After more than 20 years in the men’s wear business, it’s fairly easy for Chris Manley to get retailers to take his call. But if they didn’t think his latest venture had potential, that’s where the goodwill would have stopped.
Lucky for him, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and a handful of specialty stores signed on for the launch season of Surfside Supply Co., a casual sportswear brand with a relaxed beach-inspired sensibility. Nordstrom and Amazon will add the line for fall.
Unlike his prior experience at Donna Karan, Hugo Boss, Theory and Converse, the personal stakes are higher for Surfside Supply Co., a brand Manley created with Zhu Jiang, a Chinese manufacturer and sourcing agent.
“I wanted to man my own ship,” Manley said in an interview in his 30th Street showroom in New York. “I was tired of the corporate life.”
So shortly after leaving Converse, he partnered with Jiang to create a brand with a similar aesthetic to the popular Tommy Bahama collection, but aimed at a younger man. “Tommy Bahama has a very nice business, but it’s geared to a more mature guy. Our guy is 35 to 45,” he said. “I saw an opportunity to do something about the beach, and Surfside is about this kind of life.”
The launch collection, which has around 42 stockkeeping units, encompasses garment-dyed hoodie sweatshirts, slub cotton polos, cotton chinos and patterned woven shirts. Shorts and swimwear are also part of the mix. Everything is washed for a “friendly, warm feel and a nice touch. Nothing is chunky.”
Price points include wovens for $115 “with a margin of 70 percent,” he said, swimwear at $78 to $88 and fleece hoodies for $125. “It’s similar to a Tommy Bahama price point,” he said.
All polos and T-shirts have tails, every item incorporates a signature cover-lock and chain stitch as well as a Surfside emblem patch with the brand’s name and an illustration of a wave. “It’s a really tight collection,” he said, noting that there will be four deliveries: spring, summer, fall and holiday/resort. Among the best-selling items for spring were Japanese chambray and microplaid woven shirts as well as a washed crewneck sweater.
Manley, whose background is primarily in product design and development, is overseeing sales and marketing for the line, and works with a technical team in Asia on the design of the collection.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)