Jewel tones dominated the runways at the 2012 SIA Snow Show
GOODBYE, NEONS, hello, metallics and jewel tones. It was the theme of last weekend’s SIA Snow Show, where the best in snowsports fashion and retail gathered for a yearly season preview. While Fair Isle did have its fair share of runway looks this year, and sober, concrete-inspired tones clearly permeated many looks, it was the teals, magentas, and golds that dominated. The best in design was “Macaroons meets Super Heroes,” as fashion trend company Stylesight described the emerging looks.
But beyond color and print, there’s function and structure. Combining these elements makes for the best gear in snowsports, and while big names like Obermeyer dominated the show floor, several SIA first-timers stuck out as truly industry-forward.
I was excited to check out these Italian-made bags even before I hit the show – their sleek, welded seams make for a modern look that immediately stands out from other products, and I couldn’t wait to see how they measured up in person. The product didn't disappoint – O-Range is a home run in backcountry functionality meets minimalist aesthetic. Take the waterproof, seamless, Thin S-08 Freeride Backpack 3D, made specifically for the slopes. With the addition of an integrated, super-light O-Range solar system, the backpack charges your GPS or smartphone as you go.
Ever since the International Ski Federation underwear debacle earlier this year, the snowsports industry has been fixated on undergarments. But I’m not just talking base-layers. It’s what’s underneath that counts, and especially what's underneath your foot - ever gotten a charlie-horse in your arch in the middle of a ski run? Footbalance has taken this underwear obsession to the next level, bringing customizeable insoles from the running trails to the slopes and making ski boots tolerable even to the most sensitive of feet. In my short 15 minute visit to the Footbalance crew I got a full foot profile analysis and walked away with custom orthotics on the spot. Fast, easy, and (sort of) inexpensive - the soles go for $79.99 retail, clocking in at the low end of the orthotic pricing spectrum.
I know, I rolled my eyes too: Soul Poles? Really? But eco is in, and these surprisingly strong bamboo poles are made entirely from the ultra-renewable resource. They’re also the creation of two former U.S. Ski Team members and a coach, and it’s clear that performance hasn’t been sacrificed for greenness– the specific bamboo species was picked for its resistance to cold temps, maintain proper stiffness and flex even when the thermometer plummets.
Phase 4 Imports featured this lineup of O-Range backcountry bags
O-Range also makes a range of lifestyle products including iPad and iPhone cases
While bigger brands like Obermeyer helped set the tone for the 2012 Snow Show, smaller brands stood out as industry-forward
Color schemes and style were "Macaroons meets Super Heroes."
Fair Isle is still in Style, making appearances across more classic brands