PARIS — American professional surfer Kelly Slater is separating from sponsor Quiksilver after 23 years and launching his own brand as part of a new partnership with Kering.
This story first appeared in the April 2, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Kering confirmed the partnership with Slater, adding that it would be “a multilayered relationship” with Kering “supporting Slater in the launch and the development of his own apparel brand, acting as an operational partner providing assistance where possible in areas like sourcing, logistics, e-commerce, etc.”
Slater would become an ambassador for Kering and take part in initiatives across some of the group’s brands, namely in relation to sustainability, it added. A spokeswoman for the group declined to say whether Kering would take a stake in Slater’s brand.
Slater, 42, earlier took to his Facebook page to reveal the news. He paid tribute to Quiksilver, which signed him to a 100 percent sponsorship deal in 1990.
“There aren’t enough pages or words to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the experiences that have come from this relationship we’ve shared together. So it is with a heavy heart and a lifetime of positive memories that I move in a new chapter of my life,” he wrote.
“For years I’ve dreamt of developing a brand that combines my love of clean living, responsibility and style. The inspiration for this brand comes from the people and cultures I encounter in my constant global travels, and this is my opportunity to build something the way I have always wanted to,” he added.
Slater did not provide any additional details about the partnership with Kering. “They share my values and have the ability to support me in all of my endeavors. I look forward to exploring all of the new opportunities this partnership will provide,” he said.
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