Surf brand RETAIL SECTIONS
With a rich history in Southern California, O'Neill is a staple surf brand featured in shops up and down the coast. O'Neill's brand identity has evolved over the years to cater to different markets, from a niche circle of avid surfers focused on performance to the broader beach lifestyle community. Their product mix has grown to cover a broad range of demographics; womens, mens, teens, retirees etc., and their retail design has followed suit.
The women's brand aesthetic has changed the most, and in many ways in a direction that did not make the most sense. My observation is the evolution did not stay true to core-brand identity...and ultimately resulted in circling back to the original style.
The desire was to rebrand O'Neill's women's sections with trendy feminine materials; blonde woods, marble, gold accents etc. And so the above collection of fixtures was born. The client loved it.
But as you can see the aesthetic was far off from what one would normally think of when imagining a surf brand. This presented itself when retailers began rejecting submissions for O'Neill section remodels, the new style just didn't vibe with the store.
Compare the new collection to what's shown here, the O'Neill women's style from several years ago.
In this series, we used primarily white-washed wood, a light-colored burlap, rope, and bohemian decor.
The updated style brought back the white-washed wood. and incorporated a new beachy oak wood tone with cleaner lines.
This re-imagined version of the brand style went over well and was welcomed by the many surf shops that carry O'Neill product line.
The new men's aesthetic was developed a bit better from the start. Using darker tones and industrial accents we were able to take the O'neill brand into a subtle new direction.
These stacked wood fins were a hit, and so we utilized them in both collections to unify the brand. The floor-to-ceiling effect helped the O'Neill section stand out, and the trellis overhang brought a beachy feel into the mix.
The original thought was to use black steel pegboard as the backer on the standard wall panels, but this quickly changed.
The feedback we got from retailers was that the dark black background swallowed up the space, and the clothes would get lost and buried. The resulting effect of course is stale product and lost revenue. Instead, we applied a walnut veneer to the backers creating a strong unified backdrop for the men's section without incurring any additional cost.