Rusty returns to skate with Joey Brezinski line
Rusty may be best known as a surf brand, but it recently signed skater Joey Brezinski.
Joey has designed a small collection of skate apparel called SO R.AD. The first collection sold out in three days.
We talked with Rusty North America President Charlie Setzler about the new initiative.
Rusty has had a huge hit with its exclusive Wired Series, which incorporates built in headphones for music players in hoodies, jackets and other clothing.
Rusty is usually more associated with surf. Why sign a skater?
Rusty is rooted in surf and always will be. However, Rusty also has a strong history in skate (as well as wake and snow).
Over the years, skaters such as Steve Berra, Ed Templeton, Tosh Townend, Arto Saari and another guy named Tony Hawk have been a part of the Rusty team.
On page 2: Why now, the SO R.AD line
So why now?
Timing. We were talking with Brandon Richards of Val Surf in Cabo during the SIMA Summit about our brand, the Wired Series, and new opportunities in the marketplace.
He mentioned that he gave a couple of our Wired Series samples to his skate team guys.
Normally, these guys wouldn’t be associated with anything related to surf, but they loved the product and skated in it religiously. It made sense to explore skate further.
It also made sense as part of Rusty’s segmentation strategy. Product segmentation and differentiation has been a key topic for retailers.
So, we moved forward with this new division to provide products and campaigns that drive traffic to retailers that carry hardgoods.
The key for us moving back into the skate market was to do so in an authentic, meaningful way. We wanted an athlete to drive this collection not only with Joey’s talent, but also with the desire to be involved in all aspects of the brand — from design to creative direction.
Joey Brezinski was looking for a company where he could do exactly that. The timing was perfect.
What is the SO R.AD line?
It’s a division of Rusty that consists of a small collection of skate apparel inspired by Joey Brezinski.
For instance, every Sunday, Joey Twitters the latest floral shirt that he bought during his travels. In every new collection, we incorporate a T with one of his floral prints with a screened chest pocket and collar.
We’ve also created a functional aspect to the collection to accommodate Joey’s technical style of skating.
The icons of the line include Joey’s pug, Pizza; Joey’s happy face signature; and the 80’s inspired So R.AD logo.
Is the line mainly just jackets or will you do a full skate clothing line?
We started with a tight collection consisting of two Wired Series styles and an assortment of Ts. For the second collection, we added a Wired Series hooded knit, along with a new fleece style and Ts.
For Fall, we added a woven and have a denim and cord per Joey’s specifications.
On page 3: skate marketplace reaction, how the line might expand
How has the skate community reacted to the line? What retailers are carrying it?
Well, we sold out of phase one in three days and phase two for Summer delivery is 90% sold out. So, I think the reaction so far has been positive.
Retail partners include Skatepark of Tampa, Val Surf, NJ Skateshop, Surfside, Spyder, Active, Sun Diego and CCS, among others.
Is the line being expanded in the coming seasons?
It will evolve over time and remain focused. We want to keep the line easy and fun, and reflective of Joey’s personality and creativity. It’s tailored for shops that carry skate hardgoods, and the intention is to maintain small, with limited distribution.
It’s very exciting to work with Joey and discuss the possibilities for next year. He has great relationships and we’re looking forward to some unique opportunities over the months ahead…So stay tuned.