February 10, 2014
Women who go shopping for skiwear next fall should find it a lot easier to get a good fit, thanks to new sizing options launched by outerwear manufacturers Spyder and Burton.
But it's function as well as fit that's getting an overhaul for the 2014-15 season. Watch for outerwear for men and women designed to look as chic in Brooklyn as it does in Breckenridge.
Those were among the trends unveiled at the 60th annual SnowSports Industries America trade show that ended last week. For four days, thousands of buyers from around North America met with more than 450 exhibitors to place their orders for the coming season.
With a few notable exceptions, skiwear was showing solid color with some color blocking. Women's clothing was more tailored, and retro styles continued their popularity for both men and women.
Colors were muted, with jewel tones playing primarily to boarders and freestyle skiers.
Here's what's to expect:
Street appeal: Watch for clothing that can look equally good on urban streets or in uber powder. The transition comes through tailored styling and accents of leather, Kevlar and carbon fiber, either real or fake. Burton has the side-zip Ludlow jacket for women that looks like it would be at home on a motorcycle. Ditto for Spyder's Vivi insulator jacket for women and Highside Insulator jacket for men. Arcade Belt Co. has a new elasticized Lawson belt ($32) that is perfect for the guy who wants to go from the boardroom to snowboard with a minimal change of clothes.
Retro: It's a blast from the past with 1970s-inspired block prints, square goggles and all things vintage. Patagonia has gone with high-pile fleece and is coming out with a rugby shirt styled after those once worn by company founder Yvon Chouinard. At Neve, prints that seem inspired by old ski posters adorn both men and women's base layers. To prove that everything old is new again, Moon Boot, made by Tecnica, has 24 styles for the coming season, including its first waterproof boots and its first men-specific boot.
Feminine: Feminine detailing was the catchphrase on the showroom floor. Think silhouette, hoods trimmed in fake fur, and occasional sparkles or bows. Spyder unveiled a new, curvier "Femme Fatale" spider logo to signify an expansion of its women's line. Powder Gems adorns its polarized goggles with Swarovski crystals, and Giro is launching a new line of goggles in smaller sizes and new colors designed to appeal to women. Polarmax's three-quarter length long underwear now comes with a yoga-style waistband. Both Spyder and Burton have launched new three-fit sizing systems designed to accommodate the variety in women's physique, from slim to substantial.
Look at me: On the boarding side of the show, Neff continued its move into technical outerwear with some wild jackets, including one printed with a closeup of a cheeseburger. At Hot Chillys, the designer said the big orders were coming for her bold long underwear patterns, not the more subdued prints.
The low-down: Patagonia announced that after four years of effort, it now uses only "traceable down," meaning none of it comes from birds that were force-fed or plucked while alive.
Meanwhile, other manufacturers continue to look to blends or synthetics to combat rising down prices. Executives with Allied Feather and Down told the SIA SnowShow Daily magazine that a decline in duck consumption in China is responsible for those higher costs. As a result, the company is now making a blended insulation that combines down and synthetic fill.