Retailer contact info:
Brad Alband, Sales and Design Manager:
What are the three biggest trends you see shaping the market and what you are doing to meet them?
I really don’t like the word trends. I find that weird and boring for our customers. Who wants to see the same thing from everybody? So these are the three main influences on this year’s outerwear line.
All in the Same Gang:
We have a really diverse team and their individual style plays a large part in where we go with our direction. Lately I’ve been noticing all of the skinny pant guys wanting a looser chino fit rather than a painted on denim fit. On the flip side, guys with a baggier style are asking for more of a fitted baggy rather than an oversized baggy fit. So the fits are meeting more in the middle than ever before. We’re also seeing colors blur the lines of so-called “hesh/fresh”. Camo’s, Olive’s, Heather Grey’s, classics are being worn by everyone. It’s a fun and interesting time because I think we get to pull people out of stereotypes and mash up what is the ThirtyTwo style.
Sir, Yes Sir:
People tend to revert back to classic in all weird economic times, and that is the same with outerwear. Military inspiration is always apparent in outerwear and it is expressed more some years than others. JP really wanted a classic camo in the line and Joe (Sexton) wanted a classic M65, so we designed their signature collections with these as the base of inspiration. Stuff you can pull out of your closet a few years from now and not look dated.
Say It Loud & Say It Proud:
Again, I think this goes back to where we are in the economy and what consumers deem a “need” purchase. Many of us in the “industry” wear minimal logos and basics, but the consumer who’s spending their hard earned money on an outerwear piece wants people to know they bought the latest and greatest. Bold logos are really important to us. I think it’s becoming a signature staple of our line. You see more and more skate guys wearing front chest logo pullover and zip hoodies. Logos can be cool if you make ’em cool.
What are the biggest changes in the outerwear market you’re seeing for this winter on the business front?
For us it’s being an emerging brand in a production environment not too friendly to brands that don’t carry weight to keep factory lines full and busy. We’re in a really good factory, one where quality is not a concern and we’re in there with industry leaders. That said, we’re probably the smallest brand in there right now too, so a lot of things we would like to push for, we really have no room to request. So there is no crazy line expansion, and we’re being forced to really make sure every sku can hit a minimum and run the category efficiently. I think it will make us stronger at merchandising in the long run…but it can zap a few of the fun projects away at the same time.
What fabrics, colors, and technologies are you focusing on for next season?
For 2010/11, we went with a muted bright color palette, if that explanation makes sense. There’s still orange, teal, purple, red, royal blue, but they are all a couple shades softer than previous seasons to play off the olive, camo and heather grey.
With our fabric selections, we were drawn to fabrics with a technical hand that stand out and look techy. We introduced some textured dobby, ripstop and twills in the line. As well, we brought back our 3-Layer jacket and used a heathered 3-Layer fabric that places the piece in this weird world of tech and fashion while being our most functional waterpoof/breathable piece in the line.
Have you changed your distribution at all from last season? Why or why not?
I wouldn’t say we have changed distribution, but we have taken a closer look at whom our partners are, who are retailers are and where we are placed for long term health. From there I would say we made adjustments to go all-in with some, and pull out of a few. We have a lot banking on our outerwear program and we need the support of our specialty retailers to get us there. In the same breath, our boots have been in the market for 15 years and if I was at another brand I may be questioned why we weren’t in a broader sporting goods distribution by now. Luckily, Pierre-André (the owner and founder of ThirtyTwo) is in this for the lifelong relationship of business and not a quick buck.