Slope style: Ski and snowboard trends for next winter

The cavernous Mile High Ballroom at the Colorado Convention Center was converted into a cozy lodge-like setting earlier this week for the annual snow fashion parade presented to some 1,000 retailer buyers and manufacturers attending the SnowSports Industries America trade show.

The runway featured an oversized fireplace at the base, from which a couple of dozen adult models and 19 child models emerged in a fast-paced show featuring what the industry has in store for skiers and snowboarders next winter.

Looks representing 30 brands ranged from highly technical clothes to wear in extreme mountain conditions to high-fashion looks that would be at home in St. Moritz or in Summit County.

Taking some cues from the

ready-to-wear runways, designers put a lot of color blocking on display, as well as a full spectrum of vivid solid colors, often accented with zippers in a contrasting shade. Colors called limeade, blazing yellow and orange sherbet are likely to conjure up images of summer, but the garments they were attached to — by such companies as Trespass, Fischer Alpine and Descente — are intended to brighten slopes rather than the beach.

Judging from the way fashion show producer Michele Zontine presented the looks, the idea is to mix rather than match, so an orange parka might be paired with green pants, or a fuchsia jacket might go over tan pants. Prints continue to be important, with everything from tropical-inspired florals to re-colored camouflage patterns. Designers are also creating unexpected fabric mixes, such as stretch nylon with gray flannel. The whole menswear-streetwear phenomenon continues with muted plaids, checks and stripes in gray, brown and black.

Many of the outfits were accessorized with footwear from Malibu Cowboy, a company that sells handmade shearling boots. Owner Phil Chapnick has Cher as a customer and has the footwear stitched in Colorado by Amish folks.

While there were plenty of trends on display, the show represented only a fraction of the 1,084 brands being shown by 476 exhibitors at SIA. The show, which continues through Sunday, is open to the trade only, so we’re just going to have to wait and see which of these looks end up in ski shops in Colorado.

Suzanne S. Brown: 303-954-1697, or

Online: Slide show of more looks from the snow fashion show

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