Quicksilver is a surfing sportswear brand founded in 1976 by two surfers from Pasadena, California, Robert McKnight and Jeffrey Hakman. Quicksilver was borne out of their desire to start a business that could finance long days on the beach. McKnight and Hakman decided to fulfill their goal by obtaining the licensing rights for Quicksilver, a six year old company based in Australia which also was started by two surfers.
Quicksilver had gained trend status among surfers in Australia and McKnight and Hakman hoped to achieve similar success with the Quicksilver name in the United States. In negotiations over dinner with the Australian owners for Quicksilver’s U.S. rights, Hakman had to fulfill one condition: eat the large paper doily under his plate, which he promptly did.
From that point forward, McKnight and Hakman began making surf wear under the name Quicksilver. By selling in department stores and specialty boutiques throughout the U.S., Quicksilver has over the years become a market leader in surf wear.
As the business became a surf wear empire, McKnight explained, “I thought I could make a few shorts and stay near the beach and party.” Despite his humble plans, McKnight soon found himself guiding the fortunes of a rapidly growing and flourishing global enterprise.
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