Founded in 1978, Gotcha cleared the path for future action sport apparel companies — aka, in a way, streetwear. The company's initial designs were colorful, anarchic, impossible to miss and the roster of surfers riding under the name were unrivaled. As such, they permeated the local market and spread to the national stage. (At one point, Stab Mag reports, the brand was worth $200 million dollars.)
Gotcha succeeded because it was authentic, a product of a few focused (at least on surf) minds. It captured a lifestyle that tantalized the masses, influenced future designers and left a lasting mark on the advertising and apparel industries. The brand bet heavily on longer board shorts and stretch — their "Utility" line was the first to feature it.
In 2017, when Gotcha was relaunched, at least for a blip, as a women's line exclusive to Urban Outfitters, the late founder Michael Tomson told the retailer: "Gotcha’s impact on the surf world and youth culture apparel was nothing short of profound. I think the main reason was we were doing everything new – it was all fresh, there was no history to be followed, no anniversary of styles, or no businesses that had to be attended to. We were just doing it as it came to us, naturally... Gotcha was just different – we were not afraid, we went for it and we made good on our promises."
Now it's back again, reborn by a collection co-launched with Kyle Ng's Brain Dead.
"Gotcha really resonated with me from a young age. I’ve been wearing Gotcha since I was a kid and their style really engrained itself within me," Ng says. "They fully represent the California look and have been a huge inspiration to me throughout the years."
As expected, you'll find neon, graphic prints, garish text logos and everything in-between. The collection covers all of the essentials you need for a day at the beach or on the board — including the board itself. Shop a portion of the collection below.