The summer of 1959, a small group of Sydney lads were emerging from school books, hitting Freshwater beach with their long boards, desperate to perfect their new craft of surfing. The late 50’s was a time before specific surf wear existed, the lads had to make do with swim trunks or whatever else they could find.
Watching over this little ‘band of brothers’ was a loving mother – Jean Platt, she was fiercely proud of her son Kevin, his friends and their passion for surfing. The boys would constantly express their need for something better to surf in, something that looked good, could handle the abuse, dry quickly and a host of other features. Jean, a skilled seamstress set about designing a more practical pair of shorts for the boys to wear while on their boards. Jean innovated out of necessity. She developed new forms of stitching and used new technologies, like velcro to ensure her shorts were robust. She experimented with different fabrics and how they responded to the rigours of the surf. She had constant feedback from the boys as to what was most practical, while always keeping style as a priority.
Before long the reputation for “Platt made” handcrafted shorts had spread all over the coast. The demand for dedicated surf wear exploded, an industry was birthed and Platts soon were everywhere.