Rusty to retain its WA roots


Rusty managing director Geoff Backshall in the new store at Watertown.
Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d451352
Rusty managing director Geoff Backshall in the new store at Watertown. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d451352

Managing director Geoff Backshall said while many other global surf brands had moved over east, Rusty had been designing products in WA for 30 years at an office and warehouse in Osborne Park.

“I grew up along the Trigg and North Beach coast surfing, sailing, fishing, diving and I went to UWA, and everyone in the office grew up here,” he said.

“I have been with the business since May 1987 and back then it was just surfboards and screen printed T-shirts.

“It was pretty grassroots, and it slowly grew from there.”

Mr Backshall said the brand was labelled as ‘iconic’ because of the long-time connection to WA’s surf community.

“Rusty has maintained relevance as a brand and we’re still one of the only surf brands that still build surf boards, that is part of the DNA of the brand, that’s where we started,” he said.

“Our surfboards ensure the brand is well and truly anchored at the beach and demand for them is pretty strong.”

Surf culture has made a comeback in recent years according to Mr Backshall, who said the revival has had a positive impact on retail.

Mr Backshall said Rusty had opened its first outlet store in WA in six years in Watertown earlier this month.

“The surf business was over saturated in the mid-2000s that period from 2004 to 2008 and it became a bit homogenised so a lot of brands were becoming very similar with too much product,” he said.

“The oversupply cheapened the industry to a degree but now surf wear has re-emerged as modern retro with an early 1970s early 1990s grunge vibe.”

The Rusty women’s spring swimwear collection will be launched in July and Mr Backshall said the emphasis was on quality and innovative designs.