Billabong UK territory manager Joe Murphy said the surfwear brand had broadened its surf-led personality to cater for more fashion-conscious consumers, while also including heritage surf styles for more traditional customers.
“Our designers have been researching trends and reacting to what is going on,” he said. “We now have styles to cater for the younger cool dudes as well as pieces for the more traditional Billabong customers.”
Skinny jeans, neon colours, V-neck tops, cardigans and custom fleeces have been popular with buyers, he said.
Simon Baird, manager of Boardwise in Chiswick, west London, agreed that boardsports labels have become more trend-oriented in recent seasons.
“There is definitely more fashion coming into the collections with the kinds of prints and styles they are going for,” he said. “Skinny jeans are coming through from more labels.”
Natalie Bisset, retail buyer at surfwear brand Animal, said that for women the brand was focusing on luxurious fabrics and detailing such as devoré burn out patterns, and tailored pieces made with fashion-led fabrics, while bleached wash skinny jeans offer a twist on a UK staple.
Bisset said: “Other key garments for women include skinny black jeans and cords, the gilet, angora cable knit jumpers, long-line cardigans and knitted dresses.” She added that trends in the autumn 08 collection include plaid and all-over repeat prints.
Animal retail buying director Tim Metcalfe said that for men the brand’s logo was still key, but is increasingly being presented in more muted shades to offer more mature customers a sophisticated option. He added: “Attention is being given to styles with small branding for a cleaner look. This is becoming more apparent in the UK surf market.”