Speaker Profile: Matuse's John V. Campbell

At the foundation of every groundbreaking moment there's a Pioneer.  At the Pioneer Mode Conference, we are bringing you the individuals who are on a mission to transform industry pain points into exciting opportunities to grow, design, and revolutionize.  Our Speaker Profiles are a snapshot of the people behind the ideas of the future. 


John V. Campbell is the type of guy you want to be friends with. He’s played football at Dartmouth; written articles for major magazines King and ESPN; and is now the CEO of Matuse. What started out as series of chance connections and big ideas led to Matuse, a once-young startup that is now the most elite brand of wetsuits in the market. Matuse Wetsuits are built on groundbreaking technology, memorable branding, and the unshakeable authenticity every designer should aim for. 

Matuse prides themselves on being “Ichiban,” a Japanese word that means “number one,” or “the best of the best.” At the core design of Matuse’s “Ichiban Game,” their unique branding which represents the product, the experience, and a lifestyle, is Geoprene. Unlike most wetsuits, which are made from petroleum-based Neoprene, Matuse Wetsuits are made from Geoprene, a limestone-based rubber manufactured in Osaka. Geoprene is clean, sustainable, and the lightest warmest rubber in the world. 

But, the groundbreaking technology behind the wetsuit design is only one of the factors that make them “ichiban.” The other half of “ichiban” is smart, authentic, and memorable branding. Instead of relying on tired surf clichés, Matuse creates a narrative that allows their suits to live outside of the ocean in thrilling locations that embody the quality and values behind the brand. 


For us, what really sets Matuse aside is the authenticity they bring to the table. Though the locations of Matuse’s visual campaigns evoke exclusivity, the wearers are often friends and family members. This particular choice reminds the clientele that they are not simply purchasing a product; rather, they are becoming a part of a community.


In Stab Style’s article on Campbell he says, “Today over half of our audience is international, yet there’s a common thread that connects everyone that loves Matuse and wears the product. The phrase “like-minded” gets overused these days but there’s unquestionably something about Matuse that attracts a certain kind of human.” Not only have Campbell and his team designed an incredibly high-tech sustainable wetsuit, they have redefined what it means to be a luxury brand through their commitment to art and function. Like a true Pioneer. 

Read more about how Campbell turned his passion into a business here

by: Amanda Pickens for Pioneer Mode