This spring, we teamed up with Icons of Culture to revive the iconic Ocean Pacific brand — learn more about the UO exclusive collection in our behind the scenes visit to the brand’s Los Angeles HQ.
Started as a surfboard manufacturer in the 60s, Ocean Pacific evolved into becoming the first surf brand of its kind: making apparel for surfers in and out of the water, and transforming into an iconic representation of 1970s-80s West Coast style. One of the first companies to translate the lifestyle of surfing, laid-back beach life, and California cool into a fashion brand, the line drew inspiration from music, art, and culture to create pieces that remain as relevant now as they were three decades ago.
Can you share more about the legacy of OP? What makes the brand so iconic?
Ocean Pacific (Op) originated in the ‘60s as a surfboard label. But it was in 1972 that founder, Jim Jenks developed the apparel line. He wanted to give surfers something they could wear in and out of the water. It quickly became the quintessential look of the beach culture of the 70s, especially with its iconic corduroy shorts and striped polo shirts. Op is the original “action sports industry” company, credited with the advent of the mega surf and skate contests, pro surfing and the West Coast lifestyle.
This collab is produced by Icons of Culture — can you share more about the work you do?
The Icons of Culture collection has set out to resurrect iconic brands, musicians, artists, photographers and more – telling legendary stories through exclusive artwork, photos and never-before-seen images. Ocean Pacific (Op) was a natural choice for the brand’s first heritage capsule collection. The most important component of this revival was that it stayed true to what made Op one of the most Iconic surf brands of its time. To maintain this authenticity, Icons of Culture brought back the original founder, Jim Jenks, as a creative consultant for this project and features all original designs pulled from the archives of the Jenks' family.
Can you tell us more about the pieces UO will be carrying? What inspired them?
Ocean Pacific (Op) by Icons of Culture breathes new life into the original Op prints, graphics, and textiles that introduced authentic Southern California surf culture to the world in the 1970s and 80s.
This collection pays homage to several iconic Op game-changers, like the J-pocket corduroy shorts, rainbow triangle bikini, and vintage men's tees and tanks, which are repurposed into modern, feminine silhouettes. Some of these pieces are so true-to-form, they boast the same fabrics Op originally used. In fact, this line couldn't be more genuine, with vintage designs refashioned by the same trendsetters that brought them to light the first time. The revival also includes hats and accessories like the retro Op Pro towel, a cult classic taken straight from the 70s and 80s era for another moment in the sun. This resurrected line is a refined look back at the authentic culture and style, honoring the timeless Op looks that started it all. Expect bright colors, vintage artwork, and tons of good vibes.
Can you speak more to the 70s-80s surf style revival? What about the era is inspiring from a fashion perspective?
The fashion of the 1970s and 1980s was all about expressing freedom and individuality. The individualistic vibe of the surfing subculture of the era, with the added influence of the hippies, punks and bohemians, is having a resurgence in today’s youth-culture, bringing back the energy and colorful fashions of the original free-thinkers. The mixing and matching of styles plays perfectly today, as it did then. The inviting, laid-back culture of the surf scene is alive and well – expanding well past the West Coast – and we wanted to throw it back to the original brand that started the cult trend: Ocean Pacific (Op).