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The goal is to appeal to an older customer than Roxy and get Quiksilver into new distribution channels, such as boutiques. The company is also targeting better department stores and select surf shops.
One challenge for the new line, however, is that it is debuting just as Quiksilver is cutting expenses. The slowing economy and the company's struggling hardgoods division are dragging down financial results. Last week, Quiksilver executives said the company is looking to cut $20 million in annualized expenses.
The last time Quiksilver hit a rough patch after the terrorist attacks in 2001, it eliminated its "Alex Goes" line, also aimed at women.
A top executive at the company didn't answer a question I posed about if Quiksilver is committed to the line despite the tough economic environment and company cost cutting.
But Quiksilver spokesman Joshua Katz said there are several indicators the company is committed to Quiksilver Women's, including that the line is being launched simultaneously around the world; a full design team is in place; and a robust marketing campaign is supporting the initiative.
I asked Summer Rapp some questions about the direction of the line. She's the vice president of design for Quiksilver Women's. Previously, she was the design director for Volcom Girls. I recently talked to a big fan of Summer's: Karen Meena, vice president of buying and merchandising for Ron Robinson at Fred Segal. Karen told me she loved Volcom Girls under Summer's leadership. Karen's not planning on carrying Quiksilver Women's at this time, however.
Here's Summer's take on Quiksilver Women's. The photos are from the advertising campaign.
We are designing for radiant women of independent vision, 18-24 years of age.
The fashion direction of this collection falls into the mindset of what Quiksilver is all about. An uncomplicated journey. From girl to woman. From student to professional. From experimentation to discovery. The collection is about the journey of becoming.
The collection is made up of 91 styles for Fall 08.
My design inspiration stems from world travels, which continue to keep me inspired and innovative.
Quiksilver is what the Roxy woman graduates on to be. It's a new, feminine interpretation of the Quiksilver spirit. The authenticity of Quiksilver comes from feminizing the same ideals that currently reside in masculine form in Quiksilver young mens.