The Various CAMO FREESTYLE OUTDOOR TRENDS
- June 14, 2016
- By Anthony Quiroz
My experience with the REALTREE camo family has been exciting, yet warm and friendly with a feeling of unlimited potential. Just like a family should be!
A true American classic, REALTREE camo transcends all demographics and geographic location and can be seamlessly integrated into new and unique design ideas for the fashion, action sports or outdoor industries.
With my full appreciation for the outdoors combined with more than 20 years in the apparel industry, I can speak from the heart as a family man with personal experience gained through my travels in this great industry. Over the years I have worked for many of the major action sports and fashion brands in some sort of creative position, as well as having several brands of my own. Some were successful, some not so much, but I always stayed persistent and followed my passion: Design. My goal for the posts I’ll be sharing here is to inspire and help share trends in the outdoor industry and beyond. This blog is a place to review the thought process that goes into the concepts here at HANG TEN and how they can work for any other product in the market. Images will include drawings and product photos, plus inspiration photos I took.
It was not easy to create transition styles that would appeal to the core REALTREE customer but also attract new or transition consumers. The focus was on headwear and bags, and to utilize the REALTREE XTRA COLORS pattern with unique fabric blocking and treatments.
The original thought was to keep as many natural elements incorporated into the products. These included leather, cork, burlap and waxed canvas combined with the camo in key colorways. I wanted to pay my respects to the classic heritage of the brand while modernizing the styles with key details and new design twists.
The first and obvious idea was to start with color blocking the camo with trendy and classic fabrics. We started with waxed canvas because of its natural outdoor protection against the elements. The wax treatment on the rugged cotton canvas helps keep you dry while offering superior protection from Mother Nature.
The distressed look of this waxed finish looks vintage cool and modern at the same time. For the camo colors we started with Xtra Colors Sea Grass blocked with a natural-color cork material, which is great for both men and women. The look is fresh and bright with classic styling ready for any Spring fling in 2017!
The other colorway shown is the Meteorite mixed with black waxed canvas, giving the styles a stealth look that’s great for everyday wear.
I also think it has a classic, timeless look that can be worn on any occasion day or evening -- or maybe with your tux! And of course the ladies would look great in it too!
Out of all of the Xtra Colors camo colorways, I think the Meteorite is the most versatile because of its multiple usage and natural abilities to transition seamlessly into more contemporary fashion looks that would be perfect for apparel, accessories, etc.
For safety reasons we came up with the blaze orange camo with a chocolate brown waxed canvas that looks like an old, worn baseball glove that just came out of the dugout. There is also a nice detail of camo safety taping on the outside of the cap normally seen on the inside.
These inspirations comes from the ultra-competitive market and strive for premium quality. Customers appreciate stylish and quality products so we thought why not bring the details out into the light. So the outside taping was born and throughout the collection we used the camo taping in both a contrast and tonal version.
The next market trend I see is the clever use of contrasting fabrics. This works hand in hand with the color blocking ideas above. This was a simple solution by keeping it natural and on trend with the cork visors that complement the natural elements of the Xtra Colors camo print. This is an easy way to add interest to a classic silhouette.
There are no rules here. Classic styles have been reinvented by mixing knits with wovens, mixed patterns, etc.
One of the major trends is the evolution of these classics by using vintage styling combined with high-tech performance fabrics. Smart fabrics that have actual function and purpose are what the consumer appreciates and I think they create a more personal connection. This can be seen in headwear and bags that have anti-odor features along with waterproof and cooling properties that I can appreciate during a long weekend of camping.These performance features can be applied to almost any camo fabric to offer maximum protection from the outdoors.
Besides all this high-tech stuff, I think it’s equally important to look cool while enjoying these modern amenities with stylish designs that appeal to all generations to wear their camo proudly. After all, it’s a lifestyle and state of mind, not just a print or pattern.
The following trend here is simply a pattern overlay, which was fun to create and to personalize more toward our customer base.
Ways to customize the REALTREE Xtra camo pattern with new artwork as an overlay or background are endless. The thought here was to pay our respects to the classic camo print while modernizing to our core demographic. This is a great way to transition into more trendy action sports lifestyle fashion as shown with this original floral print shown in white that was layered on top of the Sea Grass camo color and combined with a natural color cork visor and a leather patch label.
To complete the look we have matching bags sets that look amazing and can be used by both men and women. This bright color is on trend for 2016-17 and is refreshing and perfect for summer!
Patterns are still going strong in the market with tons of Hawaiian prints, Southwestern, Geometrics and conversational prints. All could transition into this camo as an overlay to create a multi-dimensional look. From this initial idea, I am now thinking of different color overlays and how to mix and match with solids and the right camo color. Let the fun begin!
The last trend I’ll mention here comes straight out of Costa Mesa from our friends at Wave Tools Surfboards. #fromthebushtothebeach is the perfect marketing slogan for the new REALTREE camo surfboards for the upcoming tradeshow circuit.
I think the camo print is perfect artwork for these boards. The high-performance shortboard was designed with the REALTREE Xtra Color in blaze shown with a slash design made into multi-fin set up for multiple wave conditions.
The longboard was made for cruising and looking good. It has a classic design that combines camo colors Sea Grass and Olive. This board is a single fin that is made for the entire family to learn on.
These custom surfboards are made with 4-ounce digitally printed fiberglass and take over a month to produce. This is just another way to enjoy the world’s favorite camo, enjoy!