We sat down with our designers to talk about how they approached creating this season's gear. Racing stripes, runners in Hawaiian shirts and the 90s all make an appearance, so you'll want to clear your calendar for the next three minutes and give this one a read.
What was your design approach to this season?
Our Subalpine Collection felt like the right move for us last fall, so we took that idea (sporty, more technical pieces with bright colors inspired by 90s outdoor gear) and reimagined it for spring. Our Mountain Sport collection was born.
Tell us about Mountain Sport.
The goal was to build a collection of technical pieces that work well for all of our favorite sports (rather than just one.) And true to our #madeforyourmap mantra, they had to work well in everyday life, too.
We prefer to design for specific people rather than entire demographics, so we turned to the multi-sport athletes that inspire us. Some are well-known, like Anton Krupicka, and others less so, like a local buddy who runs in Hawaiian shirts and races cyclocross at New Belgium in head-to-toe denim. In both cases, they’re talented in multiple sports and have a highly individualized sense of style that follows them from gravel to crag to river to street. Anton Krupicka was a good encapsulation of who we were designing for: he bikes, climbs and runs — three of our favorite sports at Topo HQ. We'd add flyfishing to the mix, though.
Can you give us an example?
Our Wind Anorak - Sport is a good one.
The Wind Anorak - Sport is a lightweight windbreaker that's just what you need when you're biking in cold weather, or the wind picks up while you're fishing, or it's your turn to belay and you need a little extra heat while you're standing still. We packed it with features like a mesh back vent to make it breathable, DWR coating to keep out the elements, hidden thumb loops, 4-way stretch for comfort and mobility, and the ability to pack it into its own pocket.
Then we gave it the streetwear treatment: bright, ultra-saturated primary and secondary colors, a classic silhouette and clean lines so it looks at home with denim as well as with our Trail Shorts.
How did you choose this season's color palette and fabrics?
Continuing with our inspiration from the 90s, we stayed with those quintessential primary colors in our Subalpine Collection and added in neutral secondary colors (like purple and green) that we found in 90s track and field apparel and in racing stripes.
Those colors felt like the right match for the technical fabrics ideal for outdoor sports: lightweight, quick-dry, articulated and stretchy (mechanical stretch rather than elastic for durability), but not too technical in look or feel to wear everyday.
Any styling tips?
Like the athletes that inspired this collection, we love to mix these sporty pieces with the more classic lifestyle pieces in the rest of our spring line. We were careful to design them so they could mix-and-match and easily.