Tuesday at its New York City flagship, Burton Snowboards unveiled the official uniforms to be worn by U.S. snowboarders at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, a collection that manages to be both retro-nostalgia cool and highly technical.
The most high-profile pieces in the collection of outerwear, layered pieces and cold-weather gear are the patchwork-print jackets (one version for competition and a down-filled one for kicking around the Olympic Village) inspired by a vintage quilt that Burton designers found at an antique fair. (Although the press release accompanying the announcement doesn't get any more specific than that, according to fashion industry trade paper WWD it was the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show in Brimfield, Mass.)
After deconstructing and reconstructing the quilt, the resulting patchwork was photographed and the image dye sublimation printed onto Burton's high-tech waterproof, breathable nylon fabric -- along with the image of a vintage American flag that appears on the left arm of the jackets.
Burton manages to take the retro vibe to a whole new level by going with corduroy competition pants -- though unlike the traditional version of the ribbed fabric (made from cotton), Burton's are crafted from a technical polyester and include a waterproof, breathable membrane to keep riders dry.
In addition to the jackets and competition pants, the collection includes layering pieces like khaki-colored Henleys, gray fleece tops and pants meant to be worn under the cords, a range of knit beanies, a pair of gloves and a pair of mittens.
In announcing the collection, Burton Snowboards' Chief Creative Officer Greg Dacyshyn said that the combination of vintage patchwork and American flag prints with corduroy was an attempt to give the uniform an "heirloom hippy" vibe. While we might opt for something more along the lines of "flea-market hipster," we have to say we like the muted color palette and weathered, vintage vibe.
Sochi will mark the third consecutive time the Burlington, Vt.-based company has partnered with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Assn. to design uniforms for American snowboarders.
The upcoming Winter Olympic Games are scheduled to take place Feb. 7 to 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.