Outdoor Retailer is like the big party everybody wants to go to, but not everyone can make it. This time around, a lot of companies are missing out on the fun, like Isis and Zoot Sports, but they have some cool, notable products (and some great insight to industry trends).
We chatted with Molly Kline, the marketing manager for Zoot Sports, about trends in performance apparel we should expect to see at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market for spring 2014 lines. In case you missed our pre-show peek at just a few of the products in this category, check out the story here.
Cooling is a big trend, with brands like ExOfficio and Columbia getting the ball rolling. Zoot has its own cooling technology it includes in performance apparel — such as running and triathlon apparel and products.
Also, due to consumers’ increased interest in protecting themselves from sun damage, UV-protected clothing is also a growing trend and Zoot has developed a new fabric to address customers’ needs.
What are some emerging trends in performance apparel that we'll see manifested in Spring '14 lines across the board?
High-tech fabrics, fashion-inspired colors and top-of-the-line performance features are emerging trends in the performance apparel industry. Zoot goes above and beyond when it comes to pioneering technology and trends in the triathlon and running industries. The Zoot spring ’14 line uses innovative fabrics in trend-setting colors and performance features to meet the demands of athletes.
How is Zoot incorporating some of those trends?
New and exciting in the Zoot Ultra triathlon apparel is a new fabric, ULTRApowertek with coldblack. It uses a revolutionary technology that reflects UV and heat rays, so even dark colors don’t get hot, keeping you cooler in the sun. Coldblack technology keeps the fabric up to 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler. ULTRApowertek provides superior stability to reduce muscle vibration and strain, improving athletic performance. It is breathable, quick-drying, resists pilling and provides 50-plus UPF sun protection. Durable, chlorine-resistant Xtra Life LYCRA lasts up to 280 hours and is five to 10 times more durable than ordinary Spandex.
As for running apparel, Zoot is using ULTRAcell AC with Icefil, which combines xylitol and thermal radiation nano technology, reducing skin temperature up to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit/3 degrees Celsius. Micro denier polyester yarns create a moisture-wicking textile that is breathable, quick-drying and provides 50-plus UPF sun protection.
What are some specific products that reflect those trends?
The Ultra Triathlon apparel is incorporated ULTRApowertek with coldblack; and the Ultra Run apparel is using ULTRAcell AC with Icefil.
What are some specific trends in terms of fabric?
Fabrics that help improve performance and make athletes more comfortable are always important to us at Zoot. We work closely with Italian fabrics that ensure the best in moisture management, comfort and durability.
What about in terms of specific performance, like sun protection and cooling?
In terms of performance, we look to our athlete’s demands to create solutions for their needs. As mentioned above, we are using fabrics that provide UV-ray protection, cooling properties, and heat reflectivity, among features for nutrition storage, built-in bras, and hip flexor liners to name a few.
What are some areas you think active apparel is in most need of innovation?
Product solutions for athletes are always going to drive the need for innovation.
How is Zoot addressing that area?
Zoot is the pioneer of technology and trends within the triathlon industry. We work with our athletes on a daily basis to figure out areas where we can innovate in order to provide solutions.