5 Questions With LEUS Towels
LEUS Towels based in Carlsbad, California, works with a variety of photographers, athletes, musicians, artists and designers to create fun, vivid towels.
LEUS started with surf towels and later expanded to active. The brand is now jumping into the golf world.
CEO Dorig Bocquet filled us in on what’s new with the towel brand.
Who are some of your key retailers?
CEO Dorig Bocquet: Right now we’re in about 1,000 retail doors around in the world. A lot of readers may know us exclusively as a beach towel surf brand, but we’ve really grown beyond that and we’re sold in some places you may not expect us to be. It was always a part of our brand to build on what’s lacking in surf and then take that energy further into other areas where towels are obligatory but overlooked.
Our Surf Collection of surf towels, beach towels, poncho towels and blankets can be found in retailers such as Tilly’s, Rip Curl, Boardriders, Volcom, Jack’s Surfboard, Hansen’s, Heritage, Sun Diego, 17th Street, Empire and many more. I’m leaving a lot out, but those are some of the biggest and most influential.
Our Active Collection, which is made up of yoga mat towels, active towels, and gym towels, can be found in places such as Core Power, Sport Experts, Intersport, Nordstrom, and others as well. This is a rapidly developing area for us.
What is your strongest item/category?
Dorig Bocquet: From a category perspective, it’s our Surf Collection. It’s where we started and where the majority of our focus has been.
But our new active line is growing very quickly and our unique microfiber technology found in our mat towels is getting a lot of momentum in the yoga community. It has an extremely soft touch, but when it comes in contact with moisture, it grips a yoga mat like no other towel on the market.
Aside from the technical aspects, we are pairing our entire Active Collection – yoga mat, active, and gym towels – with all of our surf collection artwork, which has brought us a lot of attention. We expect our active collection to surpass the surf line next year.
What are your expansion plans?
Dorig Bocquet: We just came back from our first PGA Fashion & Demo Experience show, so i guess it’s time to talk about golf! As we had hoped, retailers were really excited about the energy we are bringing to a very ignored category of product found in the kit of almost every golfer in the world.
Next year we’re going to be launching a new collection focused on golf with three primary subcategories. We’ll have our par towels, which will be high quality cotton towels intended to be used on your face, along with tri-fold hand towels that come with a carabiner to hook on the bag. We’ll also have caddy towels, with a unique waffle microfiber, double-sided print, that are slit in the middle and intended to be used to for club cleaning.
Golf also represents a perfect moment strategically. The golf market is ready for young, fresh, irreverent brands. That industry is already seeing it from apparel brands and the attendees at the show were really excited by what LEUS was bringing to the table.
We stuck out at the PGA show, but that worked in our favor. From 8:30 am until the evening, we were slammed with meetings with people who mattered.
Overall, the brand will continue to invest and solidify its operation centers in the U.S., Canada and Europe – our unique externalization format has allowed the brand to expand very fast, across boarders in less than one and a half years.
We’ve also aligned with amazing distributors, including Custom Produce in Japan, Primer Pacific in Australia, and Tritan in New Zealand, which are doing tremendous work in their territories to pioneer the lifestyle towel concept.
What channels is LEUS targeting? Surf, outdoor etc?
Dorig Bocquet: The easy answer is that we are following the day of the modern surfer. We will continue telling new stories each year, expanding until we can use our product from morning to night.
Active/fitness, and golf were the closest to our lifestyle, so they were the most natural to launch first. Plus, those last two markets are both in a unique moment in their history as they are in real need of new, fresh lifestyle stories.
The towel category has gotten crowded. How is LEUS trying to differentiate?
Dorig Bocquet: You could say that, but I’d argue there are not a lot of brands with any kind of energy around them. There have always been a lot of towels vendors since it is a commodity product, but there hasn’t been a lot of differentiation, storytelling, and merchandising.
Since its inception, LEUS has always had a clear vision of the multi-market opportunities that the towel category presents.
We are in core surf shops with our unique merchandising, shelf appeal, authentic surf story, and extensive brick and mortar programs. As many know, Conner Coffin is a co-founder of the brand, leading our surf story himself, and you cannot fake that sort of authenticity.
Carissa Moore is an ambassador and a great person to fly our flag. Champion surfer, amazing human being, one of the most positive personalities you’ll ever meet, inclusive, successful businesswomen and more.
Same thing goes for our partnership with Surf Ranch. We want to always be supporting and promoting the evolution of surfing.
Our unique manufacturing process allows us to create small runs that can still be priced affordably, so we can support causes and ideas that matter to us. For example, when we met with California State Park VP Brian Ketterer, it was clear there was a lot more brands could be doing to provide support for the men and women who dedicate their lives to others enjoying the beach.
That’s why we decided to design a program where we could sell custom, quality towels to Junior Lifeguard camps and give back 50% of the revenue to help raise needed funds.
Right now there really isn’t a towel brand that provides three unique category stories, and growing, under one roof. We really feel that we’re the pioneers in this space.