I think what gave Roxy its cult status at the beginning – and is still our driving force today – is the fact that we empower women to challenge the status quo, well before any notions of marketing or hashtags ever came into play. It was necessary to stand up for women and show that we can break any barriers and do what we want. This is still at the foundation of Roxy to this day.
When it comes to women’s surfwear today, what do you think consumers are looking for that’s new or different from the past?
All of these are so important. The consumer is a lot more educated today than she was 30 years ago and she now, rightfully, expects the full package.
In terms of fabrication, we now have the technology to advance further the conversation of sustainability and actively aim at minimising our impact on our planet. This is especially true for our wetsuits, all of which are sustainable.
Fit is so important for a performance-driven brand, most of all for swim. As a team, we’ve been working extra hard to take a step back, really assess what we want to do and how we want to convey our values through our product. We want everyone to feel confident, stylish and supported. The last thing you want in the water is to have to readjust, deal with sand everywhere or feel like your suit is coming off. And when it comes to performance pieces such as wetsuits – which can make us very body conscious – it’s that much more important, since the fit informs how it will perform. You obviously don’t want to deal with flush if you have an ill-fitting wetsuit and you need these pieces to be optimum to perform at your best level. We really want to make sure we can celebrate the diversity within our community, encourage all women to feel welcome, and thus we are determined to build product that will supports and empowers them.
Value-wise, we always strive to give the best product at the best price, because it’s so important to us to remain inclusive: anyone who shares our values, wants to join our community and connect with the mountain, the wave and one another can hopefully do so.
What’s your vision for the brand? Are there any changes or ideas you’ve implemented or would like to implement since joining the team?
As you said, I grew up with the brand, just like yourself and I always felt Roxy to be one of the first real cultural indications that told me I could do whatever I wanted. We want to continue that message and keep it going forward. We want to kick butt and do better than we did yesterday. There’s no room for complacency here! And most of all, we want to keep the fun alive. You could tell this was central to Roxy at the very beginning and we want this to be true today, not only for our athletes and our team, but for our consumers around the world.
We will stay true to our North Star but evolve how that will be interpreted along what is going on in the world and what our consumer base needs.
Can we expect to see more brand collaborations like the one you recently did with Liberty London?
Absolutely! And just you wait, we’ve got a ton of great stuff in the pipeline (no pun intended). It’s important for us to collaborate with like-minded brands for several reasons.
It’s always good to be challenged. The Roxy Girl never shies away from a challenge or from an opportunity to grow as an individual. Collaborations give us an opportunity to do that, to work with people who share values, aim at empowering women, respect their role in the bigger sustainability conversations and support a diverse community. This enables important conversations; help evaluate what we are doing and how we are doing it. It’s also part of our DNA, we have been partnering with artists and brands from Day 1 basically, so that tradition is extremely important.
Can you tell me a bit about the #redefineCute campaign? Where did the idea come from and is this a theme that we’ll see Roxy explore more going forward?
In wanting to further our understanding of our consumer base, we did some research studies and one of the things that popped up unanimously in the feedback was the reoccurrence of the word “cute”. It was so omnipresent that you couldn’t deny it. It was interesting to us, so we delved into why this was, and the context that created this. What we discovered was that cute was not always described in a bad way, but in the surf, industry did have somewhat of a pejorative connotation, a sense of lesser capability. We chose to redefine this word because, truth be told, you can call us cute, but let’s really update what that looks like, through showing the trial and tribulations of our athletes. They make it look easy because they’ve fallen a million times to get there, the difference is they get back up. I remember being patronized by boys in sports as a young girl too and it does incite the determination to redefine the adjectives that go around. Cute in Roxy terms is strong, determined, confident.
When it comes to Roxy stores, how would you describe the shopping experience? And do you see any room for improvement there?
The past year and a half has obviously been challenging so it’s not given us a ton of opportunity to connect with our consumer the way we wish we could. But so yes, we think we can improve, that’s part of what being a Roxy Girl is. Online is great but our shops give a physical representation of what our world is and for people to really dive into our universe. We are currently working on ways to best align our shops and this will be a major push in the next couple of years, so in the future you enter our store, you open the door to a subsequent world of possibility.