ExKite Lim­ited-Edi­tion Cap­sule Lands at Bar­neys New York

World cham­pion kite surfers' jack­ets are light­weight and one-of-a-kind.

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY SHARON EDELSON

Renzo Mancini is prov­ing that you don't have to be based in a fash­ion cap­i­tal to have your prod­ucts sold by a lux­ury re­tailer. Of course, Mancini is a lit­tle more re­mote than most — some would even say, off the grid. Still, he man­aged to get the at­ten­tion of Bar­neys New York buyers from Sar­dinia, where he lives and op­er­ates ExKite with his wife, stylist Eirinn Skrede.

The eco-friendly ExKite cre­ates jack­ets from kite-surf­ing kites that are de­com­mis­sioned and up­cy­cled.

Mancini, a for­mer pro­fes­sional kite surfer, found his call­ing when he was test­pi­lot­ing a kite surf­ing brand. Test­ing the kites in the wa­ter, Mancini re­al­ized they could no longer be used for kite surf­ing, but he didn't want to throw them away. Each kite was as­so­ci­ated with a mem­ory — of a beau­ti­ful day or a nice mo­ment on the beach. With Skrede, he de­signed jack­ets, each a one-of-a-kind ar­ti­cle.

Mancini said he didn't “want to take a cor­ner at Bar­neys be­cause we are not yet known.” He had an idea, which sounds quite am­bi­tious, but was sec­ond na­ture for the kite-surf­ing pro. “'Why don't we take two kites and put the logo of Bar­neys on one and the ExKite logo on the other,'” Mancini re­called telling the re­tailer. “'We'll send them around the world for three months and col­lect footage and videos of the peo­ple fly­ing them, and when they fin­ish the tour we'll make 12 jack­ets from the kites.'”

Set­ting sail in Sar­dinia, the kites were flown by pro­fes­sion­als in races and com­pe­ti­tions, touch­ing down in Los An­ge­les and San Fran­cisco, then France, Nor­way and Swe­den, along the way, the kites dipped in oceans, fought winds, and were flown over lakes and rivers. Back in Sar­dinia, the kites were trans­formed into a 12-piece lim­ited-edi­tion cap­sule con­sist­ing of color-blocked tech-rip­stop jack­ets, priced at $795 each.

“We have an ex­clu­sive agree­ment with Bar­neys for one sea­son,” Mancini said.

“Of course, they took the lim­ited-edi­tion cap­sule and also bought the ExKite nor­mal col­lec­tion. Bar­neys is sell­ing a range of cus­tom pieces, in­clud­ing col­or­blocked tech-rip­stop vests, $425; col­or­blocked tech-rip­stop jack­ets, $595, and color-blocked tech-rip­stock over­sized parka, $995. While most of the prod­ucts are de­signed for men, the parka is ac­tu­ally a uni­sex piece. “It suits women,” Mancini said. “We sell more parkas to women than to men. It's a huge over­size parka with a batwing.”

When the kites started off in Sar­dinia, Mancini said, “I was the first one to fly the kite and when it ended in Sar­dinia, I was the last one to ride. We got a strong wind on the last day and I got some more nice footage. It was the per­fect end­ing to a new be­gin­ning with Bar­neys. Af­ter I fin­ished on the last day, I had to send the kite to pro­duc­tion to be cut.”

The one-off na­ture of the prod­uct and the fact that each gar­ment comes with a story is at­trac­tive to clients. “We give them a lit­tle idea and about the owner of the kite and where he's been fly­ing,” Mancini said.

Mancini, who used to race pro­fes­sion­ally, said, “I do only surf­ing com­pe­ti­tion. I can­not com­pete in free style.” So he's putting more em­pha­sis on ExKite, which has a show­room in Sar­dinia along with a lab­o­ra­tory where cus­tom prod­ucts are made.”I would love to keep on go­ing with Bar­neys,” Mancini said. “They be­lieved in the pro­ject and gave us a very nice space. We opened a store in Sar­dinia, but it's a very short sea­son. I'd be very cu­ri­ous to open a shop in a big city. New York might be the place.”

Looks from ExKite’s col­lab­o­ra­tion withBarney’s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.