Quiksilver is trying to lure teen shoppers from fast fashion with a new junior line to be marketed under its namesake brand.
This story first appeared in the August 3, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Starting next spring with more than 100 pieces, the line is intended to complement the surf styles from the company’s existing junior label, Roxy, and serve as a bridge for customers to its two-year-old young contemporary line sold under the Quiksilver label.
Quiksilver isn’t concerned that the line might cannibalize sales of Roxy and its young contemporary business, said Kenna Florie, vice president of sales and marketing for the company’s women’s division, including the junior line. Although Roxy targets a 17-year-old customer, the junior collection aims to reach a 19-year-old, and the young contemporary line pursues women age 25 who have outgrown Roxy and other junior brands, she said.
“We see waves in the marketplace where girls go to fast fashion and they stop to look at brands,” Florie said. “It’s time to look at brands again. Girls, especially Gen-Y, they do have a loyalty to them. Even though fast fashion is the big player right now, I think they realize it’s disposable clothing. They’re not looking to fast fashion for a feeling or emotion.”
Seeking a quick global launch of the junior line, Quiksilver hired Pencil on Paper Studio, a Culver City, Calif.-based creative consultancy founded by John Moore, former creative director of Southern California sportswear brand Modern Amusement. Quiksilver said that, from time to time, it has used some outside resources to augment design, but this is the first time it has outsourced an entire line. Moore and his team designed the apparel, which will be introduced simultaneously in the U.S., Europe and Canada. Quiksilver is overseeing the designs and handling sales, marketing and merchandising.
The company is unveiling the initiative as it focuses on its trio of core action sports brands — the namesake flagship label as well as Roxy and DC, the skate-centric shoe and apparel line. Quiksilver sold its portfolio of women’s swimwear brands in April, including Raisins and Leilani, to New York-based AOM Holdings LLC for an undisclosed sum.
Priced similarly to Roxy, ranging from $24 for T-shirts to $88 for dresses, the junior line is promoting what Florie called “modern coastal classics.” Whimsical prints in subdued colors underscore the feminine, romantic feel. There are trippy images of doves in psychedelic hues, a blue-and-white geometric pattern evoking a Moroccan minaret, a collage of pastel-colored flowers and a medley of swans with pagodas, among other prints. Sporty separates range from khaki shorts with checkered panels on the side and long-sleeve chambray shirts and maxidresses to string bikinis, poncholike hooded sweatshirts and patchwork jeans.
Florie said Quiksilver will sell the junior line in surf specialty stores, on its Web site and in its more than 200 branded stores. She declined to estimate first-year sales. The company is prepping a marketing campaign touting the line in the spring issues of Foam and Nylon magazines.
“Our biggest emphasis will be brand awareness,” she said. “We need to teach the girl that Quiksilver makes clothing for her.”
In the fiscal year ended in October, Quiksilver reported a net loss of $192 million on sales of $2 billion, compared with a net loss of $226.3 million on sales of $2.26 billion a year ago. Roxy accounted for 33 percent of sales in 2009.