. More details will be released about the brand as soon as they become available. We can expect a launch in fall 2015.