Nearly 1,000 people were on hand to watch the crowning of the seven Volvo Womens SportsDesign Award winners. They were selected from 281 entrants from around the world by an esteemed panel of judges.
“We have waited a long time to see womens products receive the recognition they deserve,” master of ceremonies and awards judge Andrej Kupetz of the German Design Council said. “The decisions we had to make were very, very difficult.”
The influence of women athletes and designers on each of the winning products was extensive. It also came from females of all ages. Scott Franklin, the designer of Footwear winner Montrail Grommet Girl, a girls climbing shoe, noted that his primary inspiration came from his two-year-old daughter, who inspired the floral design and lavender color.
“I am so honored by this award,” he remarked. “And to have Montrail actively pursuing these types of projects is just amazing. Im very appreciative.”
Added judge and category awards presenter Danielle Sellwood of WGSN, “I cannot tell you how extraordinary many of the entries were. It shows how rapidly and completely the womens sports market has formed.”
The Volvo SportsDesign Award ceremony was an Oscar-like format, with the finalists named before the envelope was unsealed and the winner announced. The judges measured the products on five criteria: formal character, functionality and usability for women, innovation and conception, use of materials, and color and graphics.
The six category winners were:
- Ski Set: Rossignol Attraction, designed by Mediapack. The judges noted that the ski provided the perfect blend of performance, comfort, and good looks with its unique “nubuck” tattoo graphics statement. “Were very honored to receive this award,” Rossignol ambassador and former Olympic slalom skier Claudia Riegler said. “A lot of people put in a lot of hard work to make sure we had something that worked for our customers and also looked good.”
- Board Equipment: the Burton Troop Group (board, boots, bindings), designed by Lisa Fickentscher, won the top prize for its board, boots and bindings, but the honor was just as easily similar to an Academy Awards “Lifetime Achievement” honor for Jake Burton Carpenter and Donna Carpenter. “This set is really a piece of art,” presenter and judge Anna Rosen said. “The set is fully integrated-all details and applications fit together.”
- Outdoor Equipment: the Dynafit ST 5.0 Womens Set (ski, bindings, boots, poles), designed by Herwig Halun, Fritz Bathel and Stefan Tschager. A key to the victory: Each ski weighs only 1.08kg (40 ounces), thanks to its carbon laminates. “The boot binding system is the only integrated system in which no weight has to shift when you walk upward,” category judge and awards presenter Julie Fawcett said.
- Footwear: the Montrail Grommet Girl, designed by Scott Franklin. Franklin took his extensive climbing experience and the influence of his toddler-aged daughter to create a shoe that has true climbing sole features, with flower graphics that are catchy to young girls. “Im really shocked to win this award,” Franklin said. “Were just a little company trying to do a good thing and make climbing accessible to girls of all ages.”
- Accessories & Components: Salomon Siam Helmet, designed by Quentin Verhaeghe. To date, womens sports helmets were inspired by racing sports or martial arts. That has changed with a ski and snowboard-inspired helmet designed for participants. Its features include fur-lined removable ear pads, airflow ventilation and goggle attachments.
- Womens Concepts: Homesick Sports Net, designed by Silvia Knuppel and Damien Regamey. New design concepts took center stage, with Silvia Knuppels innovative Homesick Sports Net earning an award sculpture and a 5,000Euro check. The concept revolutionizes net development by steering away from the age-old, predictable mesh design pattern. Plus, the net can be used for volleyball, tennis, badminton, basketball, field hockey, handball and other sports.
The judges for the Volvo SportsDesign Award included Andrej Kupetz of the German Design Council, Florian Weingartner of ispo, Anna Rosen of Volvo Car Corporation, Julie Fawcett of Sheactive, Sybs Bauer of the Women Designers Forum, Annke Osthues of designafairs, Danielle Sellwood of WGSN, and Moni Wolf of Motorola iDEN.
The event was presented by Volvo Car Corporation and ispo, the worlds largest sporting goods trade fair.