At Project, we spoke with RVCA Marketing Director Jim Shubin about what’s new with the brand, including a new swim line and an athletic line. We also got an update on RVCA Boy’s, RVCA’s ANP program and more.
How is RVCA doing days?
Jim Shubin: RVCA is on fire. We are number one or number two in a lot of retailers.
What's most exciting and new for the brand?RVCA Swim. Photo courtesy of RVCA.
There are a lot of pieces to the RVCA product puzzle. RVCA Men's, Women's, and now Women's Swim, Boys, VA Sport, and a signature collection by Alex Knost.
Of those, we are launching Women’s Swim for Spring 2013, and we are very excited about it. So far, it has been received very well from those who have seen the line.
We are also putting more marketing brainpower and resources into the women’s program overall. The women’s business here has been a bit on the back burner, so we are changing that. We’ll have more of a focused plan and an ambassador that represents the line and who we are really soon. The product for the women’s collection looks really good, and we have been collecting great content to show the world at retail and digitally what RVCA Women's is up too. Our design team here is incredible.
What else are you excited about right now?The Alex Knost Collection
The Alex Knost signature collection has also been doing very well. It’s not for every retailer, but those who have jumped on for the launch (shops like Thalia Street in Laguna Beach and Service Menswear in Texas) are excited about it ringing the till.
The collection is basically comprised of items Alex took from his closet. Alex helps design the line and is really involved in everything about it. We see Alex at RVCA HQ more than any other advocate. He is a hard worker and pleasant to be around.
Besides Alex’s own surfing, his band, Tomorrows Tulips, is blowing up. The band consists of Alex, his girlfriend on drums and RVCA's own Ford Archbold. Alex's surfing as well as Tomorrows Tulips are getting a lot of media coverage here and internationally. His hard work and efforts are paying off.
You spoke a bit about digital becoming more important. Can you elaborate?
We hired a digital marketing manager just to focus on that aspect. Also just before we hired him, we launched a new website, RVCA.com. We are going to make a bigger push on the whole digital platform in general – social media, web etc.
See Page 2 for details about the RVCA Artist Network Program, more
How is the RVCA Advocate and Artist Network Program going?
RVCA started with the elite ANP program right away. ANP is one of our biggest points of differentiation from other brands. The goal of ANP is to showcase talent of accomplished and unknown artists who inspire our generation and push the boundaries of creativity.
After so many years, RVCA’s network of artists is pretty deep. RVCA founder Pat Tenore had the vision of ANP from the beginning and now Pat is solid friends with some of the most talented artists in the world. As a brand, we are starting to incorporate more ANP into our product collection and carefully market it all the way through to show how it ties together.
Kelsey Brookes ANP Artist Series boardshorts
This goes for the team as well. We are involving our athletes even more into our product collection and trying to showcase the diversity of our team through athlete signature products.
Josh Harmony, our main skater, has been starting a music career. Same with Makua Rothman. Many of you have heard Makua on the Ukulele at surf events this summer. His EP will be hitting soon.
I have some video from Tavarua’s giant swell connected to Danny Fuller’s signature boardshorts. We've tied Danny’s photography as well into the actual product, and we’ll launch all of it this spring.
How is RVCA’s Boy’s line performing since you launched it?RVCA Co-Founder Pat Tenore and Marketing Director Jim Shubin
We launched it mid June and at retail it’s going really well. I think mostly because people have been frothing for it for a while.
We even have a team that supports the specific boys program – guys like Dylan Lee, Tyler Gunter, and Kalani David. We’ll continue to push these guys and the boys division pretty hard. They're a fun crew.
Another category I’d like to shed light on is our VA Sport program. VA sport is pretty rad.
What is VA?
It’s more of our athletic, more functional performance apparel. There are great fitting garments with moisture wicking and functional properties. It’s all RVCA steaze with a nice look and feel. It sells at shops like Jack’s, Coastal Edge and many more.
We have some strong talent endorsing the product like BJ Penn, Danny Fuller, guys from MLB, NBA, NHL etc. The product has been tripping people out.
How is business abroad?
We are focusing a lot more on international sales, and it’s growing. For marketing, we are working hard to create a more cohesive message so everyone is flying the same across the globe. We have been getting our global efforts to fire on all cylinders. With the brand’s solid growth here in the US, we seem to be getting the A-Listers out there building business in their territories as well.