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Imperial Motion’s Big Rain jacket ($109.99). Image via Spencer Goetz

Before Imperial Motion launched in 2002, cofounder and lead designer Spencer Goetz believed there was a lack of creativity in surf and skate wear. The Tacoma lifestyle brand fuses comfort and modern street style proportions in pieces like their two-toned button downs, customizable patches, and technical innovations. Personifying unrestricted youth, Imperial Motion's spirit can be recognized in the design team's persevering motto. 

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Goetz, cofounder and lead designer of Imperial Motion. Image via Spencer Goetz

Whats the meaning behind the brand name?
Imperial Motion means taking what’s important to you and putting it into motion. It could be your riding, art, job, or relationships. What’s more important than the name is our motto: representing the underachiever.  When we didn’t follow suit with the rest of the crowd we were labeled "underachievers." I think people looked at us like we were wasting our potential on a hobby. We embraced the label and now it is the foundation of the brand.

At what moment did you decided you were going to become a designer?  How did you know?
I think it might have actually been a group decision between [Imperial Motion's three-person design team]. When we started the brand we didn’t have any experience, technical training or industry connections. We really just looked at all of our strong points and decided what would be best for the brand. I guess I would say my path chose me.

How do you feel skate and surf wear has changed since the early 2000s?
We have seen more brands with street wear and active wear influences starting to make their way in. There is a lot more competition fighting for a small amount of retail space. Social media plays a big role in the growth of the industry. Things are way more instantaneous with more brands trying to keep the attention of the consumer and be first to market. We have worked hard to be a brand that brings new ideas to the market while keeping sight of what our customer has come to expect from us.

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Imperial Motion's reflective Theory Jacket ($114.95). Image via Spencer Goetz

What influences your design process?
Taking all other aspects away, fabric is the bedrock for all our design. We work really hard to source innovative fabrics that bring something new to the market. Other than that, it’s the simple things around me that bring new ideas. It could be a coffee mug or a piece of furniture. I just really appreciate timeless design. I often find myself trying to figure out ways to simplify a design rather than add to it. 

Whats the direction for the upcoming collection?
Our holiday collection has a bit of a technical spin on it. We introduced some products that offer moisture wicking fabrics, waterproof bonded zippers, and breathable laminations. We wanted to offer details that provide function and value to the product while maintaining a fashionable look. 

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Imperial Motion HQ. Image via Spencer Goetz

Where can we find Imperial Motion?
We sell to a broad range of surf, skate, and boutique retailers worldwide, along with some of the top retailers out there. Locally you can find Imperial Motion in stores like Evo, Zebra Club, Zumiez, Tilly's and Nordstrom.

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