What Industry Brands Showed at the OR Snow Show
We stopped by the Jetty, Fox Racing, Outerknown, Poler, Ethika, Picture Organic, Sunski, Hurley, and Matix booths to find out about the main products they were showing retailers during the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show last week in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The show floor reflected what NPD Group Executive Director of Business Development Julia Day called an industry-wide trend toward blending the outdoor, fashion, and athletic categories, rather than taking the siloed approach to product development and design used in the past.
Brands such as Fox Racing melded fashion and function in outerwear, the environmentally-minded Picture Organic and Outerknown continued to tout sustainability, and Ethika aimed to make inroads in a completely new selling channel.
What: Sherpa flannel ($124.95 at retail)
Details: Sherpa-lined, cotton jacket
Notes: Jetty’s No. 1 seller for fall is its Sherpa flannels, according to co-founder Cory Higgins, who walked SES through other standouts in the line at OR.
Packable jackets, which were big across the show floor, were also a hit at Jetty, which uses oyster shells in the fabrication of its packable products.
While the New Jersey-based company started out with a few men’s T-shirts, it has organically grown since then, expanding into women’s and kids’. Since the company’s 2003 launch, bootstrapped with $1,000 from its five founders, the company now counts multiple divisions, including its apparel line, screen printing services (Jetty Ink Printing Co.), a non-profit (Jetty Rock Foundation) and Jetty Events.
What: Men’s Fall ’23 Gore-Tex jacket ($599 at retail)
Details: Waterproof jacket with magnetic zip, Velcro closures, and adjustable hood
Notes: Fox, which Vista Outdoor paid $540 million for last year, was among several brands at the show blending technical details and fashion.
Global Merchandising Manager Natasha Porter said the brand benefited from the motocross-inspired styles prominent among the fashion set, but has the competitive advantage of coming from a technical performance background. Ultimately, the company decided in more recent years, “we should be putting that same attention to detail into lifestyle,” Porter said.
With lifestyle outerwear on the women’s side, styles included cropped jackets with drop shoulders and dolman sleeves – details Porter called out as being “subtle and not too obvious.”
What: Women’s jumpsuits ($168-$198 at retail) and men’s Blanket Shirt ($148 at retail)
Details: Organic cotton jumpsuits; Blanket shirt also made from organic cotton with buttons manufactured from nuts.
Notes: Colin Hunter, the Pacific Northwest sales rep for Outerknown, pointed to two OR attendees walking by Outerknown’s show booth who were wearing the company’s top-selling men’s Blanket shirt. (Retailers have also told SES the Blanket shirt sells well.)
For that reason, Outerknown stuck with classics to show retailers at the trade show, offering new colorways in its top silhouettes for fall.
On the women’s side, the S.E.A. Suit one-piece in storm grey is a favorite of buyers, Hunter said. Outerknown’s Station jumpsuit in French blue and olive are new for fall.
What: Napsack Fall/Winter ’23 ($130 at retail)
Details: Convertible jacket-sleeping bag hybrid
Notes: Poler’s Napsack is its halo product, functioning as a sleeping bag, blanket for lounging, and coat.
The Portland company, which aims to walk the line between action sports and outdoor, showed new prints of its collection’s halo product at OR.
What: Men’s underwear ($25 at retail)
Details: New animal and cityscape prints were on display in the company’s original “Staple” fit, with four-way stretch.
Notes: Ethika made its debut at OR last week, with Specialty Sales Manager Adonis Marcus saying in the early afternoon of Day 3 that the show offered good brand exposure to a new set of buyers in the resort channel.
Snowboarders, he said, already wear the company’s underwear, so making the leap to hospitality-related retailers was what Ethika had in mind when deciding to sign on as an exhibitor.
“The first day people were kind of timid,” Marcus said, adding the brand got more looks and questions from buyers the following day and also gave out more samples.
Marcus noted the company’s underwear for boys, in general, has also been getting more traction from customers.
What: Fleece jacket ($175 at retail)
Details: Fleece and shackets, many bearing Pendleton-inspired styling, at Picture and several other brands were big across the OR show floor.
Notes: Marty Carrigan of Global Sales Guys brought Picture to the U.S. 10 years ago from France, starting out with roughly 1% of what the company is now showing. Today, the assortment encompasses a whole lifestyle collection, he said. (NPD recently named Picture the fastest-growing apparel brand in the outdoor specialty channel.)
A fleece jacket with a landscape print, which was one of several products touted at the booth, proved to be one of the brand’s strongest pieces.
“It’s a stopper, for people walking by [the booth],” Carrigan said of the jacket.
What: Baia sunglasses ($98 at retail)
Details: Metal frame, polarized lenses, SuperLight material made from post-industrial scrap plastic
Notes: Sunski’s round-frame Baia sunglasses are one of its bestsellers. It’s categorized as one of the company’s premium pieces, which are priced at $98 and serve as more “elevated” designs.
The 10-year-old outdoor accessories company offered OR buyers two new colorways in the Baia, which are expected to be available in June.
What: Men’s Fall ’23 Outlaw snowboard jacket ($239.99 at retail)
Details: Waterproof jacket with adjustable hood and cuffs, zippered chest pocket, color block detailing
Notes: Mike Grussgott, national sales manager for Hurley outerwear licensee Thread Collective, said the color block snowboard jacket was getting plenty of buyer attention at the Hurley booth, but said it was too soon to call it a top seller for the trade show when SES stopped by on Day 2 of OR.
Thread Collective began making Hurley outerwear in 2020 for men’s. Women’s outerwear is now launching for Fall ’23, rolling out initially with a focus on serving more as lifestyle pieces and not necessarily as technical gear. The women’s jackets displayed at OR offered mixed media, color blocking, quilted details, and lots of corduroy.
What: Men’s Fall ’23 Sherpa-lined flannel ($69.99 at retail)
Details: Cotton plain weave
Notes: Matix, which started in the skate market and has gone through several ownership changes, is aiming to build a brand that would extend it more broadly into extreme sports and the outdoors.
Mike Grussgott, national sales manager of Matix owner Thread Collective, noted the brand’s two best-selling categories are the flannel sherpa and polar fleece with sherpa, adding Matix offers competitive pricing on those styles compared to more premium brands in the market.
See more SES coverage from the OR Snow Show:
Report and photos from the OR Snow Show
NPD names top-selling brands in outdoor specialty