As temperatures drop, who isn’t daydreaming about nipping off to warmer, southern lands, where the sun is always out and the beach is always in? I’ll tell you who, sand haters—or more accurately, eremikophobiacs—everywhere. Sand, as the afflicted will all know, can be an unrelenting and savvy pest, especially when you have only a thick, wet towel to combat it.
Well, no longer. The Vertty beach towel sheds water and sand to improve your beach experience that much more. The towel, which is defined by its colorful hide and zigzagging profile, is made of sustainable and synthetic materials that work to wick water away from the cloth fibers. If that’s not enough, it also looks good.
The idea for the triangular towel design came to Vertty designer and Creative Director, Frederico Cardoso while surfing. (Oh, the surfer’s epiphany.) From atop his board, Cardoso was surveying the Portuguese coastline when he began to notice commonalities among beachgoers. He shared his thoughts with Cruz, who ran with the idea. “I started thinking what basic items everyone carries to the beach,” he tells Co.Design. These can be whittled down to three “compulsory items,” he continues. For flipflops, you have Havaianas. Every suit or pair of swim trunks comes embroidered with a brand or logo, or sports a pattern or look that can be easily traced to a designer or vendor. But beach towels, Cruz says, were depressingly generic.
Excepting themed or souvenir wares, beach towels lack a typological identity. That is to say, they have long been excluded from the world of product design. Cruz saw an opportunity, and after several iterations and alternative shapes (rectangle, rhomboid), developed a product he thought could fill that gap. With a team of 20 designers, Cardoso and Cruz worked out every aspect of the Vertty’s design, down to the seaweed-based ink of the brand logo.
“Vertty reinvents the beach towel,” he says before listing off some of the refinements embedded in the new towel’s design. The most noticeable improvement is Vertty’s innovative fabric, called Ketten, that forms the core of the towel and prevents it from getting too wet. The textile is responsible for lightening the weight of the cloth by 30%; with less cotton in the blend, the towel can also dry in no time. The towel’s overall dimensions were expanded, with the triangular motif making it easier to fold and store. A “discrete” waterproof pocket is integrated into the folds where you can store car keys and your wallet. It’s so well-masked, Cruz promises, that passersby won’t know it’s there.
So far, Vertty has been very successful in initial product runs. Part of that success is the image Cruz and his team have crafted around what is really just a nifty-looking beach towel. They aren’t selling just that, of course, but more importantly, a wistful, Earlybird-filtered beach experience, complete with good-looking friends and a lovably retro ‘55 Citroen HY that doubles as the brand’s portable flagship. The sands of St. Bart's can be yours. All you have to do, Cruz advises, is "try a different tryangle."