December 10, 2014

Kelly Slater’s Outerknown Gets Employees

Kelly Slater’s Outerknown has press released the team that will be leading the brand – and he’s managed some heavy hitters. Julie Gilhart from Barney’s, Stella Ishii who launched Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim 3.1 and The Row as well as Shelly Gottschamer who handles supply chain and comes from Levis and Patagonia. These people mean nothing to me but the labels they’re from definitely show some serious pedigree.

In addition, Kelly Slater and creative director, John Moore, have been featured in a write up from Business of Fashion where they talk in more detail about the styling and the sustainability of the brand. One standout is their refusal to touch denim till they have a more sustainable supply chain – apparently things get pretty nasty when you get near to where your jeans are made.

On the styling, they’re going for classic wardrobe essentials for the guys, while doing things a little more adventurously for the ladies. They’re hoping that they can get into some pretty accessible price points with the gear too. Looking forward to seeing more from the team. Full press release is below and it’s worth reading the Business of Fashion article Inside Outerknown, Kelly Slater’s New Kering-backed Surf-Lifestyle Brand.


Culver City, CA — World champion surfer Kelly Slater and his team have announced key appointees at his contemporary ready-to-wear line Outerknown, which is set to launch mens for Fall 2015 and womens for Resort 2015. Each new collaborator is hand-selected and personifies the brand’s core values of Style, Sustainability and Travel. 

Earlier this year, Outerknown struck a strategic partnership with Kering Group — the global fashion conglomerate that owns Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Stella McCartney among others, and shares Outerknown’s commitment to sustainability. Slater also tapped GQ Best New Menswear Designer John Moore as Creative Director to co-helm the venture with him. 

Julie Gilhart —fashion consultant and former Barney’s New York Fashion Director who has been with Outerknown since its inception— will formally add consulting responsibilities to her role as Executive Board Member, including: mentoring the designers through the creative process with a strategic advisory role on developing the voice of the brand, and contributing to areas like design, sales, production and communications.

Stella Ishii, who has successfully launched brands like Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim 3.1 and The Row into the marketplace along with her discerning and talent-nurturing showroom The News, has been appointed Sales Director for America’s, Europe and Asia.

Shelly Gottschamer has also joined Outerknown as Director of Supply Chain and Sustainability leading the house’s progressive sustainable production and sourcing efforts. Gottschamer —who began her career in fashion and product development, with a tenure at Levi Strauss & Co. in the sourcing division — has spent the past five years as Sportswear Sourcing Manager at Patagonia overseeing the line’s famously transparent and environmentally conscious supply chain.

“Stella, Julie and Shelly have each been appointed to their unique roles at Outerknown based on their seasoned history collaborating with great design talent, their innate understanding of the buyers, and their now-long-time commitment to spearheading sustainable practices in the fashion industry,” said Slater. “My team and I couldn’t be more excited by such a powerful pool of talent coming on board.”

Asked about her decision to work with the brand, Gilhart remarked “I feel there is a need to truly experience the world through clothes that are not just beautiful or handsome but made with the intention to have less impact on the earth.  I want to get behind brands that have this value and Kelly Slater inspires this kind of style and thought. I feel sure this is the future.”

by Dave