After a hiatus from my work life, I’m back. I spent the past three days running around the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show like a maniac. I heard a lot of words get recirculated: authenticity, heritage, sustainability, urban outdoor, quality. I like these words. Particularly when they mean something. It’s nice to see brands out there that are trying to make a difference. It’s nice to see well-established brands have confidence in who they are and emerging brands define their voice. Overall, the show was engaging, with bright points of inspiration. The hard core alpinists were all a buzz with the achievements on the “Dawn Wall” while newcomers gathered in the Venture Out zone were telling stories of more personal achievements: riding Royal Enfield Motorcycles through Nepal at Roark, or car camping on the Oregon coast at Poler. It was this second set of brands that really captivated me. There is something very throwback beat generation era about what is happening now in this scene. It’s evident in the style: motorcycle jackets and rolled beanies, plaid shirts and manicured beards, but for this group, it not about looking a certain way at their local coffee shop, it’s about blending a love of both the urban and the outdoor and letting products live in more than one channel.
For a sneak peek at next season’s best products, check out the full gallery over at Transworld Business.