ASB MAGAZINE: Earlier this year ASB caught up with Outerknown’s local agent Simon Krite from Melbourne based agency The Brandroom. Outerknown has been building its base down under for a few years now, first establishing itself at locations such as David Jones, The Iconic, Incu, Deus Ex Machina, Flannel Menswear and General Pants. Notably the only independent surf store originally stocking the brand was Gold Coast’s Alfred’s Apartment.
“We are huge fans of the brand,” Danny Nielsen of Alfreds Apartment told ASB. “But unfortunately, the price point didn’t quite seem to work in store sitting alongside some of our other brands. In saying that, the brand was still in its early stages and I think is has started to gain a lot more traction here in Australia as the public begin to identify more with it, and their back story. There is every chance we will give it another go in the near future,” says Nielsen.
This week, Outerknown unveiled a collection called Project Nomadic which includes lower price points aimed at the surf market. Key pieces include organic T-shirts from A$40 a technical board short ‘the Kelly short’ from just A$80 (TBC) for release in January. The Kelly short will be the first signature piece in the Outerknown line and the start of the brands launch into the Australian surf market.
Defining the Project Nomadic line Outerknown CEO Mark Walker told Transworld Business that the products were designed with the nomadic surfer top of mind so they deliver on comfort and function “without emptying their wallet.”
“When Outerknown launched, ‘Sustainability for all’ was the goal, and the launch of Project Nomadic gets us one step closer to that goal,” Mark Walker.
“Surf is at the core of who we are as a brand, and the plan was always to go into this market and after this consumer. We wanted to wait until we could deliver a line like Project Nomadic with the quality, style and price that the customer deserves from Outerknown and still stand for our Sustainability goals.”
“Specifically, to surf shops we will use a segmented strategy to assort and style key Outerknown products the way we feel that the consumer shopping in these locations will want to wear it.”
“We will learn from the launch and decide next steps around distribution after we see how the customer reacts. We took the right amount of time to release it and we want to take the same approach to launching it successfully.”
According to Walker there are three key strategies that allow Outerknown to offer the same high level of sustainable goods at more affordable price points:
The first is Outerknown has developed a network of partners and suppliers over the past few years who are working with the company to make it easier and more affordable.
Secondly the brand will shift to a more direct to consumer approach through Outerknown.com.
And finally, by building relationships with vendors and taking larger fabric and trim positions Outerknown can pass those savings along to the consumer through lower prices.
“Our goal isn’t to be a niche fashion brand, we want to create a line of clothing that anyone can enjoy and appreciate and help move the needle in sustainability,” concludes Walker.
Early reactions to the range are strong says Simon Krite and The Brandroom are engaging with key retailers across Australia and New Zealand over the coming weeks.
“We were we one of the first in Australia to offer the brand. But we were happy to give it a go, and see how things evolve and look at it again,” said Danny Nielsen.
For the full interview with Kelly Slater, Mark Walker and Simon Krite, check out the November issue of ASBMAG or subscribe today at http://www.asbmag.com/subscriptions