audio gear

Q&A with Skullcandy

June 21, 2010: 11:05 AM ET

(Photo: mbtrama,

By Mary Jo A. Pham, contributor

With everything from Skittle-like earbuds to funky over-ears, Skullcandy banks on the appeal of super-chic headphones over niche marketing for audiosnobs. And it's working.

The company has been enjoying tremendous growth in recent years, despite the recession. In 2009 alone, Skullcandy banked $125 million in sales, up from $85 million reported in 2008. The company will launch its Aviator headphones today, developed in partnership with Roc Nation and hip-hop mogul Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter.

Thirsty to nab more market shares and invest in better product control, the company is branching out globally -- it opened an office based in Shenzhen, China last December.

Skullcandy CEO Rick Alden is coming to Fortune Brainstorm Tech this year, so Fortune checked in with Dan Levine, Skullcandy Chief Merchandising Officer, and President Jeremy Andrus to discuss wearable electronics, managing costs in China, and how pop culture-driven gear can hang with true audiophiles. Edited excerpts are below:


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