Hailsummer and many sports enthusiasts head to the beautiful ocean for enjoying amyriad of water adventure activities. One such sports adventure that has gainedtraction is surfing and this in turn has given a big boost to the market forsurf wear and surf inspired clothing. The potential for such apparel andgarments has immense growth and is beginning to become a lifestyle choice formany.
Today,there are many people buying into the surfing lifestyle and even at placeswhere there is no ocean. The surf wear industry by itself churns out salesworth more than $ 13 billion every year. And what more is that out of thepopulation purchasing surfing clothes only half indulge in the sports actively.The rest are just getting wooed by what the brands make and are lured by theimage and the lifestyle the surfers portray. Moreover, the popularity of longsurfing boards makes learning the sport easy and the growth of surf schools hasgiven an impetus to the "cool" quotient to it, there by pulling alarge amount of youths into the culture.
Thestaple garment and any surfing fanatic's essential is the wetsuit. It is a bodyhugging outfit which is made up of a stretchy and rubbery synthetic pioneeredby DuPont called neoprene. The wetsuit basically works on the idea that thewearer does not need to stay dry in order to stay warm. Another popular surfwear product is the board shorts, a swimwear product that is worn in warmercondition. Technically, the board shorts are long and loose styled shorts, andare generally made up of materials like nylon or polyester for quick drying.
Butthe comfort and cool style of board shorts have found fashion fixation amongcommunities outside the surfing enthusiasts too. Board shorts from time andagain in different colours and prints have become a beach essential in thefashion world. The rise in the number of female surfers has given rise tosurfing inspired fashion which includes bikinis, swim suits, shorts, t-shirts,short onesie's, and vests made up of water proof fabrics like polyester.
Surfinginspired collections have been seen in the past in resort runway shows offashion designers. Tie and dye shirts, dresses, ombre t-shirts and board shortshave been all time favourites among teenagers. The spring summer collections2014 of Mara Hoffman, Cynthia Rowley, J.Crew, and Zara showcased floral boxycrop tops, dresses, and pants along with multi-coloured baggy tops and tealength skirts.
Majorbrands dominating the surf wear and surf inspired clothing are Billabong, O'Neill,Quicksilver, Roxy, and Rip Curl. According to the Global Industry Analyst themarket for surf clothing will reach $ 13.2 billion by 2017. The makers ofsurfing equipment, the marketers, and surfing associations are trying to makethe sport more approachable and are trying to roll out facilities to surfaround the globe and also develop artificial surf turfs. With such expansionsplanned the need and popularity of surf wear and surf inspired fashion is boundto grow.
Until now the targetmarket and consumers of such garments were teenagers and people in their earlytwenties. But surf wear companies are now targeting young women and oldermarkets; however the demographics still is predominantly occupied by theformer. The increase in the number of spectators of the sport and the telecastof surfing events on prime channels has also led to the popularity of the trendof surf inspired clothing.
Although the market for surf wear is growing, the industry faces fluctuating demands, which are seasonal and driven by trends. Besides this, other aspects affecting the surf wear are the consumer demographics, economic conditions, and levels of disposable incomes. The economic slump had broken the wave of sales since employment rates were falling, incomes were reducing, and the plummeting per capita expenses left very little for individuals to leisure travel and such adventure sports.
But with a lot fast fashion brands like Zara, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Top shop, and ASOS targeting the same demographics are making surf wear brands a run for their money. Majority of these apparel retailers especially Topshop, Zara, and H&M are extensively trying to reach out to the 14 to 24 year old market. The true blue surfing brands like Quicksilver, Rip Curl, and Billabong are falling weak in the times of competition and do not have the strength to hold consumers like they used to in the early years of 2000.
But the love and passion for the sport however remain intact and still surfing pulls a large amount of young crowd and so does surfing inspired garments and fashion. The U.S and Europe are the two biggies that hold the major market share of the global surfing market. Recognizing the potential in the surfing apparel market many brands and designers are exploring the idea of creating a clothing collection inspired by the sports culture to attract young consumers. The concept of making sportswear dynamic yet fashionable is growing as apparel makers realize the opportunities in such spaces.