Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Too much leg? Too short? Not enough leg? Too baggy and ill-fitting? The boardshorts today aren’t made like they were in the 1970’s, when they were designed with wetsuit functionality in mind, integrating snaps, velcro and zippers into their designs. The Break, a small shop based out of LA, created their line of of ‘boardies’ with a constant nod to the days of 1970’s Southern California, and with one over-arching component: above the knee hems. With each trunk limited to 100 pairs, Racked National chatted with The Break (Andrea Swain and Brett Kroha) about beach do’s and don’ts, channeling your inner Jack Sparrow, and why, if all else fails, there’s always babysitting as a backup plan.
Racked: What is the mission behind The Break, why did you launch the company?
The Break: The boardshort industry has been slowly rising above the knee, literally and figuratively, since the antediluvian bellow-the-knee style. The Break belongs to a unique fraternity of swimwear designers that design the shorts to be totally wearable no matter what the occasion is, whether it be the beach, the pool, or the dive bar, few brands offer a special kind of on-the-go board shorts. Each short that we create is numbered out of 100. The number represents not only the short, but the person wearing the shorts as well. This gives the boardies sentimental value that is stronger than any other brand of short that almost transforms the shorts into a keepsake, like your first time catching a wave that one summer, or the first time you saw THE DRUMS play live. In just a short time, we'll be ready to take on the world, but the question is, is the world ready for The Break? God let's hope so because if not I’ll have to go back to babysitting?.
Racked: What is in a name? Why The Break?
The Break: We chose the name The Break, not only because of its obvious connotation in regards to a “surf break”, but because it represents our brand, and how it is a break from the norm.
Racked: Your logo is the Bravo Flag. What about the signage resonates with your brand?
The Break: The Flag represents the letter B or in seafaring terms "bravo." It also means taking, holding, or exchanging DANGEROUS cargo. Our decision to fly a flag of our own, therefore becoming pirates, in respect to our Twain quote, finally confirming our status not only as Southern California’s up and coming brand, but as the kids who aren’t afraid to release their inner Jack Sparrow?so to speak.
Racked: Tell us a little bit about the underside of your clothing labels, especially pertaining to the Mark Twain quote?
The Break: We decided to include the quote “Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good. God would permit us to be pirates”. Did you know that Mark Twain surfed? Twain spent 4 months in Hawaii in 1866. One day he took a wooden board to try his knack at surfing. “None but natives ever master the art of surf-bathing thoroughly”. Yes, that’s right. America’s most famous writer wiped out. We only thought it was fitting to use one of his quotes, because of his keen interest of the surf culture, and plus, the quote is rad!
Racked: What are your do’s and don’ts for wearing bathing suits? Any tips that you live by? And to avoid completely?
The Break: Don’t: be modest.
Don’t: Forget your sunscreen. Really. It’s not worth it
Do: Take your boardies from the beach to a casual dinner, because you can.
Don’t: Be afraid to show a little leg?the ladies will dig it.
Racked: What was the inspiration behind the line?
The Break: We noticed the growing interest in the menswear market. Men are more interested in fashion than ever before. They want choices, and they want unique, comfortable, and well-made quality garments. Our shorts are meant to be functional and fashion forward, yet fun. We created a line that truly captured the So Cal lifestyle, providing our friends with a boardie they could wear at the beach and around town.
Racked: What are you working on next?
The Break: Look out for our Indian Summer 2011 collection coming out just in time for those sizzling Aug/Sept weekends! Also, we are currently working on our Summer/Spring 2012 line. You will be seeing more vibrant colors influenced by our travels to Baja Mexico and Australia this past year.
· The Break [Official Site]
· All One on One posts [Racked]