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Greg Dacyshyn, Chief Creative Officer:
What are the three biggest trends you see shaping the market and what you are doing to meet them?
The first big trend can be captured in one word: Heritage. Any brand that has an original, authentic story to tell is doing so by re-issuing classic styles that speak to their brand's heritage. For snowboarding, Burton is the original snowboard brand with a long heritage of standing sideways since 1977. You'll see nods to our long heritage in snowboarding throughout our 2013 outerwear line – whether it's a throwback logo, colorway or cuts inspired by some of our classic styles from past decades.
Secondly, for women, military silhouettes with feminine fits and features are a big trend for 2013. Burton's Generic Surplus outerwear collection for women speaks to this trend by offering modern military silhouettes in colors that mix classic olive and khaki tones with hot brights. Fabrics in this collection have a natural, rugged look complemented by custom camo prints. Details like leather and metal trims, patches and badges adorn the pieces and complete the overall military feel.
The third trend we've addressed on the men's side is the revival of traditional outerwear styling and features inspired by classic workwear and vintage outdoor wear. Burton's Mountain Gentry collection is built around this trend, and features details like pocket styles originally found in traditional hunting and fishing jackets. Our own vast archives of original snowboard outerwear from the 80s and 90s also inspired this collection.
How has the market evolved over the last year and how do you see things changing in the years ahead?
The lines are definitely blurring between the endemic snowboard market and the outdoor market, which presents exciting new opportunities. This is the biggest evolution we've seen this past season, and we foresee the lines continuing to blur even more in the years ahead. To gain exposure in the outdoor market, Burton is showing at Outdoor Retailer for the first time. One of the signature lines we'll have at OR is our [ak] outerwear line. [ak] outerwear is constructed with premium GORE-TEX® fabric, so it will stand up to whatever an outdoor enthusiast can throw at it. But what also makes [ak] really stand out is the ergonomic, minimalist designs and unconventional prints. We can't wait to show the [ak] line at OR, along with select bags, luggage, tech apparel, accessories and hardgoods that have a lot to offer to the outdoor market.
Has sales forecasting changed for your company? If so, how has it changed?
Absolutely. Our internal sales crew is able to provide higher quality predictions much earlier in the cycle. And we're working more closely than ever with our sales representatives in the field to ensure accurate forecasting.
What lessons have you learned with bookings for this season and how will you apply those to next?
We had a very strong, positive preseason across all categories and regions. North America had a great snow season, which always gives things extra momentum. We also increased our support of specialty retailers on all fronts. For 2013, our goal is to keep up the good work by ramping up our support of specialty retailers even more through product segmentation, targeted marketing campaigns and added POP support.
Have you changed your production or distribution models at all from last season? If so, why and how have you changed them?
We're always evolving on this front, but we can't go into too many details as we're privately held.
How are you working with retailers to help ensure strong margins, the right amount of product in the marketplace, and terms that set them up for success?
First, it all starts off with Burton creating great products that will sell-through at retail. Then it's about working closely with our retailers on every level to drive customers into their stores. For the past two seasons, we've worked directly with our retail partners more than ever before on programs that help drive demand. For example, to support sell-through of 2012 product, we created targeted marketing campaigns like the 8/13 Winter Storm Warning and Standing Sideways movie tour with the ultimate goal of building excitement about the season and bringing customers to shops for special events. We're also offering compelling in-store POP packages. And during our 2012 Super Clinics this fall, our product, sales and marketing staff toured hundreds of key shops to hear feedback, teach shop staff about the current product line and build personal relationships with local shops. All of these efforts combined help set up our retail partners for success.
What fabrics, colors, fits, and technologies are you focusing on for next season?
For fabrics, simplicity is key. Fabrics with a cotton handfeel and matte look prevail for 2013. Wool-like performance fabrics and waxed fabrics also dominate. Simple throw-back fabrics like rip-stops, nylon oxfords and taffeta are also making a comeback for 2013.
When it comes to colors, hues found in nature are strong this season. Muted tones found in vintage camping equipment offset by acidic bright tones are also prevalent.
On the fit front, the dominant silhouette for 2013 is long and lean. We've ensured ease of movement in these narrower silhouettes through subtle articulation.
As for technologies, select men's and women's Burton styles and the entire [ak] Outerwear line have been enhanced with GORE-TEX® for the ultimate in Guaranteed To Keep You Dry® performance. We're also very focused on utilizing eco-friendly outerwear technologies in our GMP line, including NEW Nano-Tex DWR, which is applied to all of our GMP products because it is completely fluorocarbon-free.
What are pricepoints doing?
Instead of just focusing on price, we are really tuned in to making sure there is added value at every pricepoint. We want riders to get the most for their money, so that even our entry-level price jackets and pants have a long list of features that typically are only available on higher-end outerwear. For example, this year, we've added a cool feature called 'Anti-Scuff Cuffs' to all of our men's and women's outerwear pants. Every outerwear pant in the line now features cuffs reinforced with Cordura® fabric and contoured shaping so they hold up better for the long haul. Little details and quality features like this are present on all of our outerwear, so it's more about quality and value than pricepoints for us.
Are you taking any steps to minimize your environmental impact? If so, what are some of these steps?
Yes for sure. We've put a lot of effort into trickling recycled fabric and materials throughout our outerwear line for the past four seasons now. For example, our men's and women's GMP collection features fabric, labels and packaging that are produced with a lower impact on the environment whenever possible. The GMP collection uses recycled and natural blended fabrics, such as recycled wax twill and 3-layer hemp rip-stop. As mentioned above, our GMP collection also uses new Nano-Tex DWR, which is fluorocarbon-free. This results in a more eco-friendly water-proofing solution without sacrificing performance or durability.
What's in your crystal ball for 2012-2013?
Snow, snow and more snow.
What do you hope to contribute to snowboarding?
As the leading snowboard company in the world, our contribution to snowboarding is pretty simple – we create the best products on snow so riders can have the best time on snow. We also support the sport on every level, from executing targeted campaigns that drive customers to local shops to sponsoring the best riders in the world and creating world-class snowboard events. On top of all this, we bring our heritage and history to the sport with our founders and owners Jake Burton and Donna Carpenter still leading every move the company makes.