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Life can be so colourful


Outdoor manufacturers again show off bold colours in Friedrichshafen

Friedrichshafen - It has only been five years since the first collection of outdoor outerwear in bold colours came on the market. Now, it’s almost impossible to imagine the outdoor industry without these eye-catching colours. Producers devote considerable effort to developing names for exotic colours, whether they are fruity pink, setting sun, fairytale green, bloody red or ice blue. At the OutDoor, taking place in Friedrichshafen from 11 to 14 July, providers of outdoor products will once again demonstrate that colour is here to stay. At the 20th edition of the trade fair, over 900 exhibitors from 42 countries, including the market leaders, will present themselves to their colleagues in the industry.

When Norrona had the courage to show some colour in 2008, the Norwegian supplier of mountaineering equipment caused quite a stir.  No other manufacturer had the courage to introduce jackets, pants and vests in striking colours like orange, pink and yellow with colour-contrasting zippers. Unexpectedly, the brand started a trend which has apparently continued uninterrupted to this day. Most outdoor companies have since taken the same approach as Norrona and switched out older, earthier tones in favour of lively ones.  "Colour intensity has an important safety aspect in the mountains - from the air it’s much easier to find someone in a colourful jacket than someone wearing camouflage colours”, says Lena Helmreich, PR spokeswoman for Norrona from the Munich PR agency Krauts. Furthermore, outdoor fashion has been appropriate for everyday wear for some time now, thanks to its modern cuts. "It used to be that no one would have dared to wear a softshell jacket at the office, but now it’s very common”, Helmreich explains.

The dominant tones in the new Norrona summer 2014 collection for women, which will be presented at the OutDoor, include deep pinks, which go by the illustrative names "setting sun” and "graffiti pink”, as well as a bright green, named "bamboo green”.  As a contrast colour for details like zippers, Norrona uses cool blue tones like "ice blue” as well as powerful reds with names like "tasty red” and "lava” orange. The latter colour can also be found in the men’s collection, as can the red and blue tones. "But green and yellow tend to be more dominant among men, and both in their bright, glowing variants”, explains Helmreich. Accents in the men’s collections are provided by details in dark purple ("deep purple”).

Italy’s Salewa, on the other hand, is drawing attention with its new climbing collection in trendy colours. "It’s clothing which is up to every challenge out in the field, but at the same time has a relaxed look”, says designer Lisa Sinegger in explaining the creative concept behind the collection. This means that the cuts of the pants, jackets, t-shirts and tops makes them wearable by sporty men and women in their free time. This is complemented by a fresh colour concept with sunny yellow, deep poppy red and glowing orange. "And for women, pink in all its variations is here to stay”, says PR spokeswoman Ariane Maria Malfertheiner. Multicoloured prints and graphic patterns are also eye-catchers.

At Marmot, from the Bavarian town of Schnaittach, the bright colours of the rainbow have also been on offer for a long time, although the focus is on tops like jackets, vests, sweaters and shirts, according to PR spokeswoman Sarah Seeger.

A vibrant mix of colours is also apparent at The North Face. Like at Norrona, bright, eye-popping colours tend to dominate. "Especially the women’s collection includes bright yellow on the one hand and different shades of blue, like lavender, marine blue, turquoise and water blue on the other” explains Nicole Trojer, PR spokeswoman for The North Face. For example, the new featherweight fluffy down jackets in egg-yolk yellow are a sight to behold on cool evenings. Tops, t-shirts and some shorts are just as colourful.

But no matter which tones, shades and nuances the outdoor companies’ designers come up with, their message for the coming season is clear: Life can be so colourful!

The OutDoor 2013 will be open from Thursday, 11 July until Sunday, 14 July, to trade visitors only (Thursday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
More information is available at www.outdoor-show.com.

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