In 2006, Burton took up the challenge of designing the US Snowboard team uniforms. What they came up with was reminiscent of a classic baseball getup with an American sports team feel -- wide pinstripes like that of a baseball uniform, with small strategically placed stars and a large decorative USA logo on the back. Classic, American, expected and widely accepted.
The new uniform, Burton's Creative Director Greg Dasychyn says, is equally American -- but in a very less uniform sort of way: a plaid jacket and blue jeans. Yes, jeans.
"There's nothing more American than blue jeans," says Dasychyn, "and this time around we wanted something that spoke more to snowboarding, a look that speaks more to the sport's individualism and character, and a look that is popular in the sport right now." Which is true. More snowboarders, espeically of the street flavor, have incorporated the jean look into their kit. And with demand, more companies are making waterproof, jean-styled outerwear (Burton developed these jeans with Gore-Tex fabric, are waterproof and use advanced technologies).
But the bigger question and one that we expect to hear once the Winter Games get rolling is: How appropriate is a pair of jeans for the most internationally recognized and revered sports event in the world? Dasychyn isn't worried. "This is snowboarding. It's never been a uniform sport, so we wanted to create a look that would reflect those unique qualities of our sport, but still capture a classic American feel."
Less controversial, but just as much a surprise in terms of uniform style, is the plaid top that will accompany the faux denim pants. With its red, white and blue weave, it subtly speaks to the American color palette, while its prep-inspired flavor, replete with Ivy League patches, reinforces its American ethos.
And there you have it -- the anti-uniform, coming at you in 2010.