Johnny Unitas III on Kelly Slater's new label OuterKnown…
Is there ever going to be a brand, a fashion, and a style that emerges from the barren wasteland that is the surf industry? Is the surf industry eminently doomed by the regurgitated designs peddled by the Billabongs, Rip Curls, Hurleys and RVCAs of the world!?
Yes. We are all doomed. The surf industry is doomed and son of a bitch! I have to go to the NYC boys of Saturdays Surf to get a pair of aesthetically pleasing boardshorts when I don’t want to look like another faux pas douche with my four-way stretch catastrophes.
And here comes John Moore. He launched M.Nii (and he created Hollister for A & F and the label Modern Amusement) and I’m not getting into the Wikipedia page on M.Nii but their boardshorts are amazing. They are clean, simple and functional. They fade perfectly in the sun and they break in oh so well. Just like my St. Laurent dry denim jeans, they are expensive and they are perfect.
With all that said, Kelly Slater has decided to join forces with John Moore underneath the funding of the Kering Group to mastermind and launch, “Outerknown.” What in the actual fuck is that, you may ask? Well it’s, and to quote Kelly Slater:
“It’s been a long time coming and I’m proud to let you know that the clothing brand I’ve been working on has launched our ‘Handshake Website’ at Outerknown.com this morning. Our team, lead by designer John Moore and supported by our strategic partner, The Kering Group, are tirelessly working on a brand that blends the relationship between style, sustainability, and travel. I believe we have an obligation to build better products and understand the way our consumption impacts the world around us.
So… tell me Kelly, you’re ripping off Patagonia? And you’re working with the group that owns Balenciaga, MCQ, Alexander McQueen, St. Laurent, Brioni, Bottega Veneta & Gucci (among others)?
I’m going to loosely quote Anthony Bourdain here in saying, “I don’t give a shit if my tomato was local, organic, sustainably farmed, GMO free and was “artisan.” All I care about is that my tomato tastes good!”
My clothing does not need to be sustainable, if it is of the highest quality. I do not need to know how or why my purchasing or consumption of them has impacted the world as long as I look damn good. And I would bet the amount of money I owe Visa, which is a lot, that, the consumers shopping today’s fashions do not care either. Just like myself, the consumer buys, purchases and splurges on fashions, clothing and style because it’s fun and looking fabulous is important to them.
With that said, and putting you aside, Kelly & John, until I’m proven wrong, thank you Kering Group and thank you Alexander McQueen for delivering the always-stunning Kate Moss for the new Alexander McQueen campaign. I’m going to go read Maureen Callahan’s book, “Champagne Supernova,” and try to imagine that I was friends with Kate Moss as she ruled the modeling industry with week-long partying and benders that ended in Ibiza. I would have traveled and partied with her in unsustainable style. Isn’t that fashion, after all?
Who is Johnny Unitas III? Let’s steal straight from Esquire magazine: Johnny Unitas was one of the premier quarterbacks of all time. His name is synonymous with poise, all-American grit, grace under pressure, and an arm as true as it was strong. His grandson shares the very same name though maybe none of the adjectives. But goddamn it if he doesn’t know his way around a showroom. He is the fashion equivalent to, well, Johnny Unitas. And now he writes for BeachGrit!