The second day of the SIA.05 SnowSports Show is in full swing with the latest and greatest in winter sports products. Immediate comments in the aisles “user-friendly equipment”, technical outerwear incorporating the latest fashion, bold colors and “women and juniors products are where it’s at”. With nearly 1,000 brands on tap at the Show, it’s a shopping Mecca for specialty store buyers across the World.

Women’s product offerings continue to expand, incorporating performance technology designed to work with a woman’s physique and unique movements Research indicates that over 35% of the total snowboard population account for women while nearly 43% of total alpine participants are women. SIA’s January retail audit reported that each category in women’s outerwear experienced growth in dollar sales over last season, with women’s softshell parkas leading the charge at a 33% increase over last season. Karen Nestor, owner of Nestor’s Sporting Goods (Quakertown, PA), spoke to women’s products as the hottest trend moving in her store this winter season.

Leading the movement in women’s hardgoods equipment development is K2 Snowboarding. Last year, the company created the women’s alliance team to drive the brains, brawns and beauty behind the manufacturer’s women’s products. Debuting at SIA.05 are extensive upgrades to both The Mix and The Luna boards, both top selling lines for the snowboarding company.

Dynastar-Lange also recognized the value in women’s input for product development and recently hired a true ski guru in Jeannie Thoren. Thoren will serve as the women’s category manager for Dynaster-Lange and relishes the opportunity to advance the next generation of women’s ski products. Alan Davis owner of Princeton Ski Shop (Columbia, MD) said it best, “If manufacturers aren’t producing women’s specific equipment and apparel, you aren’t getting it.”

Hot products in women’s apparel adorned the halls of SIA.05. Apparel manufacturers continue to develop products that incorporate technical features while setting the status quo for fashion on the streets.

Napapijri debuts lifestyle wear that incorporates four different fabrics into its look including velour, corduroy, sweatshirt and fleece all wrapped into one with a unique garment and spray dye. Dubbed the Dero line, the sweater can fit any personality no matter what material women feel like wearing that day.

Hard riding motocross fashion meets SOHO style with SKEA’s new line of sportswear featuring faux fur and metallic croc in micro suede and leather. The Morgan jacket and coordinating Toi vest incorporate asymmetric zippers in a high hip length with a large wrap-around collar lined in faux microfibre fur.

Bogner makes a statement in après ski fashion with the Rocky Mountain Culture theme inspired by American Indian motives inclusive of sumptuous furs and lavishly embroidered crystals. Or for a more “racy” look, consumers will see the Steve McQueen inspired outerwear for women complete with stretch inserts in a body conscious silhouette and adorned with racing logos from the 60’s.

Orage debuts the Riders Collection straight out of the 80’s with music serving as the design inspiration. Loud bright colors such as acid green, lemon, orange continue to emerge as the color choice for consumers. Fully-loaded, the women’s CHART jacket provides function without sacrificing fashion.

The SIA SnowSports Show is the premier event in the industry playing host to over 16,000 attendees including winter sports suppliers, retailers, reps, resorts, athletes, media personalities and other industry luminaries. The show consistently attracts over 88% of the national buying power from the retail community positioning the show as the largest preview event for winter sports products. Exhibitors on tap to display new product lines for the 2005-06 season represent over 95% of the market share for the ski and snowboard sectors and a significant percentage of the Nordic, telemark and snowshoe market.