Style to Live By: When Surf Gets Chic

Volcom's parent co, PPR, is taking the once-Californian label to rad new heights. 
Volcom Shoes
By Derek Rielly

Unless you're OC all the way, there'll come a time when surf brand outfits just don't cut it. When your sleeved arms protruding from a logo tee and your unkempt crown spilling from a trucker and those delicate feet wrapped in swollen skate kicks just don't seem… right.

Dignity? It's a precious thing. And when you're a cute 15-year-old, surf stylin' is the way to go. Ten years later, maybe not quite so much.

But where do you turn? Do you become a habitué on Mr Porter and whatever other fashion websites, tossing a hundred shekels at a plain tee and $500 on high-tops that you can guarantee won't be duplicated by your pals at the beach?

It's a conundrum. 

We're all partial to surf, but it's time to move on, but we can't, we just…can't… dress like kids any more.

Salvation is here. When French Fashion company PPR, owners of Gucci, YSL and Bottega Veneta, bought Volcom for $600 mill two years ago, some of us were outraged. No more youth against the establishment and all that stuff. Heaven help us, sell-outs, etc.

But, just look.

Now that the YSL influence has kicked in, there are pieces in the Volcom range that are anything as good as what you'll find at Printemps in Paris but at a tenth, literally a tenth, of the price.

Why, it was just two days ago when a Volcom leather jacket with red satin quilted lining and the slimmest silhouette sailed into my life. It could've been Gucci, YSL, whatevs. But it was Volcom. They weren't giving it away. Five hundred Georgies. But if it was a high-end brand? Five gees, easy.

And then there's the new Volcom kicks. It ain't a hundred per cent on the money but there was one pair, recently, a pair of subtly panelled ox-blood and pink high-tops, that could've been Lanvin. Could've been Dior. But these weren't a grand. These were a c-note.

Ain't it crazy?

But the synergy is perfect: the energy and the colour of surf meets the sophisticated pared back look of the big Fashion houses.

Dress Surf Chic. Put it on your next party invite.

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