Is the ‘Z’ pronounced, or does it work like a possessive ‘S’, like the clothes belong to Jimmy? Well, let the debate be done. Jimmy’Z is a name variation of Jimmy’s, but the latter name was unpatentable. So the ‘Z’ took the place of the ‘s,’ and the rest is surf wear history.
That history starts with Jim Ganzer, a surfer who started the Jimmy’Z line from his garage one sunny California day in 1984. In an age when surf wear was crashing onto the fashion scene, Jim needed more than a bitchin’ design to get his board shorts noticed—what he needed was a radical new concept. His breakthrough design incorporated an adjustable waistband via Velcro tabs that allowed for a more convenient and comfortable fit. Fickle surfers went crazy for the style, and Jimmy’Z joined the ranks of heavy hitters Gotcha, Op and Maui & Sons as the nation’s hottest surf fashion.
Jim’s own beloved 1940’s Woodie wagon became the icon of the Jimmy’Z ad campaigns. A wood-paneled car/truck, the Woodie was preferred by surfers as the primary mode of surfboard transportation. Surfboard or not, the image of a 1940’s Woodie wagon became the mascot for the surf world.
Jimmy’Z still cruises the beaches, but the surf wear trend went out of the mainstream’s eye as the 80’s came to a close. A new owner-company, Trends, is launching a surf revival, and hopes the Jimmy’Z will reclaim its title.
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