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A Salvo of Style — What influence is style having on today's outdoor clothing?

Trends: Lifestyle Apparel -- Sure, it looks great, but does it work? Apparel makers strive to balance fashion and function.


Just over a decade ago, a relatively unknown kid named Chris Sharma approached his climbing sponsor to ask for one thing—style. “He said, ‘Beav, could you make sure this stuff is really street, so I could wear it to go out climbing?’” said Beaver Theodosakis, president of Prana. “We took that whole idea and ran with it.”

Over the years, other savvy outdoor companies also found they could attract more—and new—customers by adding an

element of fashion to their lifestyle apparel lines. Today, this swell has picked up force; the industry’s clothing offerings for the past several seasons have illustrated a serious passion for style paired with function. In addition, a handful of new outdoor apparel companies have launched with a targeted fashion-meets-purpose mantra.

“Ten years ago, no one said the ‘F’ word in the outdoor industry. But fashion is a force now,” said Tami Snow, marketing director at Horny Toad, which has married street style with activewear for several years. “When you look at fashion as a whole and the outdoor industry as a whole, there is a convergence.”

Unlike the much more fashion-driven ski and action sports industries, however, the outdoor market is embracing a somewhat fi ltered, more easily digestible version of style….

Click here to download the magazine Trends PDF from the 2008 SNEWS Summer Outdoor magazine: “A Salvo of Style” — What influence is style having on today’s outdoor clothing?