ASB MAGAZINE Creative branding executive, Michael Marckx, has joined VonZipper (VZ), as Global General Manager – his appointment underscoring a recommitment to the brands style and performance projected through the prism of its irreverent legacy. After decades of brand building and turnarounds, Marckx will lend his unique talents with product development, storytelling, strategy, culture and experience curation to VZ and parent company, Billabong Group.

Marckx was the driving force in the turnaround of eyewear company SPY Inc (OTCBB: XSPY) with 14 quarters of successive year-over-year growth. Happy Lens technology was born under his leadership, along with a vibrant brand culture marked by innovative products and events that established SPY’s leadership position in the market. Most recently, Marckx has been focused on developing new brands and marketing strategies as founder of the Creative Disruption marketing agency, while also lecturing at universities and graduate schools around Southern California.

“I feel very enthusiastic and lucky to be joining GT and the rad VZ team,” says Marckx. “It’s easy to see that the eyewear category is ripe for some freshness and a bit of unfettered happiness. VZ’s heritage of individualism and irreverent brand positioning provides us an opportunity to shock and awe the market in unique and inspiring ways.”

VZ founder Greg “GT” Tomlinson said: “Michael brings a unique combination of left- and right-brained freakiness that is the kind of disciplined yet spontaneous energy the VZ brand will thrives with. Not only are we going to expand the VZ product offering, our brand is going to stand out in fun ways just as it did originally, as we have done since rocking the category in 2000.

“Michael’s industry peers and coworkers have described him as one of the best strategic and creative thinkers they’ve worked with. He has been responsible for some incredible marketing campaigns, products and world-class events. He not only has a strong understanding of youth sub-culture, but also advertising, branding and marketing, factors that VZ will continue to focus on to set itself apart in the sector.

“His appointment is a recommitment to the brand’s celebration of the individual and a healthy disrespect for blending in, as we look to stand out in the crowd, create new excitement and generally make people smile again,” said GT.

Billabong Group CEO Neil Fiske added: “We’re thrilled to have Michael joining the VZ team and the group more broadly. He’s a tremendous creative talent and brand builder. It’s not easy to find that kind of creativity combined with such rich experience and success in our industry. He’ll be a game changer. One thing is for sure—it’s going to be fun to watch this next chapter of the VonZipper story unfold.”

Based in California, Marckx also held roles as Vice-President of global marketing at Globe; global Vice-President of marketing/creative director at Ocean Pacific (Op); Vice- President of marketing/entertainment at Bluetorch; and publisher of Surfing magazine. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of the Surfrider Foundation, the world’s largest network focused on coastal conservation.