Kelly Slater to Launch Lifestyle Brand with Kering

Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater

With labels such as Gucci, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney in its roster, parent company Kering is no stranger to high fashion, but the fashion conglomerate’s latest news surprised even the most seasoned brains in the business. Kelly Slater, the Florida-born, 11 time ASP World Champion and surf legend is the latest addition to the Kering family.

The company will work with Slater to develop an apparel and lifestyle line and oversee the brand’s sourcing, logistics and e-commerce. While Kering fosters and develops the Kelly Slater brand (it’s still to-be named at the moment), Slater will take on a position as a Kering ambassador, with a focus on sustainability. Throughout his career, Slater has been an advocate for marine conservation.

“For years I’ve dreamt of developing a brand that combines my love of clean living, responsibility and style,” said Slater on his Facebook page. “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.”

Surprisingly, there is little mention of surf in the announcement, so the details of the clothing line are still vague. Currently, Kering owns the surf brand Volcom, which it purchased in 2011. Kering may be positioning the brand away from surf culture due to the current struggles facing surf brands today. Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver, which has sponsored Slater since 1990, as well as Billabong have reported losses due to competition from fast fashion companies such as H&M and Uniqlo and a general shift away from surf culture.

“There is little I can say that would give the credit due or cover the debt of gratitude I feel on a personal and professional level to Quiksilver,” adds Slater. “As a brand and on a human level, they have been a part of my life, career, and personal relationships for more than 23 years now, well over half my life.”

But with different designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and even Prada integrating Hawaiian and surf motifs into recent collections, there may be a place for a surf-tinged line in the market after all. And with a name like Kelly Slater at the helm, it’s sure to have the perfect combination of street cred and style.

Shop our favorite surf-inspired looks:

Images courtesy Kelly Slater

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.