Thursday, March 31, 2011



Part I: GORE-TEX® Fall 2011

Outdoor Retailer, SLC

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

A few months back-the swank Milk Studios on West 15th Street, NYC--- hosted a panel discussion of distinguished fashion industry types, on the theme of (re) establishing a garment/design center in the Big Apple.

Held just prior to Fashion Week F/W 2011---the lively talk included an observation, opined by an innovative third generation garmento/successful investor and all around visionary giant in the biz----who suggested that, among other things, what the fashion industry needed NOW, were new, technically advanced fabrics.


Outdoor Retailer does take place right before the Big Apple’s catwalk/presentation fest---so we figured he didn’t descend on the Rockies at that moment in time …

Because, there aren’t enough clock notches allowing for remotely--- enough seconds to learn about all the beyond cool, functional fabric innovations that debuted at this trade show…and that includes excellent next to skin comfortable----drape worthy textiles, and versatile treatments that, if deployed- woulda made this past winter a lot less miserable, in the chicest way possible.

A puzzling aspect of the fashion, fashion business----where style is, rightfully priority--- (to quote Stanley Tucci/Nigel in the The Devil Wears Prada--- Yes, because that's really what this whole multi billion-dollar industry is all about, isn't it? Inner beauty.”

But could also benefit from hang tag worthy textiles-that if nothing else, are easier to care for and more eco friendly made.


One of our first appointments at OR was at the W. L. Gore & Associates exhibit---where as usual, we were bowled over by the ginormous assortment of outerwear and footwear climbing the walls, literally…

---all items using the latest breakthrough GORE-TEX® ACTIVE SHELL LAMINATE… from this huge, multi-faceted company.

Considered the premium in all weather, year round worthy, waterproof/windproof/ breathable laminates--- with excellent next to skin feel, this application by Gore has wonderfully added to the company’s arsenal of of techy offerings via a “lighter, thinner GORE-TEX® membrane with fine denier performance textiles to deliver the ultimate 3-layer solution for the active consumer.”


Basically---- thanks to new lamination technology, the backer textile on the liner side….is fused directly into the inner layer of the membrane----allowing for sweat to be transported away from the skin as water vapor, at the same time as moisture from the elements like rain/snow have “no chance of penetrating.”


The big deal for us is how the durable benefits of rugged hard shell jackets are being met by lighter, more user friendly, extremely lightweight minimalist soft shells, thanks to this latest----that further builds on the immense possibility matrix of the abrasion resistant full stretch 3 layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell.

The do it faster mantra of outdoor enthusiasts ---and there performance wear needs are also motivators for footwear companies---and we saw several brands including Merrell and Ecco using Gore-Tex® products for the most dry and comfortable jaunts up a mountain, down a trail…and around a town.

We figure it’s all a matter of time before some of the very high-end shoe brands we cover, integrate some of Gore-Tex®’s technology in their pricey leather liners…similar to Italian luxury cashmere brand Loro Piana –with it’s new storm proof wool.