The 2018 Olympics: Seouly About Style?

Friday, February 9, 2018


A long time ago in galaxy far, far away, New York Fashion Week and the Winter Olympics would have never collided. But when the U.S. snowboarding team takes to the slopes, they’ll also be runway ready in spacesuit-inspired Burton gear.

“No one likes to wear a uniform, so I wanted [the pieces] to be fun, and not make it look like a costume,” said Greg Dacyshyn, Head Designer of Burton’s Olympic uniform program, at a kickoff event held at Burton’s flagship store 100 days before the games began.

Inspired by the history of the U.S. space program, the uniforms incorporate historical elements like hand-drawn patches; and futuristic finishes, like iridescent fabric woven with aluminum on a vintage loom in Italy.

Ralph Lauren is the official designer of the entire U.S. Olympic team, but “I think it’s great that the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association partnered with a snowboard company to make snowboarding clothes for a snowboarding event,” said Burton owner Jake Burton at the event. “That’s the way it should work. I think they respect that we put our best foot forward, and it’s a good relationship.”

Dacyshyn is Canadian. Burton is quick to defend his allegiances. “He’s lived in America forever and is very proud of his country,” he said. “It’s not easy to make something that has this heavy dose of Americana, that appeals to snowboarders, and that also functions like nobody’s business,” said Burton, who is the de-facto outerwear tester for all of his company’s clothing. “I was very suspect [of the uniform] at first,” he admitted. “When you look at it at a distance, it looks stiff, and I hate snowboarding in stiff clothes.”

Because the uniforms incorporate real aluminum, they have a liquid metal look that, when viewed from certain angles, also create a reflective rainbow.

From astronauts to Avenauts, New Yorkers will be pleased to find that they can dress like an Olympian on their weekend jaunts to Aspen and Telluride and Stowe, even if aprés ski is more the style than halfpipes. Harder to find, however, will be the popular collaboration that Burton did with the Andy Warhol Foundation 11 years ago, which featured some of the artist’s most iconic designs.

“[The Foundation was] really cool—they sort of just let me go at it, and it was awesome to be able to use his so much of his art, [not just the] Marilyn Monroe [pieces],” said Dacyshyn of the collaboration.

Snowboarding starts today with the men’s slopestyle qualifying rounds and concludes on February 23 with the men’s big air and men’s and women’s parallel giant slalom finals.

The Cold War Space Race is over, but the Olympics version has just begun.


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