Volcom Names New Director for Global Men’s Design

Volcom picked label veteran Jeffrey James “JJ” Gonzales as its new director to lead the company’s global men’s design department.

Gonzales has been working at the Costa Mesa, Calif.–headquartered action-sports brand for the past 16 years. He’s designed almost every category of men’s garments, from boardshorts to jackets, but he’s focused on denim, said Todd Hymel, Volcom’s chief executive officer.

“JJ has been a core member of the design team for years, developing and growing our bottoms business to be the industry leader, by far,” Hymel said. “He is a living and breathing embodiment of Volcom’s passion and dedication, and I am excited for him to drive and elevate all of our efforts to bring a new level of creativity to our brand and product.”

Gonzales will lead the men’s design department during the label’s third decade. Volcom started in 1991 as a brand that made clothes for action sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing. During that time, which was the George H.W. Bush era, the great majority of action-sports brands stayed in their lanes and designed clothes for only one activity.

Volcom’s inclusive approach to action sports and its humorous spin on marketing made it popular. It was sold in top action-sports boutiques such as Jack’s Surfboards. The brand also ran a handful of its own boutiques and can be found at department stores such as Macy’s.

In 2011, Parisian luxury company PPR, now Kering, spent $608 million to acquire the label for its Sport & Lifestyle Group. In January, Kering announced that it intended to sell Volcom, so it could focus on its stable of luxury brands such as Gucci and Saint Laurent. By press time, no suitors have been announced.

Since then, Volcom unveiled a “Volcom for Every Body,” which features a women’s denim line in expanded sizes. Volcom has also looked to distinguish itself as a brand that uses sustainable and ethical practices in its production. In February, it achieved accreditation by the Fair Labor Association. The accreditation confirms that Volcom has been diligent in upholding the association’s labor standards in its global supply chain.