Warriors of Radness.
A new crest of surf-inspired brands bring to the forefront the various niche styles of specific local scenes, including Riviera Club from Santa Barbara, Warriors of Radness from Malibu, and Aviator Nation from Venice, CA. Each brand has popped onto the radar of fashion players visiting key boutiques from Fred Segal to Opening Ceremony to Reserve through trade shows not necessarily known for surf culture, such as Project, Capsule, and Bread & Butter.
These brands also have in common very specific themes that capture lifestyles of a variety of surf cultures, illustrating the complexity of surf and what it means depending on where you live (and whether you even surf or not), and the growing power of underground scenes.
Warriors of Radness
Designed out of Los Angeles, Warriors of Radness (WOR) captures the quintessential old-school Malibu scene including a T-shirt collaboration with Grant Rohloff of the famed renegade LA surfer, Mickey Dora.
WOR’s collaboration with Grant Rohloff images.
Grant Rohloff was a famous surf photographer and filmmaker, who was born in Hollywood, California in 1935 and started surfing in the early 50’s.According to WOR, Grant’s love of surfing and fascination with watching other surfers led him first to a brief apprenticeship with John Severson (Surfer Magazine founder/and surf filmmaker) and eventually to his own career as a still photographer and surf filmmaker.
Grant’s first project, titled appropriately “The Wonderful World Of Surfing” was released in 1960 and was followed by 12 other surf movies including the highly acclaimed “Men Who Ride Mountains.”
“Grant was ahead of his time and way ahead of the pack back in the 60’s,” notes, C.R. Stecyk III (photographer, writer). The posters Grant used for promoting these movies were commonly the photos he had taken during actual filming sessions.
His films managed to capture not only the serious and great business of surfing, but also the humorous, real-life “off times” of the surfers. Rohloff always began his movies with a comic scene (in keeping to his mission for his work) %u2013 to inform and entertain.
However for WOR, other than this interesting collaboration reclaiming the lure of surf culture in LA in the ’60’s, it’s pretty clear with their faded neon colors and styles have a sense of humor in their modern version of what is surfing culture today. Imaginative, modern beach style, as they describe themselves, Warriors of Radness capture a new spirit of surf that is completely contemporary while reminding us a little of the history of where things started in this local scene.
Warriors of Radness can be found at boutiques and stores such as Opening Ceremony, American Rag Cie, Oak, and Reserve.
Paige, founder and designer of Aviator Nation, at her debut at Project Fashion Trade Show.
Created by vintage fabric connoisseur, Paige Mycoskie a couple of years ago, Aviator Nation has captured the attention of people interested in the retro faded soft, sporty T’s, hoodies, and styles of Venice, CA. A throwback to the ’70’s with rainbow stripes, she’s somehow created a very modern approach with fresh styles and color patterns that are complimentary to the Venice scene -whether you live there or not.
Her boutique and studio (she’s a photographer also) on Abbott Kinney is a testament to the lifestyle of Aviator Nation, by not only serving as a store, but also hosting various parties and events, including being the location for the recent Tom Shoes “A Day Without Shoes” walk.
Paige is also a collector of vintage T’s and came into creating new ways to get that old-school soft fabric feel but with her modern surf collection in rainbow stripes, plus caps, hoodies, and sweat pants. She’s proven to be a unique fit in an era where peace power and hippy aesthetics are on the rise.
The results are that people with a certain sense of taste in quality and authenticity are flocking to her designs, including a big boost from an order from Fred Segal after her debut at Project in 2009.
Riviera Club from Santa Barbara
This brand is no Hollister, but it does take its cue from the preppy, wealthy side of surf culture from Santa Barbara. Created by the trio Joe Sadler, Derek Buse, and Greg Ullery, this new brand’s latest collection is based on the adventures of rich-kid surfer Bunker Spreckels, the infamous stepson of Clark Gable. (Famed photographers Art Brewer and C.R. Stecyk III wrote an amazing photo book called “Bunker Spreckels: Surfing’s Divine Prince of Decadence” which is a must-read for anyone interested in the rich-kid, bad-boy side of surf culture. Quentin Tarantino is rumored to want to make a biopic about Spreckels.)
Riviera Club’s surf plaids.
What’s notable about Riviera Club are the modern fits -slightly tighter -and seemingly tailored in their plaid button downs and pastel polos. White denim jeans also reflect a prep sensibility or nobility, if you will, which is also a part of this niche surf lifestyle. Shirts retail around $155, so this is not intended for your average beach bum. Stores such as Ron Herman in LA have picked up on the brand, as well as Blackbird in Seattle and Saturdays in NYC.