LOS ANGELES » Is surfwear giant Quiksilver going after J. Crew and Madewell? It certainly seems like it from the look of the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based brand’s first women’s boutique, which opened in June at the Malibu Lumber Yard.
This isn’t a classic action sports store with an industrial design and clothes screaming with logos and neon prints. Instead, the Quiksilver women’s store feels like a boutique, complete with a curated assortment of merchandise from outside vendors including Will Leather Goods, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Julie Rofman beaded bracelets and Olukai sandals. And because it’s also a surf shop that’s near the beach, it also has everything needed to hit the waves: boards, leashes, wax and sunscreen.
Although the Quiksilver women’s collection has been around since 2011 and already sells on the Quiksilver website, at surf shops and at better boutiques, the Malibu store represents a major push for the brand. It’s also a blueprint for expansion. "It’s a pretty strong statement," says Paul McAdam, president of retail for Quiksilver, who hopes to open 20 to 25 more Quiksilver women’s stores in the next three years.
Quiksilver, which was founded in 1969, also owns the brand Roxy, which skews younger, targeting ages 14 to 18. Quiksilver’s women’s collection is aimed at ages 18 to 34.
As for the Malibu store, which sits steps away from fashion destinations J. Crew, Tory Burch and Intermix, "there are a lot of iconic design elements we will use in the development of our other stores — natural elements, the A-frame wood ceiling. This is a good starting point on the journey," McAdam says.
The store was designed by Quiksilver’s head women’s designer, John Moore, and Chris Gentile of the Mollusk Surf Shops, which has stores in San Francisco; Venice, Calif.; and Brooklyn, N.Y. The natural wood space has a calm, cottage feel with plenty of arty touches, including a mural drawn by San Francisco artist Serena Mitnik-Miller, who has collaborated with the brand on prints, including the zigzag on a maxidress in the summer collection.