Photos from the SIMA Awards
The SIMA Awards managed to be a festive event last night given the circumstances, with lots of mingling and celebrating going on.
The venue wasn’t empty as many had feared, but it definitely wasn’t as full as last year.
There were several interesting story lines including Roark winning Men’s Apparel Brand of the Year, a huge coup. Roark CEO and Founder Ryan Hitzel also gave the speech of the night, which we have below.
Vissla, the most nominated brand, took home the award in the coveted marketing category.
Billabong was the only brand that won multiple awards. Billabong Men’s won for Men’s Boardshort for the second year in a row. Billabong Women’s won for Swim and Apparel Brand of the Year. It was the third year in a row that Billabong Women’s won in the apparel category, and it was the second year in a row Billabong Men’s won in boardshorts.
As expected, Salty Crew, one of the industry brightest success stories the past few years, won Breakout Brand of the Year.
Pyzel won for the second year in a row in the Performance Shortboard category and Slater Designs won in Alternative Surfboard. Sister brand Firewire won in the Alternative category last year.
Electric won for the second year in the row for Eyewear Product and is the only brand to win in this new category.
Stab also is on a hot streak and won for the second year in a row in the new Consumer Media category.
For a complete list of winners, see the full results here.
Two big brands that were absent at the event last night include Vans and O’Neill, which opted out of attending because of virus concerns.
Ryan Hitzel’s Speech
Ryan spoke on stage after Roark won Men’s Apparel Brand of the Year.
“It’s really, really hard to build a brand, you guys have all done it,” he said, referring to the audience. “It’s even harder to maintain a brand. We’ve done it for like 10 years, but there’s a lot of people here who have done it for 30, 40, 50 years. It’s almost impossible, go out into the world, look at Levi, look at real brands in the world. It’s really hard to maintain a brand for as long as some of you guys have so I want to thank you guys for doing that.”
“I will say, not long ago a lot of our brands looked very different, we each had a different perspective, we had the leadership, we had crews that were very different back then that projected that every day.”
“There were dudes like Jack O’Neill, out there with eye patches, sailing around Santa Cruz harbor, inventing shit, a lot of shit, right? Rubber, boats, you guys fill it in.”
“Bob McKnight, Jeff Hakman, selling boardshorts out of a van, other stuff too, they persevered.”
“Gordon Merchant who was out there making weird films with Occy, trippy shit, stuff that I grew up with, right? Meaningful, meaningful things that were very, very different.”
“Who else we got? We got Claw, who was out there on the search, some sort of like a 20-year hiatus, out there searching for things, finding great waves, experimenting, it was different.”
“Bob Hurley who was out there having fun, spreading the love, right?…”
“Who else we got? I got a long list. I can talk about Wooly out there saying f*** you to the establishment for like 20 years.”
“Pat Tenore took a surf brand that looked like a piece of fine art and actually went into a ring and started fighting people. That’s original, right?”
“I just want to encourage all of us to try and be different, go into your heritage, go into your spirit, pull everything you can and make great product so that all the consumers out there will fall in love with us and buy our shit, ok?”