We checked in with Bellroy, Nanga, United By Blue, Thread, Shwood, Kavu, Db Bags, and Artilect from the floor of the Outdoor Retail Snow Show last week in Salt Lake City, Utah for a look at the key pieces presented to retailers.
Accessories proved big across the show floor, with crossbody styles popular. Meanwhile, sustainable brands continued to push boundaries in materials science.
What: Level 7 Dignity down jacket ($1,500-$1,600 at retail)
Details: Waterproof nylon outer shell with Polish goose down
Notes: The company’s Level 7 jacket is aimed at showcasing its premium quality.
Japan-based Nanga, named after the Himalayan mountain Nanga Parbat, got its start making down and feather comforters beginning in 1941. The company now makes jackets, joggers, accessories, sleeping bags and duvets.
“All products are engineered to keep you as warm as possible,” sales rep Vicken Donikian told The Daily.
He added that the company is focusing on expanding its presence in North America, with the line currently sold in luxury retailers such as Mr Porter and SSENSE.
What: Unisex onesies ($120-$125 at retail)
Details: Fleece overalls and hooded onesies
Notes: The Seattle-based company has come a long way from the Strapcap hat sold out of founder Barry Barr’s car in 1993, managing to build out an account list that ranges from REI to Urban Outfitters.
Kavu took up big floor space at OR, showing off its full range of men’s and women’s tops and bottoms, along with its well-known rope bag collection that first debuted on the market in 2004.
New for fall 2023 were an assortment of onesies in prints, such as a mushroom-inspired kaleidoscope pattern, and fleece overalls.
What: 2.5-liter Venture Sling bag ($129 at retail)
Details: Water-resistant, recycled woven material
Notes: The Australian accessories company offered a new, smaller version of its Venture sling bag in four colorways for retailers at OR. The smaller version of the Venture Sling is aimed at those looking to keep their items organized and hands-free while outdoors.
The Certified B Corp was founded in 2010 and is sold in department stores such as Nordstrom, United Arrows, and Printemps, along with boutiques such as The Odells Shop on Sunset Boulevard, and Aether on La Brea and Melrose avenues in Los Angeles.
United By Blue
What: Revolution 3.5-liter crossbody ($68 at retail)
Details: Made from recycled water bottles
Notes: United By Blue’s Revolution line includes silhouettes such as a backpack, duffle bag, fanny pack, and water bottle sling.
The company’s crossbody at OR was in line with a trend seen throughout the trade show’s selling floor, with many brands touting their version of the hands-free, compact style.
United By Blue received B Corp status in 2011, a year after the brand’s founding. The business was acquired last year by New York-based Naadam Inc., which operates its namesake sustainable cashmere brand, in addition to a portfolio of direct-to-consumer businesses including Thakoon, Something Navy, and Ivory Ella.
What: Snowroller ($329 at retail), Snowroller light ($229 at retail)
Details: Ski or snowboard bag touting a protective “rib-cage construction” that can be adjusted for gear of all sizes, or rolled up to 10% of its dimensions when not in use.
Notes: Db was originally founded as Douchebags in 2009 at the suggestion of a fan of the brand. The tongue-in-cheek name was memorable, but “over the years, the name became less ironic,” says the Norway-based company, which ultimately switched to its current name Db, or Destinations Between.
The travel brand’s Snowroller bag is what it’s famous for, said Global Sales Guys’ Marty Carrigan, but it’s also expanding. Db also showed hard-case luggage at OR, which is set for a fall rollout.
What: Camp collection sunglasses ($79 at retail)
Details: Made from a plant-based bioplastic derived from castor seeds that are then turned into pellets
Notes: Shwood’s Camp collection is defined by its use of multiple materials, including its plant-based bioplastic and wood inlays with what the company said are classic styles at “budget-friendly” pricing. The collection originally launched in May 2021 to fill a gap between $20 “disposable” and $150 “premium” eyewear.
Co-founder and designer Eric Singer walked The Daily through the latest additions to the Camp collection at OR, which included four National Park-inspired styles. The parks highlighted with the launch include Joshua Tree, Arches, Glacier and Crater Lake.
What: Base layer top ($120 to $160 at retail)
Details: Long-sleeve top made from Nuyarn merino wool. Nuyarn is billed as a “performance wool,” that bypasses the traditional route of twisting fibers to allow for better breathability, natural stretch, moisture wicking and other properties.
Notes: Marty Carrigan of Global Sales Guys said the brand has “reinvented base layer” with its use of Nuyarn and reported traction among retailers ranging from mountaineering specialty shops to chains such as REI. The base layer top proved popular with buyers who visited the booth at OR, according to Carrigan.
“Because mountaineering is big, it’s all about layering and Artilect is a five-system layering system starting with base layer then mid-layer to protect you from the inside out,” Carrigan said.
The brand is sold in retailers such as Seed People’s Market in Costa Mesa; Gorsuch in Vail, Aspen and Park City; Sundance Mountain Outfitters in Sundance; and The Mountain Shop in Portland.
What: Crossbody bags ($40)
Details: Removable straps allow the bag to be worn many ways
Notes: Bags are a relatively new category for Thread having initially launched a crossbody about a year ago direct-to-consumer. The company later tested the item at 10 stores, including Ron Jon Surf Shop and Jack’s Surfboards.
The category expansion comes as the company diversifies beyond its initial start with wallets, transitioning its name from Thread Wallets to simply Thread.
Thread recently launched its mini backpacks and totes, taking a similar strategy as with its crossbody rollout by selling direct-to-consumer initially. Plans call for the items to eventually launch at wholesale, with a rollout date there to be determined, according to Marketing Director Kasey Feller.