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The SurfMonk Story…
The SurfMonk pullover changing robes are the concept of founders Claudia Taylor and Matt Lasky. Growing up in the heyday of the 60’s on Topanga Beach Road in Malibu directly across from California's most famous point break, the young Lasky siblings witnessed many bohemian lifestyles and inspirations. A fond memory was of the watching the coolest surfers (Jay Riddle, Davey Hilton, George Trafton, to name a few) change in and out of their wetsuits beneath surfing robes before and after riding. The surf changing pullovers were hooded terrycloth robes, known then as ‘the Bunny robe”.
A few decades later found Claudia ready for a career change from a high-stress event planning and catering business of 20 years. During conversation around the dinner table, she and Matt reminisced about the ‘good days of old’. They asked themselves: “What if we reproduced those robes and made them available worldwide?”
Channeling her enthusiasm and belief for all things organic and sustainable, Claudia adopted the creative role in the re-design of what she coined ‘The SurfMonk Project’. After extensive research, Claudia located an exclusive eco-fiber bamboo/cotton blend of luxurious terry velour and developed samples, which produced the foundation of a full collection: Full and Mid-Length robes, Hoodies, Juniors, Children’s and Baby robes, Beach Blanket bed-rolls with tote strap, as well as fanny wraps and mini-dresses. The designs include an intentionally frayed finish, trademark overstitch hem and hemp with wooden bead trim.
The reception of SurfMonk in 2008 was overwhelming. The first sales began at Malibu’s own trend-setting boutique, Planet Blue, and surf shops like ZJ Boarding House and Clout. Soon the brand was available in hotel boutiques, yoga studios and select independent stores across America, even in non-coastal cities. Demand quickly spread to hip stores in Japan, spas in Saudi Arabia, a rabid following in Norway and a distribution deal in Canada.
2009 bought the addition of SurfMonk Tropics: of course made of sustainable bamboo/organic cotton blends, but of lightweight double-sided terry, thermals and jerseys. The new pieces included flowing mini caftans, the best fitting terry drawstring pants, crop pants, short-shorts and kids pants. The fresh additions feature custom neck trims using authentic Tibetan monk malas (prayer beads) and fossilized shells in beautiful combinations.
A SurfMonk showroom opened May 26, 2009 at Las Flores and PCH, in Malibu, California. This designated space also serves to display other like-minded brands: Darryl Hannah’s Love Life Goods, skincare by Malibu’s OSEA, jewelry designers Tiger Lily, Bu Ju, Meg Freeman and other eco-minded, local and philanthropic friends. The grand opening donated 20% of profits to the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, an effort to restore the dwindling food chains in our oceans by creating Marine Preserves along the coast.
SurfMonk is 100% committed to sustainable and local manufacturing. Made in Los Angeles, all goods are sweatshop-free, organically dyed and made of raw materials developed without the use of chemicals. We believe in the use of natural resources without destroying the ecological balance of our world.
"we are all islands...oceans connect us"