THE HISTORY OF …LOST
No advertising firm was hired to design the LOST logo.
Lost began in 1985 when Matt Biolos and a bunch of school friends were into snowboarding at Mt. Baldy, skateboarding at the Pipeline in Upland, and surfing in Dana Point. They weren’t too worried about winning this football game or that contest. They were “team lost”. Thus the name …lost scribbled on books, t-shirts, benches, tables and eventually clothing.
Matt Biolos began sanding surfboards at Surfglas and Herbie Fletcher Surf Shop fresh out of high school in 1987. He made his first surfboard at this time and called it a Ratz Ass – as in “I dont give a Ratz…” Realizing the need for a more serious name, he labeled his second surfboard “mayhem”. (Mayhem Ordinance was Matt’s high school music band). This name “Mayhem”, for better or for worse, stuck. Matt shaped 20 boards the first year. Not too many people were ordering boards from “Mayhem” yet, so to make money he continued to sand surfboards and began to paint designs on them along with a handwritten LOST wherever he could. Surfers like Christian Fletcher and Matt Archbold were getting Biolos paint jobs. By working in an environment with master shapers (Timmy Patterson, Jim Fuller, Terry Senate, and Randy Sleigh to name a few) and good surfers, he was able to develop as a shaper.
Matt’s friends had been telling him for years to put the word Lost and his art on tees and try to sell them. By 1992, fueled in part by a suggestions from Timmy Patterson and Johnny Monson, Matt began putting his art on T-Shirts with a …LOST logo. His roommate Mike Reola , a recent business school graduate, helped him handle the business side of things and they both worked on developing a plan to slowly grow and market the company with little or no money. This included help from numerous friends in the form of small loans, work in exchange for a couch to stay on, a parent’s back yard to dye tee shirts, a vehicle in exchange for rent, or help spreading the word in High School. Some of these people (in Chronological order – although not a complete list by any means) were Max McGhee, David Ramos, Paul Robinson, Paul Berton, Jimmy Nudo, Bill Woodcock, Shawn Briley, Cameron Steele, Paul Anthony “Tonan” Ruiz, Aaron Strand, Chad Godett, Joe Rich, Jason Kenworthy, Ryan Divel, Matt Reola, Bill VanDenBerg, and Kawika Urso.
At this time Matt was producing about 500 Mayhem Surfboards a year and had guys like Strider Wasilewski and Christian Fletcher riding them. In 1993 Lost made its first video, titled Momentum 3, which showcased the fledgling surf, skate and snowboard teams along with everyone who lived at the Lost House. The video was renamed Dysfunctional after almost being sued by Taylor Steele. The video was meant to be a joke and only for their friends, but its popularity led them to produce their first real video titled Whats Really Goin On in 1995.
At the same time, Mike and Matt were learning to make clothes. Neither had any real experience. (Matt had screenprinted a few Lost and Mayhem tees in High School). After a few disappointing t-shirt runs with hand presses, they walked into the monstrous Gotcha building (not knowing anyone) and Captain Jack Little offered to do the screenprinting BEFORE the Gotcha stuff went on at 6AM. Next they figured out how to get patterns made, samples made, then find the best place to sew up small quantities. Lost made trunks, shorts, pants, hats, jackets, and light snowboard outerwear.
In 1996, Lawrance Quigley came to them and offered to head up the design and production of the clothing – except for the t-shirts. Squigs knew who was the best at making each piece and could get it done very quickly. The Lost clothing line went from 10 pieces to 30 pieces overnight.
In 1993 Lost sponsored its first team rider – skateboarder and current Marketing Director Chad Shetler. In 1994 Lost hired Chris Ward, its first pro team rider (Chris was 15!), closely followed by Justin Matteson. In 1996, when another clothing company came along and offered Chris Ward six figures to break his contract, Lost surfboards was born. …Lost was now Chris’ surfboard sponsor. Since those early days, Chris has grown into one of the most interesting surfers in the world. Joining Chris on the top of the team page are East Coast “too young to be a legend” and inventor of the Gorkin Flip – Aaron Cormican, North Shore legend, Pipe Master and three time Triple Crown Champion Michael Ho, and the world’s most entertaining surfer Mason Ho. Legend Pat Duffy and Kyle Berard head up the skate team. Marketing Director Chad Shetler is the reigning three time Ultimate Boarder Champion – the best overall Surf/Skate/Snowboarder in the world. …Lost supports skate and surf athletes and events worldwide
The original San Clemente …Lost house at 1523 Calle Valle had the original “Lost ramp” out back and …Lost Enterprises was operated out of the living room. This lasted until the house was condemned in 1996. The old Dewey’s TV warehouse in downtown San Clemente became the new Lost clothing warehouse and headquarters, as well as the home for …Lost surfboards, until they moved to a location off of Pico in San Clemente in 2009. The clothing company outgrew three more warehouses, and now is located in Southern Irvine.
From “What’s Really Goin On” and “Wrong”, to “5’5 x 19 ¼”, Lost Across America, On the Road with Spike, Lost At Sea, the Decline, 5’5 Redux, and now the 2012 unveiling of LOST.TV and possibly Ward Stories; the Lost Surf videos have been blamed, or praised, depending on your perspective, for keeping surfing from being fully accepted and monetized by the mainstream. Same goes for the ad campaigns – which culminated in a “how did we allow this to happen” moment when they won SIMA’s (Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association) Ad Campaign of the Year in 2009.
Most recently, Lost launched its SURFSKATE – a cruiser skateboard line which also happens to be good for downhill skateboarding and fetching beer.
Matt Biolos and Mike Reola, while running the company with partner Joel Cooper, continue to oversee every aspect of the business. Lost is one of the last privately owned and controlled Surf and Skate brands.
They could say “Since those wild beginnings, …Lost has spread slowly across the world. The Company has matured internally but continues to run off the same philosophy it started with. The Lost thinking now flows through its art, music, films, athletes and clothing” …but that sounds like some PR firm wrote that for them. So …Lost is whatever you think it is.