Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Events Clothing Company strong contender for Exporter of the Year

by Kate Gordon on 19 Jun 2013
Events Clothing in full flight in San Francisco, they were the third placed New Zealand boat Christophe Favreau © http://christophefavreau.photoshelter.com/

Events Clothing Company, an Auckland-based superyacht, marine and business clothing specialist is a finalist for the 2013 Auckland Export QBE Exporter of the Year (sales under $25 million) Award.

Little known in its home town, the company has grown from strength to strength, celebrating many successes since its start in 1991.

Events’ first big win was supplying uniforms to Team New Zealand in the 1995 America’s Cup challenge headed by the late Sir Peter Blake.

In 2011, as the company celebrated its 20th year in business, it secured a contract to supply the crew uniforms for one of the biggest motor yachts ever built in Europe – MY Serene, 134 metres in length and six levels high with a crew of 60.

Recently, the company launched their first European showroom in Palma de Mallorca, Spain as the result of a strategic alliance with Evolution Yacht Agents, where the two businesses operate side-by-side from the same premises close to Palma’s busy superyacht marina district. There are future plans to create a similar base in Barcelona.

Today, out of the top 200 superyachts* on the ocean, Events clothes 60 of them.

The primary success of Events Clothing is the product. 'All of our clothing products have a unique point of difference whether it is an eco-friendly element, resilience to U.V. or wear and tear – nothing is standard,' says owner Owen Rutter.

Another point of difference over competitors is that items can be custom made, such as incorporating the colourways of the ship or logos into the design of the uniforms. 'We don’t just stick a logo on a shirt; we can integrate desired elements into design, within the timeframes required.' Around 40 per cent of Event’s uniform items are custom-made.

Just like yacht racing the backbone of the organisation has been a stellar team and an ability to change tack when they need to. Every member of the team has an impressive history in the industry and most have been with the company over 10 years.

'The skills and knowledge of our team gives them an immediate rapport with clients and they trust that we understand the ins and outs of living and working on a superyacht.'

When the company was formed 20 years ago the fledging company’s prospective clients were hard-core yacht racing crews and the relatively untapped local corporate apparel market.

The exciting defence of the America’s Cup in New Zealand saw a significant increase in the number of superyachts visiting our shores.

'We saw an important international opportunity in this sector and the decision to develop new product lines for the superyacht sector set the company on a new course with a strong export focus,' says Rutter.

This ability to identify and adapt to market opportunities helped the business to weather the storm of recession. When the global recession hit in 2009, superyacht sales plateaued and it was the domestic corporate market that demonstrated growth. Events supply marine style uniforms for businesses such as marine seaquarime Kelly Tarlton’s and Fuller’s Ferries.

Despite this slight variation, Rutter says success comes from not being tempted to diversify too much along the way.

'If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this business, it’s stick to your knitting. It’s very easy to be distracted by other opportunities, so we’ll keep doing what we do best – top quality, customised uniforms and technical clothing for the superyacht, marine and business sectors.'

Events Clothing are focussed on operational excellence. Recently, they migrated onto a cloud-based service and now have an international standard accounting and operations platform.

'We now have the ability to grow without needing to change our operating systems.'

This shift provides visibility of real-time information to the staff at the Palma office.

'The system has reduced double handling of data and provides a better service to customers. Our staff can process orders from any location and track it’s process through production ensuring deliveries are not only on time but are 100% correct.'

Line 7 deal close

The future of Events Clothing holds continued growth. The business is on the brink of signing a deal which will give them control and global rights to the iconic New Zealand brand Line 7, which they have worked closely with over the last 20 years.

'This is a coup for us and gives us command of a well trusted and recognised brand. The international opportunities are significant but we also want to offer kiwi boaties the chance to re-stock their marine wardrobes.'

This acquisition will lead the company into the new territory of e-commerce. 'There is work to do in creating a website that links with our systems and marketing ability. We have appointed a distributor in the United States so we will have three distribution points around the world. But we aren’t rushing into things, it will be a slow release with a tight product range that we know people will be interested in, then we’ll see how we go.'

Events Clothing were finalists for the same award back in 2007 but lost out to now-household name Phil and Ted’s baby care manufacturers. This year they are back to deal with the ‘unfinished business’ of the past.

'We have an even better story now, and people have encouraged us to enter saying we have a unique business so we thought we’d have another go.'

The 2013 Auckland Export Awards will be held on Friday 21 June at the Langham Hotel. Fellow marine specialists Southern Spars are finalists for the Commercialisation of Innovation for Export Award.


Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignNorth Technology - Southern SparsSchaefer 2016 660x82