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An A-To-Z Of ’10-11 Outerwear – Holden’s Mikey LeBlanc

We’re kicking off the winter season with an in-depth look at all things outerwear. As you gear up for trade shows and buys, we’ll take you inside the minds of top designers to see what trends are shaping next year’s lines for all your best-selling brands from A-to-Z.

Mikey LeBlanc, Matix's Photo

Mikey LeBlanc, Matix's Photo

Straight out of Portland, rider turned entrepreneur Mikey LeBlanc has helped define the Northwest scene’s look with Holden’s streetwear inspired outerwear and his company’s focus on environmental responsibility is helping set the standard in our industry with a focus on Bluesign approved materials and other measurable improvements to the production process. We recently had the chance to pick LeBlanc’s brain about where Holden is heading for next season.

Women's Kit: Dahlia jacket, MSRP $150 -- W’s Standard Pant, MSRP $140

Women's Kit: Dahlia jacket, MSRP $150 -- W’s Standard Pant, MSRP $140

Coaches Jacket, MSRP $140 -- Standard Pant, MSRP $140

Coaches Jacket, MSRP $140 -- Standard Pant, MSRP $140

For 2010/11 Holden is focusing on price, style, and color as the biggest trends shaping the update of its lines. “We are making fairly priced gear that ishigh quality, and the line is pointed with classic lasting styles and colors,” says LeBlanc. Another major trend LeBlanc and his crew are focusing on is incorporating versatile new fabrics, 90 percent of which use “eco-friendlier” applications in making them. This focus on quality and materials does come at a cost though. Price points will be rising slightly due to material costs and sourcing from top factories, but LeBlanc believes that this will pay off:  “We are…making strong efforts to maintain the Holden brand’s reputation for the best styles, fits, eco-options and quality in the industry.”

While many companies have seen a decrease in prebooks this year, Holden’s reputation for producing top product may be paying off already as the company didn’t see a decrease in early order this season. “It’s October 26 and the Holden warehouse is empty,” adds LeBlanc. “It feels good to turn some reorders away. Demand is rare these days.  We set a precedence with our customers last season to order what you need.  But in the future as Holden grows the game will be to be in much better contact and relations with our customers to make sure we are all being realistic on sales opportunities. No one wins when it gets out of balance.”

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.