Meet Kelly Slater’s New Company: Outerknown

Kelly Slater, the rail turn behind Outerknown. Photo: Jimmicane

On April 1st, 2014, Kelly Slater announced his divorce with longterm partner Quiksilver and nobody took him seriously. The Drug Aware Pro Margaret River was about to start and everyone figured it to be a long, uncomfortable joke. The mountain and the wave, sans Kelly Slater? Such a thing sounded surreal and it was, after all, April Fool’s Day. The skepticism ebbed as the day progressed, replaced by rumbles of what’s to come from the king. A new company like Patagonia! Partners with Kering! Kelly’s the founder! In the coming months, the naked-nosed speculation only progressed. But still — at least up front — nobody knew anything. Until these two Instagram posts.

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 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. In saying that, the focus of our brand is to make a product that has a positive effect on every possible level. I look forward to telling you more as the brand develops and beginning today you can follow our daily feed at @Outerknown to learn more. #Outerknown #BeLikeWater #LaunchingFall2015

“As global citizens, we have an obligation to build better products and understand the way our consumption impacts others. I am constantly traveling and observing the multi-cultural world we live in, and Outerknown is a brand that references my travels and stands for the values I believe in."– Kelly Slater, Founder and Global Ambassador #Outerknown #FindyourOuterknown #JourneytoTransparency #thisisacleanslate @kellyslater (photo captured on the road by @morganmaassen)

So no, it will not be the next CounterCulture. We’ll put our chips on the table and bet on Outerknown not being solely marketed to surf, but it will — at its core — be a surf company. So what does that mean for you, dear consumer? It means that you’ll have a new option on the shelf, an option geared towards global good. And what does it mean for Kelly, the owner? Either a transition into a new, less trophied stage of his career or an ember of motivation for another world title. Wanna win one for Outerknown and its system of beliefs, Kelly? We’ll be watching. So will Gabriel Medina.