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Contemplations with Chris: Behind The Design

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Greetings TREW Crew, 
Insulated outerwear outsells non-insulted by a large margin. It’s always been the next logical step in our product line development, but we’ve been relatively slow to jump on the opportunity. Maybe it's because we live and ski in the relatively temperate climate of the PNW - it’s just not that cold here - or because we are such believers in layering, insulated outerwear has always felt like an unnecessary development.
I felt that way until we started building prototypes. Maybe I’m getting old and soft, but sliding into our cozy, waterproof, insulated prototypes while spinning laps night skiing at the Bowl last winter was a revelation. The lightness, warmth, and comfort that come with a lightweight, high-loft synthetic insulation paired with a buttery smooth, 20-denier nylon liner is a luxury that everyone should be able to experience in the mountains. Why was I “roughing” it for so many years?

For many of our customers, myself included, an insulated jacket won’t replace your workhorse 3L shell. These are not garments that can be easily stuffed into your daypack, nor are they what you would want to wear on just about any day on the skin track. For walking uphill, nothing will ever beat a layering system. But for just about any day in the resort, walking the dog in the winter or waiting for the school bus to pick your kid up on a frosty morning in January, a nice, waterproof insulated jacket is a welcome addition to your quiver.
Now you know how I feel about these new products in the PNW Originals Collection, let me give you a little behind-the-design insight into what we were considering when we developed these products. 
Before we put pen to paper or pixels to the screen, I like to clarify 1) intended use/function, 2) materials, and 3) inspiration. Since this was a collaboration with the merchandising team at evo, we worked with them to build the customer profile and intended uses. Like the rest of the PNW OG line, these insulated styles target the weekend warriors of the PNW, the blue-collar ballers, the heartbeat that keeps our chairs turning throughout our sometimes rainy winters. These riders need to be protected from the elements and kept warm, and they prefer timeless, work-wear-inspired colors and designs. The fabrication of these styles was to be built on the same stack of materials as the rest of our PNW OG line, and we tested some high-loft synthetic insulations to add our desired layer of warmth. 
Now the fun part: the inspiration and creative direction. We wanted these styles to be visually differentiated from the non-insulated PNW OG line. And we also wanted them to be visually and functionally more versatile than your standard ski jacket. You should feel as comfortable on a chair lift as you would at your kid's winter soccer practice. We decided on a visual direction that I called “FUTURE RETRO.” Big chunky flaps like old North Face Denali jackets but with subtle modern details like the laminated water-resistant pockets. These styles all would share a tonal color-blocking that would distinguish them from the non-insulated line. Below are some snippets of our inspiration and highlights of the designs.
Hope you enjoy these new styles as much as we do! Check out the new 2023/24 PNW Originals Collection here.

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