If you have spent any time on a beach in Ibiza this summer, chances are you will have spotted a pair of Syd & Rex swim shorts. The distinctive colours and Ibiza influences makes them unique. Once you own your first pair of Syd & Rex shorts, you will be hooked for life; like every worthwhile relationship, the initial attraction is visual but once you get to know them better and find out more about them, it intensifies. The instantly recognisable swimming shorts are only part of the collection, they have everything you need to feel comfortable at even the coolest pool party!
This is a brand that is doing all the right things, building slowly but surely and taking inspiration from its surroundings. Syd & Rex recently opened its headquarters on the roundabout at Can Bellotera, on the road to San Jordi, where they restored an old brick warehouse, turning it into cool offices and a store that wouldn’t look out of place as a Chiringuito on one of the island’s stunning beaches. We are huge fans of the brand here at Essentialibiza and this kind of action and attention to detail, giving something back to the place that inspires them. We caught up with Nick Adcock to get a better insight into Syd & Rex…
How would you describe Syd & Rex?
‘Syd & Rex’ is a premium mens beachwear and accessories brand that is founded in Ibiza and inspired by the relaxed and chilled out Balearic state of mind.
The high quality and simplicity of your products is one of the first things that hits you, is that something that is important to you?
I’m really glad you felt that as first and foremost our goal is to produce products that are good quality. Comfort is the ultimate goal and that is achieved through a combination of the right fabric and relaxed cuts. We source our fabrics from Italy and Turkey and focus on materials that will get better over time – we are not a “fast fashion” brand. Our goal is to have you wearing our product for years not months (or weeks!). In the end we hope to be a reliable brand, one that delivers consistency each year and that continues to keep true to our lifestyle and that of our customer.
You talk about looking to create a relationship between you and your customer, how do you go about this?
I think our approach is probably a little different to most these days – based on our target customer we take a bit more of an “old school” approach. While we utilise the Internet and social media, we are more focussed on quality not quantity communication. The common bond for us as a brand, with our customers, is Ibiza and the Balearics. We like to refer to it as “Brotherhood of the Balearic Beat”. While there is an obvious music connection there we think it goes deeper than that – a shared bond and understanding. At the end of the day though a repeat customer or a referral from a happy customer is the most genuine way to grow “Syd & Rex”. With that in mind our focus is very much on customer service, either through our concept shop or online store.
Who is the Syd & Rex customer?
Our target is the 30-50 male – someone who knows, understands (and wants) quality products. We like to think we are an addition to their wardrobe and hope that over time we become a favourite go to brand. While we are very aware of what is going on in the fashion world (colours, materials, etc) we are more driven by what we believe our customer wants than what is happening on the catwalks of the world. I think for us, we try to present an easy and understandable range of clothing and accessories that connect to guys who would rather enjoying their vacation than spend time buying an outfit.
Ibiza is clearly a big influence on the brand, what is it about the island that inspires you?
I remember many years ago having it explained this way, “Every person who arrives in Ibiza is expecting to have the best holiday of his or her life. With that sort of positive energy it’s got to be special”. While that has always been the best explanation to the special energy of the island I think to me you don’t get to see the “real” spirit of Ibiza until you spend a winter here. The change of seasons creates a certain sense of family that you get with those who remain. The fact that so much closes in winter means you spend more time with family and friends just hanging out. Nothing beats a long Sunday lunch during winter. I think a lot of guys who discovered Ibiza in the ‘90s are now coming back with their families and while the clubs might have been the focus before, they are now enjoying Ibiza with a slightly different mind-set. They get that Ibiza is just a great place to be yourself, no matter what age you are. Personally one of the big attractions for me is seeing my kids grow up in such a family oriented, balanced environment. They speak multiple languages, have friends from different countries and so many sports and activities to participate in it’s ridiculous. I’ve lived around the world and I am yet to find anything like it. In saying that think the diversity of the island is such an inspiration on so many levels.
You’ve recently opened your Ibiza HQ, transforming an old brick warehouse on the roundabout at Can Bellotera into a cool boutique, how important is it to you, through actions like this, to give something back to the island?
We were really lucky to get this site as it is such a billboard for the brand. Many would think us crazy to be out of town but the passing traffic is a huge factor and it allowed us to bring our vision of what we want people to experience when they walk in. The concept was to create the sense that stepping into our store was like standing in a Chiringuito on the beach. We really want to set you in the mood as you immerse yourself in the brand. It was really important for me to firmly ground this brand here in Ibiza. There is no way I could consider starting a brand without a credible foundation. While our aspirations for the brand go beyond the island our mind is firmly placed on this being the heart and soul of the company. While it is early days yet we have some great initiatives planned that we hope can positively impact the island as we go forward. If I could “dream a dream”, I would love to see us manufacturing our shorts on the island. That would be a great feeling.
Is it fair to say Syd & Rex is very much a label of love?
(Laughing Out Loud). This adventure was never started on the basis of a quick build business. I have been, and still am, involved in some very large brands and while I have enjoyed working on and building those, nothing has given me more satisfaction than seeing ‘Syd & Rex’ evolve like it has. Everyday I get so excited about the little wins. Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone embracing and enjoying the brand. The amount of positive feedback on the store and the brand that we have received is worth far more to me at this point than skyrocketing revenue. In our mind it’s a marathon not a sprint and what better place to sit and plan the future than here in Ibiza.
What are the plans for the evolution of the brand?
Our goal is to build slowly and purposefully, developing the brand with a long-term view. Firstly we are looking at the global sales opportunities that are presenting themselves, both via wholesale partners and franchise stores. With our online store we see how strong the interest is in the brand and this has opened up distribution discussions for us. The premise for the Can Bellotera store was to show how the essence of Ibiza could be re-created through a shop anywhere in the world. The second part is product. We are exploring new product categories that are relevant to our customer (mens/ boys) and also expanding the seasonal opportunities that exist beyond summer. There is no real master plan at play, just more a process of evolution that keeps us living a balanced life on this wonderful island.