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Here another brand update from Surf Expo.
I had a brief meeting with Steve Wilson, the new senior vice president of Quiksilver merchandise and design, who gave me some line highlights for fall. I also found out more about Steve’s background and how he arrived at Quiksilver.
Steve worked for Billabong for seven years with previous experience at O’Neill and Gotcha. He was semi-retired for about three years after leaving Billabong and was traveling, remodeling a house and playing lots of golf.
Eventually, though, “I was bored out of my mind,” he said.
He began consulting for Quiksilver in May of 2009 and six weeks later the company hired him full time.
“The people at Quiksilver have been really cool,” he said. “We’re on a positive roll, there’s positive momentum both at retail and within the building.”
With regard to trends for fall, Steve said Quiksilver’s Diamond Dobby performance boardshorts are retailing well, so Quiksilver is expanding the offering.
Wovens are trending well, but knits are slowing. Lightweight, long-sleeved wovens with vibrant colors are getting a good reaction, he said.
Fleece has moved to a jacket styling and in general fleece is trading well, Steve said.
Quiksilver’s denim business continues to be strong, but Quiksilver is also adding more suiting styled pants with tapered legs in “non-plaid plaids” meaning a very small subtle plaid that doesn’t look like plaid from a distance.
“Denim is great but at some stage the market has to show something new,” he said.
Quiksilver denim trends include a slimmer leg and darker washes.
Trends in walkshorts include a narrower leg.
I asked Steve about his thoughts on the assessment I hear from many in the industry that there is not enough newness out there.
“Sure you want newness in the marketplace but sellers want to count on winners,” he said.
Quiksilver will continue to show new styles, he said, but understandably retailers also want to back styles they know can sell.