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Levine of RVCA on PacSun and SIMA award

By Tiffany Montgomery
June 19, 2008 5:51 AM

There seems to be a lot happening with RVCA these days. The company won men's apparel brand of the year last month at the SIMA Image Awards in Cabo San Lucas. PacSun CEO Sally Frame Kasaks mentioned RVCA as a new brand PacSun is featuring during PacSun's recent earnings conference call and at an investors conference in New York.

I wanted to catch up on all the news so I touched base with RVCA President Dan Levine, who answered some questions.

RVCA SIMA awardWhat does the SIMA award mean to RVCA?

The SIMA award was a tremendous honor for RVCA. It was incredibly humbling to be nominated with four brands that have been industry icons for several decades. Founder/Creative Director Pat Tenore (above right with award) and I believe this recognition validates RVCA's brand mission. RVCA will continue to relentlessly focus on telling the RVCA brand story - a platform for multiple subcultures expressed through RVCA athletes, the Artist Network Program and our advocates.


How do you think it can help the company?

It's a prestigious award and interestingly generated a lot of buzz with our international accounts and distributors. We are definitely grateful for the support from all the retailers and industry peers that acknowledged our brand with their vote. Big thanks to everyone who has stood by RVCA every season from day one and voted for us. At the end of the day RVCA will always be measured by our product and execution.


RVCA was up against the industry heavyweights. Some observers think RVCA's win symbolizes a changing of the guard. What does RVCA think about that?

A changing of the guard is nice to hear and complimentary, however, hopefully it symbolizes that our industry is in a constant state of evolution. All brands and retailers need to be constantly vigilant, fluid, dynamic. Product is at the heart of what we do and every brand has to recognize that the market has sped up. Our consumer is bombarded by new ideas everyday - almost every hour when you consider the ever growing influence that product blogging has had on our fan base. Our industry needs all brands to deliver powerful collections and all retailers to create store experiences that are exciting. It would be a death sentence to our industry if there was never any change.


When did PacSun stores begin carrying RVCA? How many PacSun doors is RVCA in and what categories?

In May, RVCA delivered a focused collection of summer product across all categories into 25 select PacSun doors throughout the country. PacSun executed a tasteful rollout of the RVCA brand in that small store group. It was done with a lot of respect for communicating our brand message.


RVCA waited longer than many brands to sell to PacSun. Why?

It was a combinations of things. RVCA had to be confident that we could internally manage this growth. RVCA is a small fast growing brand and retailers have been very understanding and supportive of our brand. Over the past year, PacSun has executed an ambitious plan to remodel their stores, improved the content and look of their website, and PacSun continues to get more involved in our industry by sponsoring the USA Surf Team, USASA Snowboard Team, and some skate events. The combination of these initiatives helped make the decision. It seems like PacSun is more willing to take risk with product.


Will the PacSun sales give RVCA more resources to invest in RVCA's business or grow in other ways?

All sales growth is invested into growing the brand via retail and grass roots marketing. RVCA is supported by the best core retailers in surf and skate. There are so many great shop owners that took a chance by putting RVCA into their doors when Pat Tenore launched the brand. They helped make the brand. We want to make sure that we are giving back to them.



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