With Outdoor Retailer reporting a 68 percent increase in attendance by designers, it prompted us here at SGB to take a closer look at this fascinating, often behind-the-scenes part of our industry. With our new Designer Profile column, we’ll take an inside look at as many of the top designers from around the outdoor and active lifestyle industry as we can corral out from their cubicles.

Designer Profile | Tara Latham

"When you look great and feel great in your athletic clothing - we, as designers, have succeeded at our job."

“When you look great and feel great in your athletic clothing – we, as designers, have succeeded at our job.”

What inspires your designs beyond the outdoor industry? I am often inspired by other industries; we look to cycling, yoga and fashion for inspiration. And of course nature, the shapes in nature, the rock formations of Utah, jagged peaks of Chamonix, forests of the Pacific Northwest. Architecture can be very powerful too – looking at how buildings interact with their environment.


Tara Latham

Being an active woman in the outdoors as well as a climber/skier, offers me plenty of insight as it relates to solutions with gear. Take for example my friends and colleagues who are also active climbers/skiers. You can learn a lot by just watching someone and picking up on things they might not have even registered with them as it relates to testing new gear.

If you could wear anything you wanted to work, what would it be? I can and I do. Comfortable and stylish clothes that are high in quality. We often ski/climb/yoga before work or at lunch so I want to be prepared to join in the fun but also look good for a surprise meeting.

Your prediction for the 2016 Pantone Color of the Year? Pantone 308 – Blues are very important in our industry. P308 is a slightly unusual spin on your traditional blue, with its undertones of green and grey. It merchandises beautifully with the rich golds and military greens that we’ve chosen to drive Black Diamond’s color palette this season.


What does “athleisure” mean to you? The outdoor, athletic and fashion industries are becoming much closer than they used to be. The population’s interest in personal health and fitness is an amazing trend that is growing and I don’t think will go away any time soon. With fast paced lives people want to be ready to hit the climbing gym after work or at lunch and be comfortable and look good doing it. I love seeing people wearing stylish and functional clothing for their everyday lives and at the climbing gym. When you look great and feel great in your athletic clothing – we, as designers, have succeeded at our job.

Black Diamond Testing

Black Diamond Testing

What makes Black Diamond apparel special in relation to what consumers are seeing at specialty retail this Fall? Black Diamond focuses on ultimate technical performance for alpinism and backcountry skiing for the 2015/2016 season. We’ve taken the idea of snow safety very seriously this season with an integrated beacon pocket in all of our Mission series pants. The system is tested with the same amount of rigor that we test our equipment.

We’ve also got a great collection of gym-to-crag sportswear this season. We know that rock climbing doesn’t end just because its winter – it may just move indoors. We’ve got a large collection of comfortable and durable climbing apparel for the Fall season that is beautifully finished and fully functional.

If you know designers who should be profiled here, email us at sgbmedia@sportsonesource.com.