O'Neill TRVLR Series, “Designed for the Destination – No Matter What” [Interview]
Nestled in the heart of the surf culture, O'Neill has earned its place as an iconic brand with deep roots in the world of riding waves. From inventing the revolutionary wetsuit that opened up new possibilities for surfers to their relentless commitment to quality and innovation, O'Neill has consistently pushed the boundaries of functional surfwear. Now, with their sights set on a bold new horizon, O'Neill is poised to make waves once again as they prepare to launch their latest outdoor collection: the O’Neill TRVLR Series.
Introducing the "O’Neill TRVLR Series: Designed for the Destination - No Matter What" – an innovative outdoor surf collection designed for adventure seekers. Its standout feature is the Modular concept, offering versatile jackets and a fleece that can be worn separately or zipped together.
To bring this concept to life, brand has collaborated with the talented illustrator Bertrand Aznar. His artwork beautifully captures the adaptability of Textured Jacket and Altum Mode Jacket, showcasing how they can be layered for custom comfort and protection in changing weather.
In this exclusive interview, we had the opportunity to sit down with Joffrey Delfgaauw, the Head of Innovation and Technology at O'Neill Europe. Joffrey's journey is a testament to his passion for design and sportswear, intertwined with a profound commitment to sustainability.
As we delve into his unique perspective, we'll explore the key themes that drive his work on the O’Neill TRVLR Series.
Discover how O'Neill blends innovation, functionality, and user-centric solutions to create versatile garments that excel in multiple functionalities, empowering surfers and outdoor enthusiasts to conquer every adventure and join us as we unravel the story behind O'Neill's exciting foray into outdoor excellence and explore the promising future of functional surf apparel.
[Hello Joffrey! How's it going? I'm interested to learn about your new role at O'Neill Europe, as well as what you and your team work on day to day.]
As the Head of Innovation and Technology at O'Neill Europe, my main responsibility is to drive the company's technological advancements. Innovation has always been central to everything we do here at O'Neill, so I'm happy to be part of a team that keeps pushing the needle forward and leads the way in high-performance outdoor surf apparel.
[Tell me about the path you've taken in your career to be in this unique perspective. Have you had a clear vision or have there been forks in the road?]
I'd say that both, a clear vision and some forks here and there, have been part of my journey. For sure my very strong passion for design and sportswear is what brought me to cover the roles I experienced so far. Along the way, I became more interested and involved in sustainability topics and I decided to combine creative leadership with a commitment to innovative and lower-impact product development.
[Try to pinpoint a singular innovation in functional apparel that resonates most profoundly with you. How has this influenced your work on the O'Neill TRVLR Series collection?]
One of the most impactful innovations in functional apparel that resonates deeply with me is the integration of more sustainable materials and technologies. This has significantly influenced my work on the O'Neill TRVLR Series collection, as I've been committed to implementing sourcing more sustainable materials to minimize our environmental footprint.
[What core values or principles drive your commitment to design and innovation? How do those align with the tenets at O'Neill?]
If I need to name three principles, then innovation, functionality, and user-centric solutions are the ones. O'Neill creates products for active and adventurous spirits, allowing consumers to enjoy our playground longer is our core value.
[Considering the brand's rich history in surfing, how has the addition of outerwear & snow gear developed? What kind of challenges have you faced?]
O'Neill's legacy of innovation began with the invention of the wetsuit, a revolution for the world of surfing. This innovative spirit runs in our DNA and is integrated into our outerwear and snow product developments, which started in the late '80s.
Drawing from our decades of experience in creating surfwear regarded as top of the market, it has for sure been an interesting challenge to maintain the same level of quality in our products when designing and developing snow outwear. I believe we are now at the stage of being able to really empower our consumers with our offer. Our deep-rooted commitment to quality and functionality has been the driving force behind our process of creating gear for both surf and snow enthusiasts worldwide.
[Can you elaborate on your philosophy behind creating garments that excel in multiple functionalities?]
O'Neill TRVLR Series' philosophy centers on crafting garments that ensure versatility to a variety of surf and outdoor activities. By designing clothing that excels in multiple functionalities, we promote longevity and emphasize the importance of quality and durability. The Modular Concept created within this collection is the perfect example. Pieces like the Textured Jacket and the Altum Mode Jacket are tailored for adaptability and can be combined in different layers, allowing for customizable comfort and protection in ever-changing weather conditions. The range has been designed for all the surfers out there who want to reach their favorite surf spots and make the most of every moment along the way. From the start to the final destination.
[How do you go about achieving simplicity without compromising performance? Can you provide some examples from O'Neill TRVLR Series which blend these two components seamlessly?]
Achieving simplicity without compromising performance involves a careful balance of minimalist design and advanced technical features. For example, our all-weather jackets are streamlined in appearance and incorporate cutting-edge waterproof and breathable materials to keep users dry and comfortable during outdoor activities.
Features like hidden pockets, temperature regulation, and moisture-wicking capabilities, offer outstanding functionality without unnecessary complexity.
[What kind of cutting-edge technologies are being applied in your design and manufacturing processes? How do you balance creating added value for the customer against added efficiency for your team?]
In our design and manufacturing processes, we embrace technologies such as digital 3D garment prototyping.
This technology allows us to visualize and fine-tune designs in a virtual environment so that the need for physical prototypes gets reduced.
By incorporating these innovations, we can deliver increased value to our customers through expedited design iterations, while creating less waste at the same time.
At the same time, we increase efficiency within our team by streamlining the product development pipeline, including fabric and material overlap between ranges to minimize variations in qualities. This approach of sharing qualities is an example of optimized material management where fewer resources are required, while also resulting in improved efficiencies.
[Imagine your vision for the future of O'Neill and the functional apparel industry as a whole. Can you illuminate any groundbreaking trends or changes on the horizon? What should we be watching out for?]
Our vision for the future of O'Neill and the functional apparel industry includes more sustainability, innovation, and user-centricity. We expect a significant shift toward circular fashion practices, where lower-impact materials become the norm. Additionally, smart textiles and wearable technology will continue to evolve, elevating experiences and performance.
Concluding our inspiring conversation with Joffrey Delfgaauw, it's evident that O'Neill's TRVLR Series embodies a vision of innovation and sustainability, seamlessly merging the worlds of surfing and outdoor adventure.
As you embark on your next journey, remember that this groundbreaking collection is now available through O'Neill's official website, inviting you to experience the perfect fusion of style and functionality in your pursuit of endless waves and thrilling outdoor escapades.
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Questions, words: Alexander Richardson [TECHUNTER, CMO]. Answers: Joffrey Delfgaauw [O'Neill Europe, Head of Innovation and Technology]. Ph, videos: O’Neill. Illustrations: Bertrand Aznar. Edit: Alex Zabelin [THM]. Layout: Grigory Gatenyan [THM].