What began with a skate shoe has evolved into an action sports empire extending from the streets to the mountains. From the design lab to the mountain lab, DC tests its product to make sure they are giving customers the best quality gear at a great value. In 2010/11 DC is blending fashion and functionality, amongst many other things, in its new outerwear line. Director of Snow Outerwear and Accessories, Duke Johnson, sat down with TransWorld and talked shop about what we can expect out of the 2010/11 DC Collection.
What are the biggest trends you see shaping the outerwear market and what you are doing to meet them?
Duke Johnson (DJ): We’re still seeing a merge between fashion and function on the mountain and a lot of design influence from street and fashion design. We have incorporated many streetwear influences into DC outerwear, making the line work both on and off the mountain. Taking inspiration from fashion and the streets, we’ve created unique, detail-rich designs while maintaining the functional integrity of our brand. With all over prints trending down, prints and patterns are still part of DC’s heritage. You’ll continue to see prints and patterns, though as a smaller portion of our line. Look for classic patterns like plaids and pinstripes, as well as some of our fun prints. Colorblocking is still important, as is the use of pop colors but this year we’re using it in more subtle ways. Look for them as accents to the main solid colors of the line. In addition, fashion trends have led us to a very rich collection of fabrications this season. As we’ve put less emphasis on all over prints, it has become very important for the fabrics to provide a visual story. We have incorporated many new fabrics to add visual interest, texture and depth to next year’s line.
What fabrics, colors, and technologies are you focusing on for next season?
DJ: We’ve been seeing a resurgence of “prep” in the fashion industry. We’re excited about introducing a prep color story in our line for both men and women that uses the base color of Navy—it’s very refreshing seeing Navy in outerwear again, being used in a notsoconservative way. Keeping in line with the prep story, we have developed a chambray technical fabric influenced by the classic men’s chambray shirting fabric. This fabric is lightweight, a cool blue, and has a nice slight gloss. You will also see technical fabrics in irregular herringbones, traditional herringbones, denim, cording, ripstop, suiting stripe, space-dyed fabric, and hand dyed influence print.
What are price-points doing and what are you doing to add value to your line?
DJ: We have worked very hard this year to bring value to the end consumer by reducing many price points while keeping the functional elements of each piece intact. The consumer will still get a fully-functional, technical, great-looking product at a price that is extremely competitive. We’re just being smarter about where we put our work and investments into each piece by removing the gratuitous bells and whistles, giving consumers everything they need and nothing they don’t.
What’s your outlook for next season?
DJ: Value is always important, so we will continue to focus on that. Also, our consumers can expect something new and interesting with our fabrications, creative designs and construction, trim details, and a little bit o’ fun. We’ll continue to work closely with our riders to make sure they believe in all the products we put out as much as we do.
How are you working with retailers to match supply with demand?
DJ: DC sales reps are working closer than ever with accounts and shops. In the end, shops have to be successful for DC to be successful, so reps are working hard to make the supply of goods match demand, and reacting quickly to changing demands at the ground level.
For an in-depth analysis of the trends shaping 2010/11 outerwear, be sure to pick up a copy of our November issue by subscribing to TransWorld Business. For a look book from top brands, check out our Product Preview: 2010/11 Outerwear.