Greg Dacyshyn, Chief Creative Director:
What are the three biggest trends you see shaping the market and what you are doing to meet them?
VERSATILITY/TIMELESSNESS: People are buying one new outerwear piece instead of two or even three. So that piece simply needs to be more versatile. We are seeing the need for more timelessness in our designs, so that riders can enjoy their outerwear for more than a season. Less ‘flavor of the moment’ but still on trend. Simply put, timeless design plus the option to wear your jacket for multiple occasions are both becoming necessary benchmarks in the outerwear game.
PRICE: Riders are not only demanding and needing more options at the lower price levels, they are also looking for more value added at those levels. It’s a new day, and the price of admission can be a barrier to your brand if you don’t recognize and act on this. The market is a reflection of the greater global socio-economic situation, and as such our products need to respond to that.
QUALITY: While always an important factor, never before has it been such a critical hallmark. For all the reasons above, the consumer wants (and can really only afford) to invest in brands and products that have a history of quality and functionality. No one is willing to gamble on their disposable income purchases, and nor should they. They are looking for heritage brands that they know they can depend on.
What fabrics, colors, and technologies are you focusing on for next season?
FABRICS & TECHNOLOGIES: For 2012, we’ve got the best lineup of fabrics ever, from lightweight to burly, with a variety of waterproof/breathable fabrics all with unique textures, finishes and hand-feels. GORE-TEX® continues to be a big part of our line and is integrated more than ever in men’s and women’s Burton outerwear with more options, more fabrication innovation and usage in the lowest price point offering yet. And in addition to GORE, we also feature Burton’s DRYRIDE 3L, 2L and Softshell across the line. Thermacore insulation still exists in many lower end outerwear pieces and some gloves but we’re also using 3M Thinsulate in a ton of styles, including 3M X-Static antimicrobial insulation in the pits on higher-end pieces. MM/G waterproof/breathability ratings have also seen a pretty significant increase across the board for Burton. And lastly, new for 2012, we introduce Burton’s TRAIL MAPPING system, a system of strategically designed outerwear linings and insulations in both men’s and women’s Burton jackets.
COLOR: I think one of the biggest shifts in color and patterns is in prints. For the past few seasons we saw so many content-based prints in the industry. But for 2012 we are moving away from that to more traditional and pattern-based prints like checks, plaids and stripes, and to more color and pattern blocking. As far as color palette itself, there are definitely more earth tones than in the past, and overall I’d say the colorways are a little more muted. While there is always room in the line for strong colors, it’s not as poppy as it has been.
SILHOUETTES: Fit is more important than ever these days. We are seeing a lot more variety in outerwear silhouettes and shapes. It used to be that the industry was trending towards one look, i.e., fitted or baggy, but now it’s important that you have a solid range of fits and cuts, to meet the individual needs of a variety of riders. At Burton, we have added another two fits to our line: the MID FIT for men to compliment our SLIM FIT, SIG FIT, TEAM FIT and TWC FIT; and the BOYFRIEND FIT for women, in addition to our women’s SLIM FIT and SIG FIT. This gives the rider choice like never before.