Monday, January 24, 2011

OUTDOOR RETAILER FALL 2011 TRADESHOW REVIEW

OUTDOOR RETAILER FALL 2011 TRADESHOW REVIEW

Salk Lake Palace Convention Center, UTAH

January 20-23rd, 2011

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

Cooper---one if the many dogs we met at OR---this handsome pet is a cross English Golden Retriever and Black Poodle

OR Fall/Winter 2011 was a hit.

It was packed, full of "game changing" tech breakthroughs in gear, materials and textiles, innovative apparel, and retailers writing up orders. And lots of that 3.2% beer.

And when we went to book our Spring/Summer 2012 hotel room…it was 99% sold out already…

Everyone seemed to be having a terrific show.

We focus on the performance wear…that includes apparel like outerwear, mid and base layers, and socks…that incorporated the latest fabric breakthroughs that keep one warmer, dryer, moist management comfy, odor free, windproof, waterproof, breathable----- bells and whistles that epitomize climate control for clothes--- whether scaling Mt. Everest, Pacific waves or subway steps…


Colors were bright---plus the usual blacks and browns---always big sellers. 
Impossible to be cold in this puffer....from the new ADIDAS OUTERWEAR COLLECTION!

at Gore-Tex ---a wall of soft shell jackets

Bold solid tones---very little prints on outerwear---we think because it dates a piece, maybe won't hold up---and the new fabric treatments/processes are complicated enough (and more eco-savvy)-- without the complicated dye processes.

...But trims were poppin' with bright hues,,,and there were trendy graphic touches here and there...particularly on tees, hoodies and def. on socks that have become works of art.

…The new kickers that fell into three categories for us…the functioning fashion, wear it in the city or on day hikes---versatile items.

A continuation of the whole barefoot running/minimalist footwear extended into a swath of trail running and lifestyle shoes...and retailers who cannot get enough of the ped coverings. Pictured here--- new for Spring 2011 from ECCO---the BIOM RUNNING SHOE ---delivering March 2011. We did not see the color teal/turquoise--- last August.




















And approach/après ski shoes/boots---and everyday footwear that protect against the elements--- and are super comfy… incorporating more trend driven details and slimmer silhouettes too, for added flair.

Name athletes---most that we never heard of actually, continue to be coveted sponsored brand bodies as they are billed as being actively involved in the design processes. We guess this is true because one's survival and overall well-bring depends on the functionality of what one is wearing and using gear wise---and not just in extreme conditions ---doing extreme activities. 

YUP---A fashion show---here in SLC the models actually look athletic enough to actually use the attire while pursuing athletic endeavors...not model skinny hanger size like other runway shows we attend....and they smile!!!!





But as far as higher, primo priced apparel pieces are concerned...we feel that the market for big spending urban types that want the best----and can afford it---- is way larger than the extreme athletes that really need the ultimate best when scaling the Seven Summits without oxygen. Hence the terrific designs we saw that cost major bucks...we view like true luxury goods...and will probably be marketed similarly--- to that elite niche crowd---while still being hailed as the ultimate for the hard-core adventurists, without dumbing down of the products, no matter how much the cost of materials goes up. IMHO.


WHAT ELSE:

AND those costs of material are going up, up, up--- and was/is a major topic buzzed about---as are production problems and delays in China where most goods seem to be made nowadays---- AND so to affect/afflict the industry big time.

On a very positive note----eco awareness/sustainable practices is serious business here and permeates every itty, bitty aspect of the Outdoor Retailer business---unlike the fashion industry we usually deal with---- where it's not considered a selling point to consumers according to just about every designer we ever spoke with. Seriously. The mammoth Walmart being the exception...

Individual reviews to follow…



The Canada Goose Hockey Tournament was fast and furious---the winning Canada Goose team had a retired NHL player from the Stanley Cup winning NY RANGERS...WOW----plus---cross checks abounded, the women played rough and tough...and all proceeds ($8300) from the 16 registered teams benefited The Conservation Alliance.

We cannot imagine seeing anything remotely like this bruisin' rebel rousing competition during New York Fashion Week though we would pay serious money to see it...


CODA:
No surprise... we observed an obviously fake Moncler jacket on a teen soliciting for whatever---on the subway--- upon our return home. Obviously fake because the jacket itself, a black puffer was really poorly made---but---that item was loaded with mockups of the Moncler emblems--- stitched all over. And that's how we know, for sure-outwear is major fashion news these days,