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Article: Outerknown, Firewire Surfboards, and Slater Designs Join Forces

Outerknown, Firewire Surfboards, and Slater Designs Join Forces

May 1, 2024 (Los Angeles, CA): Eleven-time World Surf League champion Kelly Slater today announces the union of pioneering brands Outerknown, Firewire Surfboards, and Slater Designs (including Slater Designs Fin Company, LLC, DBA Endorfins) under a new holding company effective immediately.

From elevated lifestyle and performance apparel to best-in-class surfboards and accessories, this consortium leverages the collective power of each individual brand, its connection to surfing, and its shared leadership position in creating the highest quality, most sustainably-made products for water and on land.

“I’m passionate about the companies I’m involved with, because I believe in their missions, products, and people,” said Kelly, co-founder of Outerknown and majority shareholder in Firewire Surfboards and Slater Designs. “To have all these major brands under one collective roof allows us to bring our pioneering innovation in sustainable apparel to the wider surf community, showing what’s possible by doing business in the most responsible way.”

Dylan Slater [no relation to Kelly], current CEO of Firewire Surfboards and Slater Designs, has been appointed to lead the holding company moving forward.

“I believe there’s an extraordinary opportunity to build something uniquely powerful with these three purpose-driven brands all on the same platform,” said Dylan “From harnessing each brand’s differentiated strengths and leveraging their shared vision to build the best products possible with minimum impact on the planet, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Kelly and our brands’ talented teams to unlock our combined potential.”

This alliance of brands collectively designs, develops, and manufactures apparel, accessories, surfboards, fins, traction pads, leashes, and more with a global reach across wholesale, retail, and online in nearly 60 countries around the world. Additionally, the group will collaboratively grow across existing distribution, new markets, and future product launches, including a new product line collaboration between Outerknown and Kelly, which will be curated for surf specialty retail.

John Moore, Outerknown's co-founder and creative director, will continue to oversee the brand’s creative vision.

"Ten years ago, Kelly asked me to help build Outerknown differently, challenging conventions and breaking molds to craft superior clothing with the utmost responsibility – in what we called ’smashing the formula,’” he said. “This brand union gives us the opportunity to do that in more categories. While our commitment to crafting stylish, versatile apparel for everyday wear is unwavering, we can now open the aperture to new opportunities, elevating the Outerknown experience and giving our customers more ways to engage with the brand in their daily adventures.” Regarding creative collaboration amongst brands, Moore added, “A shared value system, innovative design-driven mentality, and love of surfing brought this group together. The best ideas flow when we’re in the water, and this union keeps us tapped into the source. I’m excited to partner with Dylan and Kelly on this next chapter for our brands at a unique time in the market.”

“When we originally launched Outerknown, we invested in pioneering sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices. Being first comes at a premium, so our price points for surf-related products were higher than the market was accustomed to. We’ve always said that with hard work and learnings over time, we would be able to pass down more accessible pricing to the surf community,” stated Kelly. “I am very proud that we can now deliver a new tier of products specifically designed and made for what surfers need – products that are made responsibly, built to last, and help create memorable times. Developing special products positioned to support independent surf shops is something I am not only passionate about, but believe is necessary. I can’t wait to share our new vision with surfers everywhere.”

“This brand union sets the table for a completely fresh approach to the surf market,” elaborated Dylan. “With the seismic changes in the surf industry a constant, we will be very deliberate about how we position apparel, hardgoods, and new product categories cohesively to strengthen the connection to our customers.”

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