RIZ SMITH ON DANDY STYLE, ENDANGERED SPECIES AND LAUNCHING THE FIRST FULLY RECYCLED BOARD SHORT
I’ve always been into flowers When I was at school I became obsessed with doodling them, Tip-ex-ing daisies on my Doc Marten boots. At fashion college my first collection was a suede suit printed in William Morris foil. I used to call what I was into dandy; a bit hippy, slightly eccentric but most importantly it was sophisticated.
People’s perception of board shorts are bold, baggy things churned out by large, commercial surf brands They’re in abundance, but they’re aimed at a young consumer. To me, there was a glaring gap in the market for shorts aimed at a stylish, sophisticated market.
Our USP comes from fusing surf, style and sustainability Being a menswear designer and a surfer, I like the idea of a short that functions perfectly in the ocean yet has a more refined design aesthetic. All of this then sourced and produced as ethically as possible.
The boardshort is the perfect canvas for flamboyancy and fun At the moment I work with a small collective of artists and illustrators to come up with the beautiful prints that convey our own unique British-Hawaiian style. It is here we incorporate themes of endangered fish, flowers and insects that we hope will foster awareness and inspire appreciation for the natural world around us.
Our aim is to collect bottles from the oceans and beaches and turn them into board shorts I'm very aware that our boardshorts are made from plastic, just as I'm aware that our oceans are filling up with plastics. The idea that we can use one to make the other seems like an amazing way to recycle, giving back to the ocean while carving a niche for ourselves doing something truly amazing.
I actually like the geometric boardshort style, but it’s not really me. So it was a conscious decision to stand apart and offer something different, but which came naturally. I think the Riz customer wants something with a story; so perhaps the shorts are the canvases and the prints are the art.