Paul Naude launches new brand - Vissla

Stu Nettle
Surfpolitik

Just four months after his takeover attempt of Billabong failed, Paul Naude, ex-head of Billabong's US operations, has unveiled his new brands. The unsuccessful takeover made Naude's position at Billabong untenable and it was widely known Naude was head hunting talent to join him in his new venture, the details of which had been secret until now.

Speaking to Transworld Business, Naude said there'd be three brands operating under the holding company, Stokehouse Unlimited. The new men's brand, Vissla, will be targeted at 12 to 25 year-old males, while an accessory company, D'Blanc, will focus on eyewear. Another still-unnamed brand catering to juniors will be launched in 2015.

Naude indicated he'd be taking the lessons learnt at Billabong and applying them to his new comany. “From a personal point of view," he told Transworld, "I question whether this industry, which is really driven by creativity and a somewhat free-spirited approach… I question whether that’s not a contradiction with being publically traded. And satisfying what I sometimes call the ‘unsatisfiable’ shareholders."

Read more about the companies here. View the Vissla website here.

Comments

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 8 Nov 2013 at 9:39am

Check the Vissla website (and video) and search for totems: 

- Tattoos
- A Super 8 camera
- Retro craft
- Handicrafts!
- 'creators', 'innovators', 'hand made'

They're clearly shucking the Billabong-style heritage branding, but are they too late for DIY Hipsterism?

touche's picture
touche's picture
touche commented Saturday, 11 Jan 2014 at 5:53am

Yes they are.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 8 Nov 2013 at 10:19am

I totally understand that there's only so much creativity you can undertake with the letter 'V', but their logo is almost identical to that of the old Victory Wetsuits.

Same horizontal bar across the top (well left-hand side anyway), and the diagonal break on the bottom left ascending bar.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 8 Nov 2013 at 10:23am

Here's a later version.

paddlepaddleduckrepeat's picture
paddlepaddleduckrepeat's picture
paddlepaddleduc... commented Friday, 8 Nov 2013 at 10:46am

Screams NINETEEN EIGHTIES .....probably Senor Naudes hey day.
"We are creators and innovators" perhaps cancer research is on the cards?

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 8 Nov 2013 at 11:04am

Great pick up Ben. Do we need another tee shirt? Not sure if anybody on this site is into motorbikes however the whole thing screams Deus without the bikes. Deus do it really well with some creative graphic people involved, however I think their apparel side of things is struggling like everybody else. The shop in Sydney does well selling food and coffee apparently. The one in Bali is pretty groovy.

mickj's picture
mickj's picture
mickj commented Friday, 8 Nov 2013 at 11:40am

Be interesting to know who the financial backers are, this thing will burn a stack of cash in start up mode. Pretty long lead time til those first big indents are delivered in March and paid for 30-90 days later.

Naude may well be sole funding it, if so, good on him for taking a swing.

Distribution seems a focus, i.e. chasing a global network of independents, whilst hinting at possibly having a couple of large cornerstone retailers that'll have multiple doors. I heard that once Naude's crack at BBG fell over, he immediately called round the 20-30 largest US retailers to see if they'd support the new venture. Clearly got enough verbal support to move ahead with it.

Being a globally significant 'niche' player is a very difficult space to own but lucrative if you can pull it off, need very good product to back up the spin (at a price people are willing to pay).

Also wonder how many professional surfing CVs he's received since launch, fair few I'd guess in the current market.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 8 Nov 2013 at 5:13pm
touche's picture
touche's picture
touche commented Saturday, 11 Jan 2014 at 5:43am

Many companies suffer losses and near bankruptcies. It will be much easier for Billabong to recover than a new start up with stale ideas to ever get off of the ground.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 8 Nov 2013 at 5:14pm

Where has that delete button gone?

kanethomas1's picture
kanethomas1's picture
kanethomas1 commented Friday, 8 Nov 2013 at 8:28pm

What they all need to learn is the demographic they are chasing wear brands however they don't like to be a walking advertisement I.e bbg rip curl quik etc.

Industry have done very well cheap casual stylish no logos in sight

sidthefish's picture
sidthefish's picture
sidthefish commented Saturday, 9 Nov 2013 at 1:20am

Vissla ? Nah, Thanks but No Thanks, I'll stick with the Rizzla's over the Vissla's.

z-man's picture
z-man's picture
z-man commented Saturday, 9 Nov 2013 at 2:11am

First thing that comes to my mind is Tesla Motors;

you could say they are literally 'burning' up the market ...

http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-conservative/2013/11/electric-manufactu...

my signature

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 commented Saturday, 9 Nov 2013 at 8:19am

Fizzla, in case the whole thing duds. Prefer Sid's suggestion though.

mick63's picture
mick63's picture
mick63 commented Saturday, 9 Nov 2013 at 7:28pm

Ben said… “I totally understand that there's only so much creativity you can undertake with the letter 'V', but their logo is almost identical to that of the old Victory Wetsuits.”

Ben, my first response was to take Stu’s suggestion and check their website but when I typed in Vissla, Google brought up Vizsla, “a Hungarian short haired pointing dog”. Then I checked the calendar… nope, it’s not 1st of April, but then after some thought it all made sense. Victory was an iconic brand back in the day and Swizzla..ah Vizzla…Vissla is acknowledging the heritage of such an iconic brand but moving forward with a new outlook for the modern times. I think it’s fantastic that we have another progressive surf brand to quantify the surf culture so that we can all have someone identify what we are supposed to look like but in a unique and individual way, giving us the ability to purchase our aesthetic in the tribe we are part of. They are aiming to be a CORE surf company, not like the others that have lost their way in a corporate maze, whose only motivation is to cash in on our desire to belong to an identifiable tribe and be immersed in our truly unique and inspiring culture. The idea of what we are supposed to wear has become stale and uninspiring, it is time for a new image, someone else to lead and guide us, to show us what to wear so we can once again identify as being a SURFER. Even though Swizzla… Vissla will be offering the same cheaply made clothing with the same exorbinate mark up, they will be different, they will be unique, they will be CORE and identifiably part of our surf culture. Bring it on I say, move over RiponaQuickBong, these are exciting times, we are witnessing history in the making.

touche's picture
touche's picture
touche commented Saturday, 11 Jan 2014 at 5:50am

I will simply say this. Why was Paul interested in saving Billabong if he can now be so critical of the very company that made he and his top execs wealthy? His new company and his stealing of the billabong employees smells of sour grapes to me. It is interesting why you would want to recruit and start a company with the very same employees which made Billabong sink in the first place. Vissla has nothing new to offer and Paul is setting himself up in case it fails by saying he doesn't want to be corporate. Who doesn't want their company to grow? He should be happy with his millions, retire gracefully and enjoy his many other interests.

tugunman's picture
tugunman's picture
tugunman commented Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 at 8:59am

Bit too 1930's Germany with the 'SS' front and centre again for my liking?!?!

madjibes's picture
madjibes's picture
madjibes commented Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 at 10:39am

yep first thing I saw aswell...maybe they can get Hugo Boss on board.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 at 11:05am

Sounds like the name of a new model SUV " Test drive the Toyota Vissla today!"

....and yes Mick this is obviously going to be absolutely the most unique surfing company ever.

fingersofglory's picture
fingersofglory's picture
fingersofglory commented Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 at 3:52pm

Expecting so much from the hype; and according to maurice he's a nice bloke too!
I was even hoping it was going to be something special after some guys I a patagonia shop whinging how "naude couldn't just create a environmentally conscience brand! Cause he just can't do it like us" like there a non for profit organisation.....
But gee's; not original, saturated demographic, already been done by hipster surfers everywhere that get there stuff made in Bali.
Got CULT written all over it. Disgruntled ex employee with a massive payout operating out of (more than likely) spite.
Good luck to them though, they may be brought out by a bigger conglomerate in a couple of years time ala volcom,hurley etc etc

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon commented Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 at 8:29pm

Just another made up name to join the masses, its not catchy or even funky.
Sounds like Vissy Recycling.
What is the connection of the word Vissla and surfing..?

Love the Vissla link and the photo of old mate with his hands covering his face, spelling out MadeHand. The creation and innovation of tattoos!

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 at 8:46am

Vissla's first event sponsorship: The ISA World Juniors!

“The ISA World Juniors is the perfect venue for us to launch our brand,” said VISSLA CEO Paul Naude. “VISSLA is a surf clothing brand that represents creative freedom, a forward-thinking philosophy, and rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb..."

http://www.isasurf.org/isa-return-ecuador-2014-vissla-isa-world-junior-surfing-championship

sidthefish's picture
sidthefish's picture
sidthefish commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 at 10:51am

...are juniors into rhubarb these days ?

whatever ever happened to a spring valley bottle, some wax and walking round town trying to find a paw-paw stem ? Those poor paw-paw trees on D-bah hill never stood a chance.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 at 10:58am

Rhubarb strings, Sid, What else are you gonna chuck in those bottles?

brutus's picture
brutus's picture
brutus commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 at 12:10pm

will be interesting to see Vissla's product ,with the Brand slogan being "Creative innovation,".......any guess's who their number 1# team rider will be??

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 at 12:26pm

Uplift

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 at 1:37pm

Mark Visser.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 at 1:43pm

jeff Rowley of course

kaki bibaita

sidthefish's picture
sidthefish's picture
sidthefish commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 at 5:53pm

extending the (my) hypothesis that much can be determined by ones handwriting, the same could be said about a companies Logo. As such the Vissla Logo & Name screams anything but creativity.

Would love to hear an ellaboration on the logic of this choice of brand identity.

I'll never forget, back in the day, when the brand Mango (fruit image) was in flight, a very clever and creative airbrush artist, we'll call him Shane ______ , did a limited release of singlets sporting the brand and vegetable image - Choko, just to take the piss.

Or in this case, take the pissla, or fissla if you prefer.

touche's picture
touche's picture
touche commented Saturday, 11 Jan 2014 at 5:55am

Just saw the summer lookbook. YAWN.