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SNEWS Qs: TJ Gray, founder and design director of Rocket Fish

TJ Gray, founder of Rocket Fish, an industrial design studio specializing in the athletic market, talks about trends for the upcoming season. Check out this week’s SNEWS Qs.


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TJ Gray

Founder and design director of Rocket Fish

What are some big trends you expect to see at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market?

Expect to see the lightweight/minimalist trend, which is now popular in footwear, making its way into outdoor gear. Packs, apparel and tents will be made up of lightweight recycled materials, ultralight ripstop and lighter insulating materials. Another trend will be rugged materials, typically found in work gear, being incorporated into performance winter gear. There will also be a movement towards more style and fashion being integrated into women’s performance gear.



What are the current trends in terms of fabric and materials?

Current fabric trends have been geared towards engineering lighter and lighter materials, while still meeting the needs of the active outdoor athlete. New down materials, which wick as well as insulate, along with lighter and stronger nylons, and four-way stretch materials are becoming increasingly popular.



How about color?

Bright colors will continue to be popular, and will also be combined with earth tones like browns, charcoals and mustards. You will also see some tone on tone color combinations in performance gear like bags and tents. Reflective will also be a big trend this season.



Why is the industrial look taking off?

Fashion trends tend to follow the economic trends. When the economy is down, gear needs to be durable, practical and transition from work to play. When times get tough, we tend to look back on better times. This takes us back to that great backpack you had as a kid or the favorite pair of shoes your dad bought you.



Tell us why you think heated accessories seem to be taking off?

Heating technologies are starting to take off because the technology is not only getting small enough to fit into a number of products but the cost is also coming down, making it a viable option to other insulating options currently on the market.

–Compiled by Ana Trujillo