Orange County Business Journal

OC Companies Dominate SIMA Image Awards

Kari Hamanaka Monday, February 13, 2012

The Aliso Viejo-based Surf Industry Manufacturers Association’s Image Awards attracted representatives of nearly 800 apparel companies, retailers and others in the action sports industry last week.

Companies in the apparel, shoe and surf products industries were honored in 16 categories.

Brands from Orange County, where the action sports industry is concentrated, nabbed 12 of the awards.

San Clemente-based sock company Stance received the award for breakthrough brand of the year.

Top honors in the new hard-goods accessory product category went to Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. for its Cypher PS+ Heat Vest System. Quiksilver also took home the award for best men’s marketing campaign for its “Kelly Slater 10x World Title” campaign.

Other local winners included:

-Greensboro, N.C.-based VF Corp.’s Vans Inc. of Cypress received footwear product of the year for its Surfsider

-Costa Mesa-based Rip Curl USA’s Flashbomb got the nod for best wetsuit

-Billabong USA in Irvine took home awards for environmental product of the year for its recycled boardshorts, along with best women’s apparel brand

-RVCA Clothing, which is owned by Billabong, won men’s apparel brand of the year

-Swimwear brand L*Space, which moved its headquarters to new space in Irvine earlier this year, took home best swim brand

-Best women and men retailer went to Huntington Surf & Sport in Huntington Beach

-Costa Mesa-based Hurley International LLC, part of Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike Inc., won best men’s boardshort for its Phantom 4D

Nominees and winners were decided by SIMA members, which include a mix of industry manufacturers and retailers.

The show expanded from last year's space at the House of Blues at Downtown Disney to the City National Grove of Anaheim.

This was the second year in a row the awards ceremony took place in Orange County. The awards show had traditionally been part of SIMA’s annual Surf Summit in Cabo San Lucas.

The show moved last year to make it easier for more SIMA members to attend.