Fresh off attending ISPO, we look forward to digging into the U.S world of snow sports, seeing the latest technology, enjoying the expected irreverent marketing, and saying good bye to David Ingemie, SIA‘s president who is retiring after 34 years from a job that he executed with grace and humor. As we head into the show, the U.S. winter snow conditions are still playing games, challenging the best minds of apparel, gear, technology and accessories.
Here is our initial take on what is trending:
Climate Change is Front and Center: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will open the show discussing how the United Nation’s recent climate conference in Paris will help address climate change by encouraging clean energy and other industries. McCarthy will cover environmental topics that impact SIA’s network of snow sport retailers, reps, consumers, and enthusiasts.
Consumer Demand for Warmer, Drier, Lighter and More Breathable Apparel on the Rise, Resulting in the Latest Material Advancements: The challenge is to make sure that retailers and sales pros have a solid working knowledge of these technologies in order to impart that information easily and clearly to the consumer.
Eco-Friendly Focus On the Supply Chain: The industry is responding with eco-friendlier processes and materials throughout the entire supply chain.
Technology/High-Tech Gadgets for Enhancing Experience, Ensuring Safety and Measuring Performance: Technology is here to stay and the way consumers use this technology changes almost as fast as the technology itself. According to SIA Snow Show Daily, “What seemed like science fiction just a couple of seasons ago is now not only reality, but reasonably affordable and accessible to the average participant.” Think state of the art video sharing capabilities, the ability to answer your phone without touching it and seamless connectivity.
Backcountry Growth Driving Product Innovation: Skiers and riders are increasingly turning to the backcountry for a more pure experience, which is pushing manufacturers design prowess. Apparel and gear companies are quickly rising to the challenge with lighter gear and feature rich designs.
Consumers Want More Easy-to-Use Technology for the Best Experience: Once expensive convenience features are now standard. Apparel is chock full of features that provide comfort, warmth and agility.
Consumers Want Multi Function: Consumers, regardless of their skill or passions, want products that they can use in a variety of activities in today’s “grab and go” culture.
Concussion Awareness Omni-Present: Like other sports, e.g. football, hockey or soccer, head injuries are generating discussion. As a result, helmets are uber focused on safety and concussion awareness.
The Fashion World is Borrowing from The Wintersport Community: We are seeing snowsports being used for marketing, advertising visuals and collaborations. Think Moncler, Moonboot partnering with Jimmy Choo and Burton partnering with Colette. And then there is always the Vintage Chanel Metallic Ski Helmet.
In Case You Were Wondering, the 70s Are Back: The 70s fashion has come back with a vengeance, coincidentally the golden years of skiing. You will see this emotion in ski sweaters and outerwear with classic color blocking and stripes.