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Hurley Looks to Grow Women’s Apparel With New Licensing Deal

In one of the first moves following its acquisition by Bluestar Alliance, surfwear brand Hurley has entered into a licensing agreement with California-based Hybrid Apparel to design, manufacture and sell Hurley-branded women’s apparel.

Hybrid Apparel will help to elevate the surfwear brand’s women’s business, Hurley CEO Bill Hutchinson said in a statement, adding that he believes there is currently white space for Hurley women’s wear in the marketplace.

“Hybrid Apparel is a market leader in women’s apparel that will now include Hurley in its diverse mix of leading entertainment and pop-culture licenses, with industry-best talent in design, merchandising, sourcing, marketing and sales,” Hutchinson said. “This will allow us to bring innovation to the Hurley brand through speed to market with defining and cutting-edge products.”

Hybrid Apparel is a “full-service” design, development, production, sourcing and apparel distribution company founded in 1997 in California’s Orange County and it currently maintains offices in Cypress, Calif., Huntington Beach, Calif., and New York. Hybrid also has a presence on Hurley’s Costs Mesa, Calif., campus.

When current Hurley owner Bluestar Alliance acquired the company in October, it called the acquisition “transformative” for the surf brand. Bluestar CEO Joey Gabbay said that he would look to grow Hurley’s offerings and expand its relationships while maintaining its positioning as a “360-degree lifestyle brand” that incorporates themes from action sports.

Bluestar expects Hybrid Apparel will continue that tradition.

“Understanding the founding principles (inclusion, innovation, positivity) of the brand, Hybrid Apparel will continue to be a positive brand steward and a microphone for youth by staying connected to Hurley’s roots in surf, music and art,” Ralph Gindi, chief operating officer of Bluestar Alliance, said.

As a part of the agreement, Hurley’s Natasha Thomsen will also join Hybrid Apparel’s team as the vice president of women’s sales for its global brands division. Thomsen previously worked for Hurley for 13 years.

“Natasha has a deep understanding of Hurley brand’s roots, culture and consumer dynamics essential to the brand vision,” Hybrid Apparel chief merchandising officer Kristye Anderson said of Thomsen’s hiring. “Her focus will be to maintain and develop relationships with key retailers and work closely with design and merchandising teams.”