C For Men

Kelly Slater. PHOTO: © Todd Glaser/A-Frame
Kelly Slater after a dusk surf session in Portugal. PHOTO: © Todd Glaser/A-Frame.
Slater waits out a tropical rainstorm on a boat in the middle of the Pacific. PHOTO: © Todd Glaser/A-Frame.
Outerknown’s creative director, John Moore. PHOTO: Kassia Meador.
Reclaimed fishing nets at an Econyl intake center in Slovenia. PHOTO: © Todd Glaser/A-Frame.
Moore and Slater in their Culver City studio. PHOTO: © Todd Glaser/A-Frame.

Turning Tides

by slh

Surfing legend Kelly Slater and designer John Moore have set out to change the fashion world with their new men’s line, Outerknown.

“It’s rare to meet someone who has a completely different skill set to your own but has such a shared aesthetic and value system,” says designer John Moore of 11-time World Surf League champion Kelly Slater, his partner in the new, much-buzzed-about Culver City-based men’s line Outerknown, founded by Slater and partly backed by French luxury-goods conglomerate Kering.

Launched this summer, the line of men’s necessities includes cashmere-blend sweaters, light puffer jackets, a checkered peacoat, plaid button-downs, simple tees, cozy sweatshirts and more—all simple, well-constructed and classic. “Most of the money I’ve earned in my career has come from clothing [sponsorships], and I realized 30 years down the line I didn’t know much about the process,” says Slater. “I feel like you have to have your DNA in something you can stand behind. Coming from the surf world, where there is a lot of lower-end, easily accessible, high-volume product, I wanted to make something more special, something that looks better, wears better, lasts longer and is done in a responsible way.”

At every turn Slater and Moore have striven to create the most sustainable collection possible, encountering challenge upon challenge along the way. “When we pulled the trigger on Outerknown, Kelly framed the responsible practices we would employ, and I realized I didn’t have a completely sustainable resource in my entire network after two decades in business,” says Moore. “We had to build a global supply chain 100 percent from scratch.”

Most notably, Outerknown uses revolutionary Econyl fibers—nylon yarn made from 100 percent regenerated materials including reclaimed fishing nets from the ocean—in jackets and board shorts. “Our hope is that we can inspire change and share our learnings with other brands,” says Moore. “We’re tiny, but that doesn’t mean we can’t inspire the big companies.” outerknown.com. • SARI ANNE TUSCHMAN