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Rider Sandals began in Brazil in 1986, later making its way to the US in 1997, with the emphasis on celebrating the active/outdoor lifestyle, a spirit of freedom and self-expression. In summer 2015, Rider came to LA for a two month activation (titled Rider Weekends LA), with emphasis on the beach cities (Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Malibu & Zuma Beach, Santa Barbara, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, and Huntington Beach). EAT was brought on for this activation, to help the company with brand development, graphic design and eventually experiential art.
When starting the project, we had the main goal of helping Rider adapt to the american market given its heavy Brazilian emphasis. We studied the company, its core values, and usual target market, but also studied the Californian market and the target audience). We found the common denominator for these two groups was summer, and we proposed three main actions to Rider: a beach shack, a pop up boat, and a branded party at a beach house. Once approved, EAT conceptualized and built each of these activations.
To activate the beach shack concept, we created a Rider branded shack at key events we knew the target audience would be present, which included features: twelve solar powered cell phone chargers, swag giveaways, branded seating areas and free drinks. We wanted people to come in, hang out, and learn more about the brand in an easy-going way. The lay-out of the shack was also developed strategically to draw beach go-ers to our second activation, the boat pop-up/mobile retail store.
The store was aboard the boat, with the shop housed on deck within a cabin area aesthetically reminiscent of a tear-drop trailer. This sculptural installation/retail space evoked the spirit of traveler dreams, and represented the brand's tradition of making products for a beach lifestyle, the ocean as inspiration, and a call to adventure. The project was an instant success, and Rider even re-used the boat pop-up shop and beach shack in a variation of sponsored beach volleyball and surf competitions.
Our last activation and grand finale was the Rider Weekends LA beach house pool party and music festival. the top of the line house was an all-immersive Rider experience, with multi-faceted entertainment capabilities, showing off the company’s culture, history and values. We included nonstop music from various DJ’s and bands, including Allen Stone; as well as live art and mural installations, completed by: Morley, Cusco Rebel and more.
We transformed the backyard into an outdoor "Garden Gallery”. Surfboard shaping artist Scott Czerwonka completed two board forms over the three day event, inside a custom reclaimed wood shaping hut that was built for him on-site. Cusco Rebel, street artist, designer, and illustrator, came from Sao Paulo and created three large-scale works, including a singular panel painting and two "Rider walls” - incorporating plain Rider sandals, which he painted over and around the silhouettes of the soles.
Rafael Dante (originally from Brazil but now local to LA) created an illustration assemblage installed on a panel, featuring mixed media illustrations over photography from Rider Weekends scenes. Lastly, Morley (a local street art heavyweight known for his incorporation of poetic words and phrases) made a piece on site that engaged the attendees by allowing them to add to a collage of maps over his original words, which were created in the spirit of the event "The road home is only as long as you make it."
Overall, Rider Weekends LA was a major success not only in our eyes and hearts, but to the city of LA as well. Rider Weekends was a major step in the right direction for the evolving expansion of Rider Sandals and Rider Weekends across the United States and hopefully eventually the rest of the world.
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