Spring 2020: Nostalgic Futurism

Spring 2020: Nostalgic Futurism

Posted Jan 22, 2020

Our spring line takes its cues from the coast, but not any one specific coast, more of a universal coast — there is salt spray and sparkling seas and a horizon line where water meets sky. And it’s not just visual; it’s a fully sensorial thing. With notes of nostalgia.

“When we began planning our spring line,” said Outerknown Co-Founder and Creative Director John Moore, “I was thinking about how the year 2020 sounds so futuristic. Like the future is here, but it feels very different than we imagined — with humanitarian, environmental, and climate crisis rampant. In trying to find a little solace in the past, I was getting really nostalgic for the surf and skate styles and trends I remember from my youth in LA. We started discussing this concept of 'Nostalgic Futurism,' which was essentially referencing some of these ideas, but doing them with the most innovative materials and manufacturing processes available to us.”

“We're pulling inspiration from yesterday to inform a much more intelligent tomorrow.”
–John Moore, Creative Director

John talked about the way those great pieces from the ‘70s were often made with no regard for material. But it’s a different world today, and we can change that. “Sustainability should be inherent to our idea of quality,” he told me. “We should strive to build lasting objects that carry the very essence of our current perspective, but that will still look beautiful as a vintage object that one could wear and admire in future generations.”

John and Lynn, Outerknown's Senior Textile Designer, picked out a few of their favorite pieces, pieces that exemplify Nostalgic Futurism…

John: “These OP style sweaters were everywhere in the ‘70s, but those original ones were usually made of acrylic yarns. Think about that: we were basically wearing plastic sweaters back then. And they pilled like hell. So what if we could do them in new sustainable yarns? Paying homage to the past, with fibers for the future.”

Lynn: “We made a floral this season that I really love called Aegean Floral. It just transports you to the Mediterranean. Each little blossom is hand-painted with care, and if you look closely, you'll see its beautiful, natural textures. In our print and color choices this season, we're paying homage to beloved coastal places all around the world: California, the Mediterranean, Hawaii.”

Lynn: “In the blissful season of spring, when California nights are cool, and wildflowers are blooming, we spent time in both the desert and on the coast for Blanket Shirt color and pattern inspiration. The red hues and expansive sky of the Mojave National Preserve are expressed in our Desert Plaids and Mojave Stripe. And California Street Plaid reflects the point break swell sweeping across the big blue ocean off the surf town of Ventura.”

John: “We already make uncomplicated clothing, but how do you make it even more relaxed and easy? The Beach Jean and the Groovy Pocket Tee sort of take me to those places. Personally, I was thinking back to the days of velcro Stussy pants that were baggier, and you would pull them on, and we all wore our t-shirts really big too. Everything just felt more relaxed and colorful — even if you wore them with your punk, indie, f--k-you spirit.”

John: “We’re excited about the Hightide series, coming later in spring. It’s an update to our Lowtide series that we began with. Those were the hoodies that felt like towels — Kelly said they were his favorite. But the terry toweling wasn’t sustainable. Now we’re bringing them back in new styles like the button-up, but the best part is the fabric is now sustainable — recycled poly and organic cotton. This is an example of the constant progress we’re always striving for, the Futurism part of Nostalgic Futurism.”


Heads up, not all spring styles are online yet. More to come!
Posted Jan 22, 2020