Olympic Snowboard Pants Inspired By Jeans
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
You may not be able to attack the side of a mountain like the snowboarder Shaun White but you can at least attempt to look like the Olympic gold medalist. This fall, for $250, you'll be able to get a pair of the snowboard pants that he and the U.S. team wore at the Vancouver Olympics, the ones that you may have thought were ripped up jeans.
While the pants look like something pulled out of last week's laundry basket, they're actually very high tech. They were designed by Gregory Dacyshyn, who's the creative director at Burton Snowboards, and he joins us now from Burlington, Vermont. Now, these were based on a real pair of jeans, is that right?
Mr. GREGORY DACYSHYN (Creative Director, Burton Snowboards): They were based, actually, on a pair of my own denim, one of my favorite pairs. And through a process called photo sublimation, we were actually able to print them onto a very sort of high tech Gore-Tex fabric.
NORRIS: So, wait, how does this work? You take a picture of the fabric?
Mr. DACYSHYN: You actually take a picture of an actual full pair of denim, almost like a giant photograph. And then through a process of extreme heat, you actually print a photograph directly onto a pair of pants.
NORRIS: And the pants are made out of some sort of waterproof Gore-Tex material?
Mr. DACYSHYN: It's a polyester fabric that we print on with a Gore-Tex laminant on the back, that's correct.
NORRIS: Did they actually have pockets and a fly?
Mr. DACYSHYN: They did, yep, completely. I mean, very authentic to denim, except for the fact that it was two-layer, guaranteed-to-keep-you-dry Gore-Tex technical fabric.
NORRIS: How long did it take?
Mr. DACYSHYN: I think we started the process almost 18 months ago. Coming into it, you know, it was a bit of a challenge. We wanted to do something that was really very American, but again, was very true to snowboarding and this idea of there's nothing more quintessential or iconic to American fashion as a great pair of jeans.
NORRIS: Why did Burton decide to manufacture more of these jeans and offer them to the public? It sounds like it's not a very easy process.
Mr. DACYSHYN: No, I mean, the sort of number of phone calls we received once the game started. I mean, I think for the most part people at first probably though they were just wearing vintage denim and then when they found out it was actually a technical pant, I mean, I think they were very much intrigued. And sort of, you know, the look of snowboarding right now is, you know, you always want something that - I don't want to say, but your dad's not wearing. And this is sort of a look that very much doesn't look like it belongs on the hill. And I think it's something that's fresh
And we just received hundreds of calls from consumers and initially we weren't planning on selling the pant, but being a rider-driven company, we really want to do things that our customers want us to do. And, you know, we decided to move forward with the pant and make it available to consumers.
NORRIS: And $250, that's the price point?
Mr. DACYSHYN: 250, that's right. And I think anyone that sort of gets them will be incredibly happy with not only aesthetic of them, but the performance on them.
NORRIS: So, what happened to that favored pair of jeans of yours that started this whole process?
Mr. DACYSHYN: They're still an essential part of my wardrobe, Michel. I - yeah, they're still in rotation, no doubt. Like I say, they have they tell a lot of stories. They're not going anywhere.
NORRIS: So, you didn't have to cut them up or anything? You just took a picture.
Mr. DACYSHYN: No, I made very, very clear that those that pair of jeans had to come back intact.
NORRIS: Well, Greg Dacyshyn, thank you very much for speaking to us.
Mr. DACYSHYN: Thank you very much.
NORRIS: Greg Dacyshyn is the creative director at Burton Snowboards. He was talking to us from Burlington, Vermont.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.