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Industry News 1/21/2020

Billabong LAB Releases Third Product Delivery in Special Collection Inspired by Iconic Album Artwork from Rock Band Metallica

Latest Product Drop in Billabong LAB x Metallica Menswear Collection Launches Today / ‘Ride the Lightning’ Collection Endorsed by Billabong Athlete and 2019 WSL World Champion Italo Ferreira

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California – January 21, 2020 – The third drop has been revealed! Billabong LAB proudly announces the latest product delivery in the Billabong x Metallica 2019-2020 Collection of menswear. Titled ‘Ride the Lightning’, the new selection of surf trunks, t-shirts, longsleeves, fleece hoodies, corduroy jackets and special edition wetsuits features the rock band’s iconic album artwork in a limited release.

Hitting retailers and online channels globally today, the third drop is endorsed by Billabong athlete Italo Ferreira, who was crowned 2019 World Surf League (WSL) World Champion at the coveted Billabong Pipe Masters in December of last year.

This premium design collaboration with Metallica comes through Billabong LAB, a platform that supports artists, musicians, designers and photographers. The five-part collection, released between October 2019 and March 2020, features a unique blend of boardsports-engineered apparel from Billabong and iconic album artwork from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Metallica.

Several pieces in the collection have already sold out due to high demand, including the AI Forever x Metallica short sleeve T-shirt in memory of surf champion Andy Irons, released as part of the December 2019 drop.

Available today, the third product drop takes inspiration from Metallica’s second studio album, ‘Ride the Lightning’. Recorded in 1984 on a shoestring budget, the critically acclaimed album helped define Metallica’s unique sound while establishing a louder and faster musical genre via milestone tracks such as the incendiary “Fight Fire with Fire”, the venerated commentary on the chaos of war, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, and one of the most anthemic songs of the band’s storied career, “Creeping Death”. ‘Ride the Lightning’ has gone on to become certified six-times Platinum in the United States and has sold over ten million copies globally.

With Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo being avid surfers, the album’s rebellious spirit finds its natural counterpart in Billabong’s engineered garments that are built to endure the harshest ocean conditions.

“The artwork on this third drop aligned with the raw energy of Italo’s surfing couldn’t be more fitting,” said Evan Slater, VP of Global Marketing at Billabong. “Ferreira truly ‘Rides the Lightning’ whenever he stands up on a surfboard.”

In marketing materials and promotional media, the Billabong x Metallica ‘Ride the Lightning’ Collection is endorsed by Billabong athlete Italo Ferreira. Hailing from Brazil, the 25-year-old recently claimed his first 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour title at Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Ferreira’s no-holds-barred riding style and explosive aerial skills make him the perfect brand ambassador for the new drop.

As for the ‘Ride the Lightning’ collection itself, the short-sleeved t-shirt made from ring-spun cotton displays the Metallica logo in the electrified style of the band’s genre-defining album. Rendered in stark white lightning bolts on dark background, Billabong’s crested wave logo makes the collab official. Identical lightning artwork also features on the long-sleeved shirt – including extra art details on the sleeves – and on the hooded fleece top crafted from 70 percent cotton and 30 percent polyester.

Taking the collection into street style, the cotton corduroy jacket features ‘Ride the Lightning’ album cover art – an electric chair in the midst of lightning bolts – as a back print. The premium jacket is finished in potassium stone wash with applique and embroidery details including a Billabong patch on the sleeve.

For those looking to jump in the water, a new surf trunk crafted from 90 percent recycled polyester and 10 percent elastane blends proven performance with ‘Ride the Lightning’ artwork in a 19-inch athletic fit. And as the ultimate upgrade for metal-minded surfers, the third drop contains Billabong’s high-end Revolution neoprene wetsuit with a full-body ‘Ride the Lightning’ graphene sublimation print.

See all special products from the first three drops of the collection on the Billabong LAB x Metallica Collection landing page.

“For myself, the exhilaration of Heavy Metal and the exhilaration of riding a wave are one and the same. The new collaboration reflects this incredible feeling,” said Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett.

Pieces in the Billabong x Metallica 2019-2020 Collection feature artwork from Metallica’s most iconic albums – including original concept art by legendary artist Pushead – supplemented by premium design touches such as washes, pigment dyes, as well as applique and embroidery details. Key pieces include t-shirts and long sleeves crafted from 100% combed ring-spun cotton, boardshorts made from recycled plastics, hooded fleece, cotton corduroy jackets, and full graphic-print neoprene wetsuits.

“There’s a lot of rage in metal, but it’s a good rage,” said Metallica bassist and avid surfer Robert Trujillo about the collaboration with Billabong LAB. “It’s a great release, almost like surfing, out in the rhythm of the ocean.”

A video featuring members of Metallica and the Billabong surfing team sharing their take on the new collection can be viewed here.

The next two product deliveries in the Billabong x Metallica 2019-2020 Collection will hit e-commerce and international retail between February and March 2020.

Each product release in the Billabong x Metallica 2019-2020 Collection will be accompanied by digital content and events. Billabong LAB will send media alerts in preparation of each product drop.

For more information on Billabong, Billabong LAB, Metallica and the upcoming collection, please visit www.billabong.com or Instagram at @Billabong.

For further information, or interview requests, contact Kim Dresser of Indie Agency, a full-service branding, marketing and public relations firm at C: (949) 300-5546 or E: [email protected]

ABOUT BILLABONG:

Billabong is a boardshort and bikini brand committed to the leading edge of surf culture. Founded in 1973 in Australia by visionary surfboard shaper and designer Gordon Merchant, Billabong is laser-focused on sharing the magic feeling of waveriding with the world. That feeling comes to life in many forms, from award-winning boardshorts and swimwear to an eclectic bunch of culture-defining ambassadors to a legacy of game-changing experiences from the ocean to the mountains and beyond. Merchant originally envisioned a world where surfers and the surf-inspired feel special — like they’re the luckiest people on the planet. Now distributed in more than 100 countries across the globe, Billabong remains dedicated to his original vision — and making that feeling even more special tomorrow.

ABOUT METALLICA:

Formed in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, Metallica has become one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold nearly 120 million albums worldwide and generating nearly 9 billion streams while playing to millions of fans on literally all seven continents. The band's several multi-platinum albums include Kill ‘em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets, …And Justice for All, Metallica (commonly referred to as The Black Album), Load, Reload, St. Anger, Death Magnetic, and most recently Hardwired...to Self-Destruct, released in November 2016 and charting at #1 in 32 countries.

Metallica's numerous awards and accolades include nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, and multiple MTV Video Music Awards, and induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. In June of 2018, the band was awarded one of the most prestigious musical honors in the world: Sweden’s Polar Music Prize. Metallica is currently in the midst of its WorldWired tour, which began in 2016 and is scheduled to continue through 2020.