You may not see outdoor brands on the catwalks of New York or Paris anytime soon, but after walking the halls of Outdoor Retailer, SIA and ISPO, it became apparent that many outdoor companies are trying to capture a piece of the larger urban apparel market.
As high street fashion brands such as Muji and GAP add more "performance" based apparel to their collections, the outdoor brands are trying to move into everyday fashion. Some are doing it better than others. Below are a few of the Fall 2011 urban outdoor collections I really liked from the shows.
I was pleasantly surprised by Columbia's city collection for Fall 2011. Including men's and women's outerwear, sweaters and a whole line of accessories, Columbia is hoping to become your apparel of choice both in the city and out, every day of the week.
Armadillo London is a new brand from the designers of Armadillo Scooterwear. Using traditional outdoor fabrics such as GORE-TEX and WINDSTOPPER to create a collection of men's and women's outerwear, Amardillo London was hands down one of my favorite lines of urban outdoor apparel.
MeCo Designs is a new women's outerwear company that marries fashion with function. A big hit at both Outdoor Retailer and SIA was the Sienna Jacket (above), a PERTEX shell insulated jacket with super feminine fit and textured detailing.
At Outdoor Retailer, Woolrich presented a reinvigorated Outdoor Collection that combines classic Woolrich with modern design. The Fall 2011 Outdoor Collection reintroduces some classic designs like the men’s Charlie Brown and reinterprets others like the women’s Arctic Jacket, but with updated details, materials, and trims.
Ahnu has a great line of both men's and women's urban boots for Fall 2011. I absolutely loved the men's casual leather boot and shoe collection as well as the women's Monte Vista WP suede high boot in a variety of vibrant colors.
Vaude's new Urban Life Collection makes use of fashionable materials, accessories and cuts to create cutting edge looks that fit right into city life without having to forgo on outdoor performance.
Who do you think is best suited to get this balance of fashion and function right? Will you buy traditional outdoor brands as your urban apparel of choice? Would you trust traditional fashion brands to make more performance based garments?