Photos courtesy of Nikita Clothing
In the early ’90’s snowboarding was full of women’s outerwear brands, from Deep to Yang, Prom to Betty Rides, plus related snowboard brands for women, including a robust magazine culture surrounding the scene with titles such as W.i.g. Magazine -for Women in General, followed by Fresh and Tasty. But over time, many brands have disappeared and only a few now carry women-inspired snowboards and bindings (although the industry has done a great job with boots). Which is why it was refreshing to hear of the upcoming collaboration between one of the spotlight brands for women who ride (snow, skate, surf, moto) Nikita, based out of the beautiful city of Reykjavik, Iceland, and K2 Snowboards.
According to Heida Birgisdottir, Nikita’s founder and head designer (and former national snowboard and motocross champ), the collaboration makes total sense:
“Because of our roots and heavy involvement in snowboarding from day one, I’ve very often been asked why Nikita doesn’t make snowboards. The answer is simple; whether its hardgoods or softgoods I don’t take good equipment for granted. Like with outerwear it takes experts to make quality snowboards and Nikita focused on making the clothes. We were therefore thrilled when K2 introduced to us the opportunity to co-design a line of girl specific snowboards and bindings matching our current line of outerwear. I’m stoked on the outcome and look forward to riding the whole package in the coming winter!”
Cassette binding by K2 Snowboards with Nikita design.
K2’s favorite girl’s board VaVaVoom and their new Cassette bindings will feature Nikita’s signature styles and colors from their upcoming outerwear collection for Winter 2010-2011. In many ways, the neon splashes, bright palettes on white are reminiscent of snowboarding pro fashionistas such as Damion Sanders and Tina Basich who set standards in bringing fashion and styles to snowboarding. In some ways, the bright, energetic colors infuse the energy of when snowboarding dominated shows like ASR and SIA, turning trade show halls into near mayhem with industry players and pros -many of whom were flown in by private jets.
What this may also mark is another revival of women’s brands in snowboarding in general. K2 and Burton have always been among the leaders in creating hardgoods for women riders, and brands such as Betty Rides, one of the troopers in the scene, continues to forge ahead, along with relatively new brands such as Circe Snow -a high-end designer snowboard outerwear brand with sillouettes such as one-pieces. In addition, W.i.g. Magazine is back in the game with an online version (www.wigmag.com) and a potential upcoming print copy.
In terms of women’s participation, according to our data at Label Networks, snowboarding continues to be a strong action sports category for girls who want to learn the sport. Percentages of females wanting to learn to snowboard continue to be higher than males among 13-25-year-olds across North America for the last 5 years.
With collaborations such as Nikita Clothing and K2 Snowboards, the spotlight has shifted once again, to a potential marketplace that remains a strong and inspirational source for action sports in general.
Sample of the quiver of Nikita designed VaVaVoom snowboards by K2.