Color me crazy: Blocks of electric color replace prints and patterns in latest gear and apparel

If you’re seeking stealth in your wardrobe for next spring, think again. Outdoor apparel and gear for 2013 are anything but subdued. Neons and primary colors with more than a hint of oomph lined the walls of just about every booth at Summer Market.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

This SNEWS Outdoor Retailer Summer Market recap is brought to you by Cordura:


If you’re seeking stealth in your wardrobe for next spring, think again. Outdoor apparel and gear for 2013 are anything but subdued. Neons and primary colors with more than a hint of oomph lined the walls of just about every booth at Summer Market.

“Americans are not dullards who spurn color, but it would be easy to go into this colorless slumber if we don’t make anything of note,” said Adidas Outdoors’ Larry Harrison. “Everyone was alarmed by our color two years ago and now they’ve embraced it.”

Adidas brought its European and Asian influences stateside but it’s taken awhile to become a broader story in outdoor activewear. The bright solid blocks of color are a different stroke of expression than a few years ago, when prints and plaids were the way go for some pizzazz.

You’ll still find multi-colored products next year, but buyers are gravitating toward the solids, said Andrew Mastrangelo of Kamik. “We have prints in our line, but we’re seeing customers rave over our bright boots.” 

Companies like Birki’s and Five Ten that normally swim in an earth-toned pond can’t wait to show off their gear. It’s same models, but reengineered with brighter colors. “Color is all we’ve been working on these past few weeks,” said Five Ten’s Kelsey Reddoch. “Color is our ‘update’ for next year.”

“My hope is that we wind up with an outdoor industry alive with color,” Harrison said. “What makes us feel better and makes us better as people? Color.” And what changes your mood swiftly? Color.

The mood of the outdoor industry is soon to be vibrant and excited.

--Jill Adler

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