WonderWall: Laird Hamilton Continues the Franchise

Laird Hamilton does things his own way. Whether it’s towing in to massive Teahupoo, catching 80-foot waves at Outer Spreckelsville or standup paddling into mammoth walls at Peahi, Hamilton has always been the leader. Not a leader, the leader. No single surfer is more recognized or well known than Laird Hamilton, and his franchise has blossomed without the help of America’s surf garment industry. No Quiksilver. No Billabong. No Volcom. Just Laird. Just legend. Call it Lairdgend.

The Laird franchise continues to grow with the latest offering from Mr. Hamilton, his clothing line branded WonderWall. And again Laird is doing it his own way. You won’t find WonderWall at you your local PacSun outlet alongside the known retail surf garment commodities such as Roxy, Quiksilver or Volcom. Hamilton’s line is only available at Steve & Barry’s, a chain of retail outlets that has successfully married the concepts chic and cheap.

“Steve and Barry’s approached me, and once I understood their whole business and learned more about it, I just felt it was an incredible opportunity,” said Hamilton. “I’ve been sort of incubating. I haven’t been with any US based clothing line up until this point.”

The first thing you’ll notice upon walking into Steve & Barry’s is a big sign that reads, “Everything in Store $8.99”. Everything? Really? I purchase four of Hamilton’ WonderWall knit golf shirts and a WonderWall tee shirt. My total expenditure: $54. That’s five shirts folks, only $54.

“I have a lot of people thanking me for coming out with the line because now they can afford to buy stuff, and that’s really a big part of it for me,” Said Hamilton. “My mom was a single parent and we used to get two pairs of pants and two shirts for the whole school year. There is a lot of self-esteem that surrounds your clothing when you’re a young person, and plus just being able to afford cool stuff. You start talking about surf clothing and you are talking $40, $60, $80 bucks in some cases.”

With the economy stalled and the price of everything moving up due to gas price woes, the concept of inexpensive surf clothing is intriguing. Mix the cost with the legitimacy of an offering from a true surf legend, a Lairdgend if you will, as opposed to the say the illegitimate Hollister surf offering, and you’ll want to at least take a look. Five cool shirts for a cool $54 — dude, I’m in.