Measure twice, cut once, quilt three times. You can take this lesson from the story of Gordon Merchant, the founder of Billabong, originally a pure surf brand. Its name is inspired by the term bilabaŋ, which in the language of one Aboriginal group describes a stream that flows only during the rainy season. When Gordon set out to make shorts in the early 1970s, his ambition was not to create something the world had never seen before. He simply wanted to give the surfing community pants that would withstand the ravages of time and handle the fashionable waves as playfully as he handled the sea ones. Over the past half-century, Billabong pieces have spread from Australian beaches to almost every corner of the world, but their loyalty to craft and desire for adventure still shines through.
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