Behind The Collection: Dead Kooks Exclusive With Eden Saul

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posted by James Willmott

Hailing from Lennox Head in northern New South Wales, owner, shaper and all round mastermind of Dead Kooks Surfboards, Eden Saul, has grown up living and breathing surf culture on the east coast of Australia. With humble beginnings shaping boards for himself and his friends over the past decade, Eden now resides on the shores of California and has turned the brand from a hobby into full-time lifestyle that allows him to travel and work with some of the world’s best surfers and others alike.

We’re stoked to announce that we’ve teamed up with the man himself to bring you a unique collection of tees, exclusive to SurfStitch. Amazed at the outcome, we wanted to learn more about how it all came to life, so we grabbed him for a quick two to chat about his creative process and who was involved, as well as his favourite pieces from the collection.

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For those who don’t know, give us a run down on who you are and what you are about?
Dead Kooks is basically just me, Eden Saul, and a collective of other talented individuals I am lucky enough to work with. Alex Villlalobos my laminator in the states, Takamichi my glasser here in Aus, to the guys I have sanding and finishing boards. Simon Perrini who does most of the graphic design work, and then friends like Ty Williams who does most of the branding. I shape all the boards, and kinda direct traffic between all the other super talented individuals I’m lucky to work with.

You’ve just linked up with us for an exclusive collaboration. Tell us how it first came to life?
I think it actually come about while drinking a beer in a hot tub in Malibu apres surf. How douchey is that, but that’s the scoop.

What was the process in kicking it all off once the green light happened?
I knew what I wanted it to be, so was just a matter of getting the right people involved to manifest what I had in my head. Working in LA and doing clothing it’s all at your fingertips.

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Where did you draw influence for the designs, styles and cuts?
I drew on a lot of the trips I’ve done to Japan to dial in what I wanted this collection to be from the way the garments were made, fit, handfeel and the overall aesthetic. I wanted good solid garments that will age well, kinda that vintage surf stuff like old stussy and OP gear.

Can you describe the process of creation? First picking materials, drawing designs, etc to eventually holding the finished product?
Started by going through all my old tees and seeing what fits and feel I wanted. I wanted something a little more solid and heavier weight and after checking out a few spots the guys at Katin were able to deliver. It’s cool doing it all USA made and being able to really dial in the small details and do small numbers still at the best quality.

What’s your favourite piece and why?
My favorite is probably the tigers.. not really sure why but I’ve been thrashing that shirt lately.

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Who were the key individuals involved?
Simon Perrini did all the graphics work, Ollie Edwards worked and myself worked on dialing it in and really pulling it all together and couldn’t be happier with the result.

Who’s this collection built for?
It’s built for people who enjoy a well cut, well made shirt. It’s so simple but there’s a bunch that goes into it. I’ve passed some off to friends, some of the girls are living in them and not much else round the house, I’ve been working in them, one of the boys did well at the bar in one the other night also, what more do you need.

How does the collection differ from others you’ve done in the past?
Stuff I’ve done in the past was kinda of half arses.. just buy basic blanks, get them screened and call it a day. This was about working on every detail start to finish to make sure I was getting exactly what I wanted and being able to deliver a really well done product. That’s how I build boards and I approached this from similar angle.

Last but not least, how did you all celebrate once the collection was finalized?
With a surf at rincon and a long lunch in Malibu.

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