What do you get when you combine people working in the action sports industry and the need for quality watches? You get a company like Nixon. It was founded in 1997 when two men involved in the action sports world were trying to find watches that were stylish and yet could withstand the challenges of their active lifestyles.
Because there was not any available option, the two partners (Andy Laats and Chad DiNenna) set out to create their own. Because Laats had a background in engineering, he was able to provide the kind of high end design skills needed. DiNenna's work in the media had also positioned the partnership for success.
They pursued a few corporate backers and debuted their line of seven custom watches through carefully selected retailers. Within three years they were opening operations in France and within eight years they had doubled their sales.
Though Nixon was a success, the two partners accepted a buyout offer from Billabong Intl. in 2006. However, that lasted only six years and again the firm was split between Billabong and another partnership (with Nixon's two founders among them). Today it is owned by Trilantic Capital Partners and Billabong equally.
Additionally, they have gone far beyond watches and are purveyors of goods that are designed with details in mind.
The Evolution of Nixon
Though the partnership set out to provide buyers with stylish watches that could endure athletic activities, today they have diversified into a wide array of products. They give emphasis to the small details and their mission is to provide buyers with something that reflects the "entire package". This might be a watch, a backpack, a headset, or a garment that the company has designed as part of its current line up.
Essentially, the concept of Nixon products in the current era is that you cannot put an "off the shelf" item on your person and believe that it is a reflection of "you". To do that, they insist, means you must seek out goods that have been given a lot of thought and attention. They place value on tiny details and explain that all of their goods are team designed, custom built and meant to be used for a "life well lived".
You can visit the Nixon website to get a complete portrait of their current offerings. Divided between men's and women's lines, the site depicts a lifestyle more than a collection. The women's collections for summer of 2014, as an example, include "Modern Tribe", "The Small Time Teller" and "X-ray". The men's features "Paradise", "Shadow Form", "X-ray", "Marbelized", and "Green Sunray".
The collections can be purchased online or through the stand alone retail outlets that appear in California, Australia, and Bali. They also make their goods available from some of the world's leading upscale retailers, including Barneys, Colette, and Fred Segal.
As to be expected from such an interesting and unique firm as Nixon, their CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility - initiative is uniquely phrased too. They have high expectations for their suppliers and ensure that everything is produced accordingly. This means they adhere to the SA8000 code of practice that ensures no child labor or forced labor, no discrimination or health and safety threats, and more.
Because Nixon was started by two sports enthusiasts, it makes sense that part of their corporate culture involves sponsorship of sporting events. This is why the firm has the Nixon Surf Challenge and the Nixon Jibfest on its list of annual events.
The Nixon Surf Challenge is often hosted in different locations and it is structured far differently than any other surfing event in the world. In fact, it is meant to be more about fun than competition and because of that it uses non-traditional scoring to determine champions.
The Nixon Jibfest has not been as consistent as the surfing challenge, but in 2012 it was still considered one of the best invitation only snowboarding contests. It features some of the most unique and innovative tricks and moves and is often the focus of television coverage.
Keep an Eye on Nixon
Nixon is clearly a brand with a reputation for style, uniqueness, and personality. Its collections reflect a lot of personality and are distinct expressions of certain lifestyles. They remain high quality products and are among the most popular upscale brands. They appear in top publications on a regular basis and are a great choice in accessory for the fashionista and the sports nut alike.
Nixon. Social Responsibility. Nixon.com. 2014.