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Happy Birthday, Birdwell!


Celebrating its 55th anniversary this year, the Santa Ana, California-based company has been stitching its Birdwell “britches”—durable board shorts that have become the standard uniform for serious surfers—since 1961. That’s why we partnered with Birdwell and its creative director, skateboarding legend Natas Kaupas, on an exclusive collection of beachwear.

Our men’s Birdwell® for J.Crew board shorts. Shop all men’s swimwear.


BIRDWELL THROUGHOUT THE YEARS

Hairstyles may have changed, but Birdwell has remained a SoCal fixture for over five decades.


Vintage surf magazines at the Birdwell factory.
01
“Birdie,” Birdwell’s mascot.
02


Making Waves
Back in the early ’60s, Birdwell was one of the first brands to specifically design its swimwear with surfers in mind, using dense two-ply nylon and a triple-stitched construction to ensure its shorts could stand up to serious swells. “As a kid going to Santa Monica Beach, Birdwell was always the standard to measure everything else against in board shorts,” says Natas. “They were created for chasing surf and spending as much time at the beach as possible.”
  1. 01.Vintage surf magazines at the Birdwell factory.

  2. 02.“Birdie,” Birdwell’s mascot.

  3. 03.Natas at work in his home studio.

Natas at work in his home studio.
03


“As a kid going to Santa Monica Beach, Birdwell was always the standard to measure everything else against in board shorts.”

A Better Board Short
“A pair of Birdwells is going to break in and just get better with age, like a pair of really high-quality denim,” says Natas. At Birdwell’s original factory in Santa Ana, all of the brand’s swimwear is still produced using the same fabric and attention to detail that defined the early designs, often by workers who have been with the company for decades.

“A pair of Birdwells is going to break in and just get better with age like a pair of really high-quality denim.”

BIRDWELL FOR J.CREW

Combining the heritage of our two brands formed the basis for the collaboration: Birdwell’s signature nylon fabric and details cut in our men’s and boys’ board-short fits, with custom color combinations. “It was a collaborative effort,” explains Natas, “Birdwell’s traditions mixed with J.Crew’s reputation for getting the fit exactly right.” The collection also features our made-in-LA garment-dyed tees printed with Birdwell’s vintage logo. But for Natas, it’s all about the waves. “Because Birdwell was built as a surfing brand, it will always remind me of how stoked I was to get on a board for the first time.”

Natas’s vintage Dodge van.


Photographs by Ken Tisuthiwongse.
 
Shop Birdwell for J.Crew for men and boys.

TAGS: made in the usa, swim, mens, in good company, los angeles, in the field
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