Tuesday, February 10, 2009

BERGANS OF NORWAY, 66° NORTH, KARHU, CRAFT

SCANDINAVIAN CLOTHING, ACCESSORIES AND PERFORMANCE WEAR

OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SALT LAKE CITY PALACE, UTAH


Words, Images Judith Ecochard, and courtesy of company’s websites

The first day at the massive tradeshow was BUSY…but in the late afternoon hours, this section of the convention center-known as the Scandinavian Village---was JAM PACKED.

Well, happy hours were certainly given added meaning at this enclave devoted to some of the world's top brands…

AND the clothes were worth checking out too.

BERGANS OF NORWAY

We have spent time in Norway a few years back. It is a scenic country populated with amazingly good looking people because, IMHO the Vikings killed off the ugly ones.








Bergans of Norway is an acclaimed label over there…and from what we previewed, the collection has ‘the warmth’ factor down cold…with a complete line of down and wool streetwear, skiwear and base layers.

We focused on the more fashionable outerwear separates and liked what we saw…though we think the prominent embroidered script logo may not “work” in this country…as the name does not have the same cachet in the States.











First off a hooded jacket, the SVARTISEN LADY ($650), will ward off the wet and cold, everywhere. Like many Bergans’ items, it is made from a multi layers of fabric (3) with a four way stretch - including a soft outershell made with the 100% waterproof Dermizax™ Toray’s very popular breathable textile. There’s a companion Svartisen pants for head to toe protection.

BERGANS also has a two layer waterproof jacket ($260) and a warm 650 fill down hooded jacket in cool plaids and solids. ($350)


















We are most wowed by a sleek technical organic wool hooded car length hooded jacket. With webbed wrist cuffs to keep the nip out, bold silver zippers on oversized outer pockets, and interesting seamed details, we think this covering in creamy white or black- is downright chic.


INFO: BERGANS OF NORWAY

66° NORTH
Keeping Icelanders warm since 1926, 66° is one of the most fashionable and complete performance wear lines we have ever seen…anywhere…including Ralph Lauren’s line which we would never wear for hard core outdoor athletic adventures. Hardwear, soft shell, toasty insulated, thermal and pro mid layers, base layers and accessories are all part of this enormous collection that protects against “the vertical rain” and snow that is characteristic of nature in the north.


The names are tough to ‘get’ though.












IE…a Primaloft® insulated women’s jacket, the Langjokull ($340)…named after a famous glacier (as is most of the line’s items). Dubbed “urban styling meets mountain performance,” this lightweight jacket has a high collar and hood for warmth …and a nifty zipped inner chest pocket. Along with the fitted sophisticated Gola ($240), that’s made with a brush fleece lining along with a wind stopping membrane/ wool blend, ladies now have true techy detailed (like articulated elbows, hand warming pockets) and very hip looking options to wear. And there are men’s versions (cut for a man’s bod) of the aforementioned too.

We also saw a gray/black form fitted Thermal Pro® hooded fleece jacket, the Akrafjall- with Power Stretch® fabric on the sides of the body and undersides of the arms…plus two zipped outer pockets. Yes, this mid layer item technically functions to wick away moisture from the base layers…but we also like the look…and would wear this with our jeans.

Another popular 66° NORTH separate- for men is the hardshell swivel adjustable hooded Glymur jacket (with matching pants) made from eVENT® three layer fabric that serves up great breathability. Pre-shaped elbows and an elongated back, water –resistant side zippers, and venting through pockets with storm flaps guarantee this outerwear athletically fits and functions! ($450)









INFO: 66° NORTH












KAHRU:

“Finland’s legendary running brand,” has the perkiest shades that have wowed the American fashion press.














“The colors are killers,” according to Eric Stoll, Director of Marketing and Creative Services for the brand…which means “bear” in Finnish.

The sneakers function too and prides itself on providing runners with a “Natural Ride & Feel.™” For us this means a quicker lift off our heels, an energy waster, a more natural stride and stability---- thanks to a Hytrel midfoot plate and patented Stable Fulcrum technology.

For fashionista types, the bold progressive styling…rocks.
INFO: KARHU

CRAFT:







“Athletes Meet Atmosphere” is the slogan of this performance based apparel line. It is a step ahead of most base layer collections in that (and we quote) “…they not just wicks to keep you dry but circulates the air and energy.”

We were a bit dazzled truth be told…

Many pieces we saw in this rather huge collection---- are made of a dimpled structured fabric---like the items we saw in the proZEROextreme line of base layers. Many selections also are also made for warmer temps…like the separates that are a mash up, sort of speak- of both proCOOL and Thermolite fabrics. We learned that the hexa-channel proCool that’s next to the skin, draws the moisture away from the skin and the external Thermolite hollow fiber yarn on the outside to draw the moisture out, spreading wetness around for faster evaporation. And they’re all are super stretchy and windproof too.


One piece we liked is a cool looking light weight zipped knit top, the Pearl Move pullover for guys…aimed at ikers With targeted insulation zones and seamless construction (no chafing!) via serged seams, this garment is anti microbial, super soft against the skin via brushed fleece--- and AMAZINGLY---are hot water washable.







Other best sellers include the ProZero Gunde Wind Boxer shorts that ward off the cold at the most basic layer. Made with the Gore-Tex® WindStopper® fabric on the front panel, the garb also has moisture-wicking Pro Zero fabric that keeps for moisture control and warmth.








Needless to say, pro athletes love this line…like Henrik Lundqvist, the NY Rangers supreme goalie.

And we hope to learn more about Craft and its sport specific separates- at next summer’s OR---

INFO: CRAFT