Photos by Quiksilver from the Blue Beetle in Santa Barbara, CA
Story by Rick Umoff
Quiksilver made a bold move recently when it popped-up shop inside signature fashion store Blue Beetle in downtown Santa Barbara, CA, to promote its Limited Collection. The first of its kind for Quik, the installment is a store-in-store concept suggesting that Quik is able to think outside the department store. Given that pop-up stores are fast becoming the norm in general retail (think Space15Twenty by Urban Outfitters, among many others) it makes sense that Quiksilver would consider the option in a core specialty boutique.
The concept goes something like this: find a location with a rich surfing history, find a boutique in that location carrying some of the most premiere men’s clothing around, ask local shapers to donate part of their shaping room (literally), and bring in vintage styles that the old boys can appreciate (and afford). Despite the hiked prices, Quik’s managed to transform their corner of the store into an old shaper’s bay with splattered paint and photos from the golden days slapped across the walls. It’s no Channel Islands or Beach House and you won’t come here to pick up a new stick, but it does hark back to surfing’s golden age with a radical sense of style and homage to the SB surf scene.
The thick nosed Thrusters and display copy of Bustin’ Down the Doors show that Quik knows where it came from and has still got some soul. And by parking their board shorts next to limited-edition, almost bespoke denim, they’ve aligned themselves nicely with an ethic of craftsmanship–a much-needed concept for the surf brand. This location probably won’t sell many units, but then again, it feels more like a statement than a sales pitch. And this can make all the difference.