A two-page report about Rusty and the return to Europe was published in the current issue 02/23 of the German KiteLife. In addition to a look back at Rusty's story, you'll also find out what's planned for the future in Europe.
Text excerpt from the German Kitelife
Comeback of an icon
ALMOST 40 YEARS OF COMPANY HISTORY, VISIONARY IDEAS AND UNCONVENTIONAL STYLES BETWEEN NOSTALGIA, SUSTAINABILITY AND MODERNITY. RUSTY, A SURF BRAND WITH CHARACTER, STREAMS BACK ONTO THE EUROPEAN WATER SPORTS STAGE.
Rusty was founded as an alternative surf lifestyle brand in San Diego, California in the mid 80's. A group of creative minds consisting of surfers, shapers, skaters, musicians and artists had set their minds on manifesting an entity that would stand out from the image of existing water sports brands with a visionary and cult character. Inspired by indie music and contemporary art, robust and cool fashion for saltwater junkies was created, which authentically reflected surf culture. But not only in the textile segment Rusty was quickly considered a high flyer. The surfboard manufacturer of the same name quickly earned the reputation of the scene and is still considered a pioneer for innovative designs and technically advanced shapes. The basis for this had already been laid ten years earlier by brand founder Rusty Preisendorfer, who developed and produced boards for brands such as Gordon and Smith as well as Canyon Boards from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. A number of world championship titles have been won with his shapes, for example by CJ Hobgood.
After stagnating in the early 2000s, the company split up in 2006. The fashion label continued to exist as an Australian brand based in Perth, while the rights to the surfboards remained with the American company, which is still run by Rusty Preisendorfer and a small, local team of passionate board sports enthusiasts. In Europe it became quiet about Rusty as a result. Running a business in Europe from Australia proved difficult.
But in 2023 the big comeback will take place. “The brand still has an enormous reach in Europe. In recent years, we have been increasingly approached by retailers from all over Europe, which is why we have become active and have found a strong, new partner in Germany, who also gives Rusty a European online presence, which means that interest in our products has already grown enormously says Geoff Backshall, General CEO at Rusty. But R-dot, as the brand is called in scene circles in the USA because of the logo, is not only taking off in Europe from a fashion point of view. In addition to a classic apparel line, functional clothing, swimwear and wetsuits, boards from the traditional label will also be available to buy in Europe again. The structures for the planned online direct sales are currently being created.
Text: Florian Spieth