How a sailmaker got into fashion
When the 22-year old Douwe Gaastra established his sailmaking company in 1897 in Sneek, the Netherlands, his ambition was to sail faster and farther and to reinvent Holland's longstanding tradition of world-class quality and craftsmanship.
This was more than a century ago and since then Gaastra has transformed itself to a overall fashionable and functional lifestyle brand with international status.
The history of Gaastra begins in 1897, when the 22-year old Douwe Gaastra sets up his sailmaking company in Sneek, The Netherlands. Douwe Gaastra had the ambition to make sailing go faster as well as more competitive and efficient. In a short space of time, Gaastra became a household name in the global world of sailing.
There is a fine line between fear and passion. Douwe Gaastra lost its heart to the sea. Dedicating himself to make the finest sailing gear. He knew that dealing with the sea is all about respect and was overwhelmed with love for the great waters. And till this day we respect, cherish and follow Douwe's legacy.
Gaastra through the years
Start of sailmaking company
The history of Gaastra begins in 1897, when the 22-year-old Douwe Gaastra sets up his sailmaking company in Sneek, with the ambition of making sailing faster as well as more competitive and efficient. In a short space of time, Gaastra then becomes a household name in the global world of sailing.
Gaastra as windsurfing brand
Between 1970 and 1990, Gaastra was primarily recognized as a prestigious windsurfing brand. Many leading surfers - including Robby Naish, Stephan van der Berg and Frank Maass - won major international prizes with the help of Gaastra accessories.
First Pro and Sportswear clothing lines
In 1996, the Gaastra sailing brand launches two clothing lines onto the European market. Gaastra Pro is the professional clothing line with sailing outfits for all conditions. Gaastra Sportswear is the casual clothing collection with a clear nautical signature.
McGregor Fashion Group
Since 2000, Gaastra has been part of the McGregor Fashion Group B.V., which was established in 1993. McGregor and Gaastra are the group's largest brands.
Les Voiles de St. Tropez
In 2005, Gaastra sponsored Les Voiles de St. Tropez, the most prestigious sailing event of the entire year, during which almost 300 yachts - ranging from the traditional to the hypermodern - make the Bay of St. Tropez come alive.
New headquarters in Amstelveen
In July 2008, Gaastra moved its headquarters from Leusden to Amstelveen. A new and more appropriate accommodation was found: the centrally located Commerce Parc “De Stelling” in Amstelveen.
Gaastra is one of the sponsors of the K-Challenge, a lightning fast sailing yacht. Later, the K-Challenge competed in the America’s Cup, probably the most prestigious sailing competition in the world.
(photo: Franck Socha)
Gaastra goes Scandinavia
In 2010 we entered the Scandinavian market.
First store in Italy
In the beginning of June we opened our first flagship store in the Italian yachting haven of Porto Cervo: the home port of the prestigious Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS). As well as opening the store, Gaastra has also formed a special partnership with YCCS, which will involve more extensive collaboration on collections and regattas.
Gaastra has established itself as one of the main sponsors associated with SAIL 2010. This commitment has led to a special collaboration. Exclusively for SAIL Gaastra designed a Limited Edition Collection inspired by the nautical passion with this unique event involves.
Since 2010 we started with a professional sponsorship deal with The Jethou. The Jethou is a state-of-the-art IRC racing yacht built by Green Marine in Lymington. The Jethou sails constanly in famous regatta’s such as the Palma Vela, Copa de Rey, Les Voiles the St. Tropez, the Maxi Rolex World Championship and the Giraglia Rolex cup.
First store in the USA
At the beginning of April 2011 Gaastra opened the doors of its first store in the United States. Needless to say, it chose a highly appropriate location: the exclusive and famously nautical city of Newport in the State of Rhode Island.
Les Régates de Saint Barth
Gaastra is a new official partner for this prestigious sailing event. The prestigious yachts that sail in St. Barths are the very essence of elegance, excellence and quality.
Since 2011 is Gaastra official partner of the Amsterdam Scheepvaartmuseum. In this superbly beautiful museum more than 500 years of history is presented.
The prestigious Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) presented the new Audi Azzurra Sailing Team that will sail under its flag from this year onwards, and introduced Gaastra Pro as the new official clothing supplier for the team. At the request of the team Gaastra Pro will provide the team with high performance professional sailing wear good enough to withstand the most extreme weather conditions.
Gaastra became the new official partner of this international prestige event in the Golf of Trieste in the northern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Gaastra also launched a special limited edition, the 'Edizione 44 Barcolana Collection'.
New nautical headquarters
Gaastra opened the doors of its new European headquarters. The massive building is located directly next to the water with a view over the Amsterdam harbor. The international marketing and design centre of more than 4.300 m² has an amazing nautical and industrial appearance.
Gaastra developed a patented grip-technology: PRG-Grip. That means all shoes are designed to keep your feet firmly on deck when you are sailing. The new anti-slip material also offers increased functionality.
Copa del Rey
For the fourth consecutive year Gaastra was the official clothing sponsor of the Copa del Rey. As such, Gaastra was one of the selected 'official partners' of the event.