By  on September 12, 2007

SAN DIEGO — Junior clothing brands in the action sports industry replaced the "surf's up" slogan with a more fashionable one for spring: "Think pink" — and teal, yellow, purple and any other bright color pulled from a Pop Art palette.

At the ASR Trade Expo, which ended a three-day run at the San Diego Convention Center here Sunday, vendors turned back to the Eighties, replacing the once ubiquitous hibiscus with geometric prints such as triangles and hexagons. Fox overdyed jeans in turquoise and purple, Hurley gave voile slipdresses more gravity with colorblocking and Insight contrasted red oversize buttons on a royal blue jumper.

These trends exemplify the action sports labels' efforts to offer more fashion. And it seemed that items such as high-waist denim, which emerged just two years ago in the contemporary market, have trickled down more quickly to the sector often associated with boardshorts. For instance, Volcom introduced denim shorts with a rise so high the waistband hits the rib cage, and O'Neill offered a jean with a 9.5-inch rise, 24-inch leg opening and double-yoke detailing on the back. Both wholesale for less than $30.

"We just want to make sure we keep our customer interested [with trendy items]," said Volcom spokeswoman Amy Lee. "You're not just competing against Roxy and Hurley. You're competing against Old Navy and Forever 21."

In the face-off against vertical retailers, Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Volcom plans to open a new branded store in Japan in October and another in Berkeley, Calif., next year, expanding its roster of six shops.

The dress was updated in new fabrications and silhouettes, such as baggy T-shirt styles wholesaling for $13 and $14 from Volcom, a $22 satin tube minidress from Irvine, Calif.-based Lost and a $24 maxi dress enhanced with smocking at the chest from Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Roxy.

Vans and Few tried designing frocks for the first time. Cypress, Calif.-based Vans introduced three styles, including a $24 black-and-gray checkered minidress with a cutout back, and New Zealand's Few also offered a trio, sprucing up a $36 long halter dress with colorblocking and a screen print of a tree in kelly green or electric blue.

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