Outerknown, the new menswear label by champion surfer Kelly Slater, is more than your typical celebrity clothing line. The Kering-backed venture is Slater’s attempt to “smash the formula” by creating stylish garments for men in a sustainable and transparent manner.
The journey hasn’t been without its pitfalls, however. “The last two years have been a huge eye-opener for me,” Slater says. “It’s clear now just how challenging it is for any brand to put sustainability at the forefront of their business and I’m proud that we’re one of the few taking the lead.”
Despite its surfer roots, Outerknown is a sophisticated brand. With offerings that include recycled-polyester bomber jackets, wool-cashmere sweaters, and brushed flannel button-down shirts, the aesthetic is unmistakably grown-up.
The prices are similarly advanced, ranging from $95 for a baby-alpaca beanie to $685 for a houndstooth overcoat of regenerated (read: pre-consumer recycled) Italian wool.
“We’re surfers that grew up with surf brands, but we grew out of logos,” says John Moore, Outerknown’s creative director. “And we want to wear clothing that’s made better, fits better, and looks better.”
Today’s men, Moore says, want pieces that are not only stylish, functional, and built to last, but also enable effortless movement “from the surf to the presentation room” in the span of a single day. “We’re designing for men with borderless pursuits,” he adds.
Aquafil offers incentives to fishermen who turn in their worn nets instead of abandoning them in the sea, where they can ensnare dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life.
“Because of my passion for ocean conservation, Econyl is the ideal partner for us,” Slater says. “Not only are they rewriting the rule book for producing man-made fibers, but they are cleaning up the world’s oceans at the same time.”
“Making products in this way is the very reason why I started Outerknown,” he adds.