We finally know about OuterKnown. Was it worth the wait? Well the surf community don’t seem to think so.
On the morning of the superheat, where Medina, Fanning and Slater were due to clash at JBay, the swell was too small and the day called off. Probably for the best as King Kelly is likely to be on the phone a lot today, the day after his launch.
Since the surprise (to us at least) parting from Quiksilver and the first hints and rumours of Outerknown little seems to have moved forward. All year we’ve been expecting him to paddle out of his newly acquired Firewires, bedecked in Outerknown decals but nope, nothing! The Quiksilver through to J-Bay he’s stuck fairly faithfully to his Al Merricks all of which have remained stolidly white.
It’s clear that our Champion of Champions has his eyes set on selling to his peers and bettersOur first look at King Kelly’s Collection was not through the surf industry at all but rather through GQ and that should have been our first clue. The second was the price tag. £50 for a basic t-shirt and if you want long sleeves with that well that’s an extra £25. The online backlash started the instant the prices were quoted. Sustainable, yes, aimed at surfers, not really, or at least not the folk I surf with. It’s clear that our Champion of Champions has his eyes set on selling to his peers and betters.
“I created Outerknown to smash the formula. To lift the lid on the traditional supply chain and prove that you can actually produce great looking menswear in a sustainable way” – Kelly Slater
Slater and designer John Moore are aiming to change things and that should be saluted. But where does that leave the rest of us?
Will Kelly be their first rider? Will it actually have anything to do with surfing other than being the brainchild of surfing’s greatest competitor? Does it even matter, as long as the industry is moving closer to sustainability? Let’s hope Outerknown becomes the paradigm shift it hopes to be, but the rest of us better get saving up.