Julian Klincewicz Brings a Tasteful Touch to the Latest Gotcha Collection


Words by Sean Hetherington. Photos courtesy Gotcha.

“IF YOU DON’T SURF, DON’T START… IF YOU DO, NEVER STOP.”

 

 

That right there might be the best bit of marketing copy the surf world will ever see. But then again, maybe it’s not… I mean, as oft-repeated as that quote is, I don’t necessarily associate it with GOTCHA. It wasn’t until I started brushing up on the brand’s 2021 relaunch that I began seeing the ads from the ‘80s campaign. It’s a damn good campaign. When it came to appealing to core customers, GOTCHA founder Michael Tomson was always willing to push the boundaries in an industry that he saw as watered down and homogeneous. Thomson approached brand building just like he surfed (and lived). Like a bull in a china closet. No room for subtlety.

In fairness, this lack of subtlety is pretty much what defined GOTCHA in its glory days. Remember, there was a time that GOTCHA was one of the biggest surf brands on the planet—fueled by bold branding, huge neon logos, all-over prints and a shit-ton more neon.

So many brands (surf or otherwise) have been doing prime ‘80s-era GOTCHA, that you could almost be forgiven for forgetting that they were effectively out of business for the last couple decades. And that’s why it’s so interesting to see it reincarnated. But where the hell is this shark gonna plant his flag in 2021?

They’re clearly trying to reclaim their space in a time where the lines between surf, skate and streetwear are increasingly blurred. And while we probably won’t be seeing a GOTCHA surf team any time soon, some notable skaters/models have been popping up in their feed. Is that Clipper legend Darrell Stanton? Better believe it. Haden McKenna? Obviously. Louie Fucking Barletta? Well, not a model or anything, but he did get a nice little care package.

And they seem to be taking that skate-focus a little further by enlisting Julian Klincewicz to create a lookbook for their second collection of 2021. Skate rat and longtime MC friend, Julian is a multidisciplinary artist with an almost maddening array of talents. His unique take on GOTCHA brings a little subtlety to the collection without betraying what the brand has always been about.Julian told us: “I was really excited to get to shoot one of the first GOTCHA campaign relaunches, as it’s such an iconic brand and really is the seed for so many other current brands. Discovering the brand actually felt a bit like when you discover your artists’ favorite artist and you can see the lineage.”

While the GOTCHA of today is just getting its feet off the ground, working with artists like Julian is a giant step in the right direction. And Monster Children is (please don’t say it) here for it!

Get your hands on it here: https://gotcha.com/

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