Here at Skinit we love to embrace the culture and character of each of our designs in order to truly discover what makes each brand unique. We had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Dersu Rhodes of Reef to uncover the art behind the brand.
What goes into the whole creative process behind any Reef Design?
It starts usually with an inspiration trip and some serious blog reading accompanied by some good meetings studying past successes we’ve had with sell in and sales. We also take a deep look into our competitors and how we can stay speak our voice distinctly.
I love heading to NYC, LA, or even San Fran or when we’re lucky, Europe or Australia and seeing what’s going on. You can get so many great ideas from watching people in a fashion forward district as well as cruising around to museums or fabric stores, or even a surf trip can be that perfect spark to your imagination and creativity. Its crazy how many ideas can come when you get out of the office and soak everything in. Then it goes to the drawing board, lots of sketches and collages, and some painting, I usually try to stay away from the computer initially, that thing can sometimes be a creative blocker.
What do you think is the overall message that Reef- as a company – hopes to convey?
I think Reef is about surf, travel, connecting with the ocean whether it is with surf, or just being around it. We are exotic, our roots are in Latin America and we make sure to keep that in mind when we are designing. We hope to spread the message of eco conscious, “redemptive” lifestyle while keeping people who wear our apparel or sandals feeling ridiculously comfortable, technologically on point and on trend! We have so much fun creating the product that comes out of the brand and we want to keep that aspect infused into everything we create. I see so much value in having someone grab their reef sandals or shoes, or throw on their favorite reef boardies or tees, and be reminded of an amazing trip they took or that feeling of being in an exotic location or at the beach even if they are in the city heading to work.
Reef’s most recent campaign is called “Modern Gypsy.” What was the inspiration and vision behind it?
The Path of The Modern Gypsy is really the idea of not calling one place home; instead their home is on the road, in an airplane, on a boat travelling to exotic locations in search of cultural experiences and perfect surf. It’s about inspiring the surfer in all of us. On the apparel side we are so focused on making sure we speak to the guy who loves to travel, and be on vacation, and the idea that you can live out of one bag but still be extremely functional, comfortable and fashionable. We have spent some valuable time with our surf team and really picked their brains on what works for them on a performance and function aspect. On the other side, seeing that a lot of our team comes from places like Australia etc, we know that they really pay attention to fashion. We want them to feel confident that they look good!
Reef Hard Sun Skin for iPhone 4
What inspires you personally?
I love traveling as well, so I think really living that lifestyle is a huge inspiration. I look to architecture, museums, boutiques, even nature for inspiration. There are so many cool prints and patterns that have evolved from sand, or tree trunks etc. I have to say a lot of inspiration comes from the Reef girls as well. I’ve had the opportunity to help creative direct a couple of the shoots with the girls and they are really easy to work with, are from all over the world, and of course are really beautiful! haha
Reef Arabian Nights Skin for iPod Touch (2nd & 3rd gen.)
To date, what has been your greatest or most memorable experience at Reef?
I had an opportunity to go to The North Shore of Oahu last year for the Reef Hawaiian Pro. It was a lot of work setting up the event, but it was my first time to Hawaii, and to sit on the beach and watch one of the biggest swells of the winter hit the north shore and see the our team riders dropping into massive pipeline barrels was so amazing. Helping to produce our apparel Spring 12 line in Bali was amazing as well. The people there are so friendly and welcoming.
Reef Life is Too Short Skin for iPhone 4
It’s 2020. What are you doing? Where are you?
I’m working as hard as I possibly can. I’m full steam ahead with Reef and also trying to get some more traveling in. I’m also working on a blog with some fellow “creatives” and friends called Witness This (www.witness-this.com) it’s a great creative outlet with where we are helping to promote our friends, and share amazing music design and art. I’m also designing the album cover for Xavier Rudd’s new album coming out this year. So yeah! lots of exciting stuff and I feel really fortunate to be where I am working for a company like Reef and being able to be paid for being creative and do what I love.