Prada met Gore-Tex face-to-face on the runway during a June 24 fashion show at the Aquavit restaurant in New York City. In a Gore-specific event that fully defines Gore's "core and more" catch phrase, Gore-Tex appears to be reaching the "more" in a big way.
Models wearing Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Fownes, Conte of Florence, Daniel Cremiuex, Escada, Fedeli, Guy Rover, Hugo Boss, Max Mara, Prada and more strutted their stuff following commentary presented by James Fallon, editor of fashion daily, Women's Wear Daily.
According to Fallon, in the face of decreasing sales and dropping mall traffic, companies are desperate for an edge.
"You're seeing some strange bedfellows -- adidas links with Yohji Yamamoto, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Ferragamo tie in with the America's Cup, Puma does a yoga line with Christy Turlington, and last winter Barneys New York was selling Salomon parkas on its fashion floor," said Fallon during his short talk.
What do so many of these linkups have in common? One thing: performance. It's no longer strange to see Ralph Lauren or Prada do a performance activewear line, or Nicolas Ghesquiere and Chanel look to the surfing world for inspiration."
By all accounts from some insiders there -- yes, SNEWS does know folks who actually can spell the word "fashun"â€¦ errr â€¦ "fashion" -- the event was a huge success, and marks an interesting turning point. What has changed is that fashion designers have realized the consumers are no longer buying simply for style. Style must work together with performance as well as value.
SNEWS View: Not being invited to the fashion show (and feeling very hurt) we are left to wonder if any of the models were wearing the Vibram flip flop with the kitten heel -- if not, talk about your missed opportunity! Of course, it also makes us wonder what the fashion designers appear to know that we don't, or won't get as an industry -- that outdoor function is fashion chic when blended with a bit of styling. Then again, if a company or two started actually showing garments at Outdoor Retailer that smacked of a fashion influence, imagine all the tongue-clucking that would go on. Meanwhile, how up are sales in the outdoor non-fashion segment recently? Just wondering.