When Cain Leisure made the jump from nightclubs to hospitality with Surf Lodge, a boutique surf-driven hotel, restaurant and bar in Montauk, N.Y., naysayers scoffed that a destination venue would be a difficult proposition in the area. Three years after opening, though, owners Jamie Mulholland, Jayma Cardoso and Rob McKinley are enjoying successful numbers across the board. With business increasing at an exponential rate, the group, which also owns GoldBar in NYC and Cain at the Cove in the Bahamas, is dipping its branding and marketing prowess into another arena: fashion. The group recently launched a line of Surf Lodge clothes in conjunction with fashion label Loomstate and Bloomingdale’s.
“There was a lot of demand for apparel the first year [Surf Lodge was open],” Mulholland says. “However, Surf Lodge is a very unique brand, so it’s not something where we wanted to go and just throw our name across a T-shirt. It has to be subtle, like the venue, and uniquely interesting.” Enter Rogan Gregory and his line, Loomstate. The fashion designer helped create The Store, an onsite shop at the hotel that sells the clothing, and Surf Lodge staff members are clad in his wares. Gregory teamed up with McKinley — who is responsible for the interior design of Surf Lodge itself — and the duo quickly devised a clothing line filled with hoodies, T-shirts, board shorts and more, all based on a color palate of the sky, ocean and Montauk’s celebrated sunsets.
“We set out to create this fun, not-so-serious line that takes on the spirit of the Surf Lodge. A majority of our inspiration came from ’60s, ’70s and ’80s surf culture, and we really had fun with it from there,” McKinley says.
“Rogan and Rob made the perfect hoodie,” says Bethany Mayer, curator of The Store. “There are a few graphical versions, such as one which says ‘Locals Only’ on the back of it. It’s a very surf saying, but it’s not an aggressive-looking graphic. They perfectly captured the whimsy of the surf philosophy.” And the aesthetic strategy already has paid off at the cash register. “Right now, we’re sold out of our hoodies and a few other items,” Mayer says. “We’re bringing in new styles, and people are snatching them up left and right.”
While the deal increases on-premise cash flow, it’s also tapping into a nationwide market through point of sale in Bloomingdale’s. “That’s a very exciting aspect for us,” Mulholland shares. “It’s a great avenue to increase our overall revenue stream and increase our brand awareness. We’re thrilled they’re a partner in this.”
However, the greatest joy for all parties involved appears to be the synergy of the line with the paradigm of Surf Lodge. “Loomstate is an all-organic line, from the cotton to the inks, all fair trade certified, so it’s very eco and socially conscious,” McKinley says, noting, “It’s perfect because the ocean is Surf Lodge’s inspiration for our entire concept and our way of life. The more projects we can do with those ideals in mind — it’s tremendously important to us.”