Style, Sustainability Steal Show in Denver
Updated: Apr 8
Denver, CO - In late January, snowsport brands came together in Denver for the annual Outdoor Retailer Show. Partnering with Snowsports Industries of America, this industry-only, multi-day event featured all of next season's gear, apparel and accessories.
The show is attended by snowsports leaders, top athletes, designers, media, suppliers and key retailers such as Ray Stenson of Massachusetts based Country Ski & Sport who said, "Country Ski & Sport goes to the Denver OR Show to shop for the best products for our customers in the upcoming season."
For the 2020-21 season, functionality and performance remain at the core of design, but style and sustainability are major considerations.
Leading brands such as Obermeyer, Picture Organic and Helly Hansen were show standouts. Obermeyer won Best in Show for its Katze one-piece suit. This super flattering design is the must-have silhouette for next and will turn heads both slope and acres. In a sea of brands claiming some degree of sustainability, Picture Organic is a true Certified B Corp that is finding real ecofriendly solutions without sacrificing steezy style points. Helly Hansen, always a standout when it comes to technical performance, is upping its style game by combining vintage color schemes and unexpected on-trend details like fringe, offering a line sure to appeal to both fashionistas and hard-charging free skiers.
A New Egan on the Rise: We also had the opportunity to catch up with New Englander Johnny Egan, left, who is living the dream traveling the country on the Ikon tour bus with the Road Icons Crew. Johnny is the son of Sugarbush Resort's John Egan and nephew of Dan Egan. The Egan brothers are both ski legends and inductees in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Next-level talent may run in the family, but Johnny is a rising star in his own right. Follow his adventures on Instagram @Johnny__Bahama
Ready to be Snowbound: Each November, BEWI's Denver and Boston Ski & Snowboard expos bring the industry to the consumer, making it the unofficial start to the ski season. With SIA taking over and rebranding, a new tradition begins this November to kick off the 2020-21 season. Snowbound is set to make its Hub debut at Hynes Convention Center from Nov. 19-22. "The BEWI brand has established these two events as the unofficial kickoffs to winter," said SIA president Nick Sargent. "It's our goal to build on these long-standing winter expos with a pair of new Snowbound events that will be the biggest and best celebration of the entire winter outdoor lifestyle and culture and an opportunity for brands, resorts and retailers to create direct interactions with in-market winter outdoor consumers."
East Meets West: The OR Show might be been located in Denver, but some New England brands stood out from the rest. Some of our favorites include Alps + Meters, PolarFleece, High Pine Outerwear and M. Miller.
Elevated Heritage: Alps + Meters bases its designs on "the classic traditions of alpine sport," according to Louis Joseph, founder, CEO and creative director behind the brand, right. "Since our inception, it has been the brand's intention to regale the stories and histories of people, places and memories connected to life on the mountains. With reference to styles of the past, Alps + Meters consistently resists the use of beautiful and protective knitwear sturdy waxed cottons, and full grain, water-repellant leathers to deliver an alternative and handsome expression of high-performance alpine sportswear." See more at its Newbury Street store in Boston or at www.alpsandmeters.com .
DIY Sustainability: Dubbed "the official uniform of New England," every PolarFleece pullover is custom-built online by the customer, then cut and sewn in New England. The fleece, pictured left, is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles before it is hand stitched and shipped to the consumer. The company says its double velour post-consumer recycled fleece is the best milled fleece on the planet. When designing custom pullovers, consumers can choose from a range of color options for the fleece, tape and hardware. Design your fleece at www.polarfleece.com.
Anything but Basic: At High Pine Outerwear, Sue Truesdale (pictured right) continues to pioneer high-performing base layers for women. The durable and technical fabrics feel like heaven against your skin. Keep those quills out and learn more about eye-catching designs at www.highpineouterwear.com
The Vertical Runway: M. Miller debuted another obsession-worthy luxurious line at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Denver. A Boston-based designer with a shop and showroom in Boston's South End, M. Miller continues to pioneer what's next in alpine fashion. "For over 30 years, M. Miller has created a unique niche in luxury outerwear and skiwear, manufacturing men's and women's coats, jackets, fur, skiwear, fur accessories and shearlings, made in the USA." For more, check out www.mmillerfur.com