In March 1991, Richard Woolcott and Tucker Hall went on a snowboarding trip to Tahoe. After a series of snowfalls that kept extending their trip, the duo found that their enthusiasm for the sport had grown into an obsession. Within a few weeks, they had quit their jobs back home to spend some extra time snowboarding and decided to start their own clothing company, which they called Volcom. The initial objective of their brand was to create clothes for their three favorite board sports--surfing, snowboarding, and skateboarding. At first, the company was relatively disorganized, with operations based out of Hall's bedroom in Southern California. Eventually, Volcom started to catch on, however, and it had soon struck up several endorsement deals with professional athletes.
While the clothing line grew, Volcom also branched out into art, music, and film by starting the Volcom Entertainment label. The company went public in 2005 as practically all of its ventures continued to thrive. Volcom began opening stores to sell its wares in the early 2000s, and it has cultivated a retail presence around the world. The company was acquired by the French luxury goods giant Kering in 2011 and taken private again. Since the buyout, Volcom has continued to diversify into new niches.
Volcom specializes in apparel and equipment for board riders, but it also makes plenty of general clothing as well. The kids' collection has options for boys in two general age categories: 2-7 years and 8-14 years. Popular garments include graphic tees, casual button-downs, polos, hoodies, shorts, joggers, chinos, fleece pants, and more. Swimwear options like trunks, rashguards, and boardshorts are specifically designed with surfing in mind. You can also find snowboard jackets, snowpants, baselayers, beanies, thick socks, and more for hitting the slopes.
While Volcom doesn't offer a girls' collection, it does have a wide assortment of clothes for women. In tops, you'll find tees, tanks, croptops, camis, v-necks, thermals, scoopnecks, blouses, button-downs, sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, and more. Dresses are available in styles like maxi dresses, slips, mini dresses, sweater dresses, and shirtdresses, and the brand also features a variety of skirts. Bottoms include palazzo pants, joggers, leggings, ankle pants, and several different styles of jeans. In swimwear, you can find bikinis, tankinis, bandeaus, onepiece swimsuits, boardshorts, and more. Of course, snowboarding apparel is also a popular women's category and includes plenty of cold weather layers and accessories. Volcom also makes women's footwear, and it specializes in sandals, flip-flops, slip-ons, and boots.
Passion always shines through when it comes to designing and manufacturing niche apparel, which is one reason why Volcom has become so popular among riders in spite of its founders knowing relatively little about clothing design when they started. By making the clothes they wanted to see on the market, the Volcom team filled a void, and their products continue to grow in popularity today. It's a little disappointing that the brand doesn't have a girls' collection, but many tweens and teens will be able to fit into women's sizes. On the whole, we give Volcom 4 stars out of 5.