ThirtyTwo has been pushing the limits of technology for your toes with its boots for years and has stayed vigilant in its focus on the boot category. But, for 2009/10 the company has decided to expand its horizons into the world of outerwear. Transworld Business caught up with head-to-toe ThrityTwo team rider J.P. Walker and ThirtyTwo Brand Marketing and Product Manager Brian Cook to find out the story behind taking this boot brand from the ground up.

Transworld Business: Can you give me a little background on the decision to dive into the
outerwear market?

ThirtyTwo Brand Marketing and Product Manager Brian Cook:

ThirtyTwo didn’t dive into anything. We took our time researching, developing and planning our big move into outerwear. We saw the need for premium, lightweight, performance-driven technical outerwear that is built for snowboarding.

TWB: What features do you feel set it apart?

Team Rider J.P. Walker:

I’d say that it is designed for function first. A lot of brands out there are really fashion forward but their gear is not that practical for riding. I think the thing that sets ThirtyTwo apart is that first and foremost its technical outerwear built for snowboarding.

BC: I’ve seen a lot of gimmicks in the outerwear market over the last couple years with streetwear styles being made into outerwear. The thing that will really set our product apart is that it is technical snowboarding gear designed and tested with the Sole Technology Institute (STI) to ensure the durability and high quality of materials that we used throughout our line.

TWB: Let’s talk about the timing of this launch. A lot of companies are
contracting with the prevailing economic conditions. Why did now seem like a
good time for you to delve into a new category?

BC: We wanted to bring something new to the snowboard outerwear market, regardless of the current economy. We’ve been planning the launch of ThirtyTwo outerwear for years. We have a strong brand that is going on almost 15 years of business, and we’re planning to continue to make premium products that snowboarders need. As snowboarders we believe that people will always snowboard and we’re always going to support snowboarders.

TWB: Do you think the current economy represents an opportunity for companies with a solid financial position?

BC: The current economy definitely represents an opportunity for brands that are positioned well. With a strong base of loyal snowboarders that ride ThirtyTwo, a solid team, great product and distribution ThirtyTwo is set for consistent growth.

TWB: J.P., What are you most stoked on in expanding your relationship with these guys
to include outerwear?

JPW: I’m stoked because I’m involved in the outerwear program right from the beginning. I’m included in all aspects of launching this line from the product to the team. It’s sweet to be so involved and that my opinion and input is respected and needed.

TWB: As a rider, do you think it’s easier to work with a sponsor for numerous items like boots and outerwear? What are the pros and cons of this?

JPW: When you work with a brand developing products you work with lots of different designers and artists. There are lots of people involved in the whole process from design to marketing and sales. After a while you create relationships with all these different people. Doing it with one sponsor simplifies it because you don’t have to do that same thing for several different companies. Believe it or not being a pro shred is pretty time consuming. Having more time to focus on riding is always a plus.

TWB: Who’s going to be riding for you guys?

BC: The ThirtyTwo outerwear team is made up of JP Walker, Stian Solberg , Joe Sexton and ????. JP is doing an amazing job of leading and setting the standard for the team.

TWB: How has the response from retailers who have seen it been?

BC: The ThirtyTwo outerwear line will hit the market in 2009/2010. Our retailers have seen it and they are pumped! A few of my favorite retailer responses are:
– “Man, I’ve got to have that jacket”
– “Something I’ll actually wear”
– “No gimmicks, rad”

TWB: Where is the product being made?

BC: The product is being made in Asia and quality is closely monitored by our office that is managing that region.

TWB: Are you going to utilize the same distribution chain including reps?

BC: We will utilize the same distribution chain with our amazing rep force 132%!

TWB: Anything else you’d like to add?

BC: For ThrityTwo technology is key, and we’ve done many things to create premium, lightweight, performance-driven and functional outerwear including engineered fits, PET jackets, rider feedback, good styling and STI testing. If you’re coming to Boot Camp this year, get ready!