Fashion forward thinking is the theme at the SIA.05 SnowSports Show. Over 16,000 attendees have caught a sneak preview of the hottest fashion trends that will hit the streets and the slopes in the late fall. What can the consumer expect to see: plaids, unique prints, bold colors, vintage looks and more all wrapped into functional outerwear perfect for any weather situation.

As attendees have tirelessly walked the halls for three days now, they have discovered that fashion is inspired by vintage looks and decades of the past. Plaid is back in full force and for a unique look companies are mixing plaid and camo to inspire diversity. Amy Johnson, marketing coordinator for Bonfire commented that “their brand is looking to go beyond and take their product to the next level by incorporating a mixture of patterns in their apparel line”. They even used the expertise of Ashley Pigford, special effects personnel for CSI Miami television show to help design fabric prints for two of their jacket lines including the Optic Blur (men and women) and the men’s Chroma jacket.

Rob Miller of BC Surf & Sports (Colorado Springs, CO) told the SnowPress Show Daily staff that “Plaid, camouflage, beanies, studded belts and darker colors paired with grandpa brights are all must-haves. Fun apparel is doing really well for us.”

For the consumer that wants to look more glamorous both on the slope and off, manufacturers are incorporating satin linings, faux fur trims, velvet, linen fabrics, shearling and other high-end materials into their outerwear and lifestyle products. Marmot takes the functional shell jacket seen on the streets now but adds a new twist showcasing faux-fur around the hood and trim of the jacket. Spyder returns with the favorite Old Fred lifestyle jacket with quilted insulation that reverses to yeti-like fur. “Consumers continue to desire unique, standout garments that set them apart from others. This is seen in the acceptance of vibrant, bold colors, the use of real and faux fur for men, women and kids, the demand for attitude and lifestyle garments for use off-mountains,” commented Laura Wisner, senior marketing manager for Spyder Active Sports.

SIA research continues to support that men’s and women’s softshell parkas are a hot ticket item this season. Women’s softshell jackets were off the charts for the period of August-December 2004 experiencing a 64% increase in unit sales and 43% increase in dollar sales. Men’s softshell parkas also have seen significant growth with a 55% increase in units and 36% increase in dollar sales.

Glamour aside, manufacturers are also taking the electronic and snow sport world by storm. A vast majority of companies have introduced iPod capabilitiy in their jackets, headphones, pockets to hold cell phones, digital cameras and more. Burton will launch the Bluetooth-enabled jacket, helmet and beanies, a joint production between Motorola and Burton later this fall. The Bluetooth-enabled jacket links a rider’s cell phone and/or iPod with an imbedded control model on the jacket sleeve, stereo speakers in the hood and a microphone in the upper section near the collar. The Espionage Jacket, with a fully taped 3L shell equipped with a removable 2L insulated vest, features a low-profile custom digital camera.