Gotcha / GirlStar
South African surf pro Michael Thompson retired to California, but maybe ‘retired’ isn’t quite the right word. In 1978, Thompson founded Gotcha, created one of the hottest surfwear clothing lines to hit the 80’s. Hang Ten, Lightning Bolt, and Op had already cornered the national market, but now it was Gotcha’s chance.
Makers of bold apparel from board shorts to t-shirts, and even to Hawaiian shirts, Gotcha’s got you covered. The company grabbed attention with its bold graphics style and assertive image. The famed fishman logo, created by artist Jay Viagon, remains one of the company’s most recognizable in a slew of visually dynamic campaigns and logos.
Gotcha was also one of the first surfwear lines to expand into a girl’s line, GirlStar. After the explosive surf scene of the 80’s, surfing began to fade in favor of snowboarding, skateboarding and other extreme sports. Girls stepped in to put surfing back in the spotlight for the 90’s. GirlStar updated surfwear with a new sexy freedom. Gone were the oversized t-shirts and plain baggy shorts of yesterday. Wildly-patterned, body-conscious tops and hip-hugging cargo pants became the new wave of surf fashion.
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