Like it or not, winter is on it’s way. So what are you going to wear for it? Consider this: a cold-weather wardrobe by Burton Snowboards. The Chicago flagship store opened on September 19 and they have winter gear for everyone under the semi-warm sun. Burton Snowboards offers long down coats, jackets, fleeces, hats, sunglasses, watches, even the Ronin CW Jump Suit, a one-piece snowsuit that is exactly what you should wear when you’re digging your car out of a snow drift in the middle of January.
“Chicago’s a big town for us,” says Jake Burton, the man who started making snowboards on his Vermont farm in 1977. “We do well in urban scenes.” The store—with separate levels for men’s gear, kids’ clothes and women’s attire—culminates in a fourth floor filled with hard goods (boards, bindings, boots) and a rider lounge.
The intriguing aspect of Burton’s winter gear is the design process. Through round table discussions with riders, designers create clothes that are hip and function efficiently. Riders are involved throughout the process, making Burton a trendsetter on both the slopes and the street.
“Progression is at the forefront of everything we do,” says Greg Dacyshyn, senior vice president and creative director of product. At the Burton design studio in Whistler, Canada, gear is designed then immediately tested under the harshest conditions. You’ll find waterproof zippers, water-resistant outer layers and taped seams among the harsh-element amenities.
Attention to functional details sets Burton gear apart from other winter clothing lines. Case in point—the sleeper hoodie. Inspired by requests from riders who spend a lot of time on planes, this zip-up sweatshirt is the Superman of sweatshirts: inflatable neck pillow, face guard to block light, an iPod-perfect pocket with a cutaway hole so you can string your headphones inside the hoodie, even thumb holes in the sleeves to keep your hands warm.
Burton also offers specific lines by Shaun White, Ronin, AK, Anon sunglasses and the B for Burton line for women. Best part: Burton is a four-season brand, which means board shorts and tees for summer. That is, if summer ever comes around again. (Kim Morris)
Burton Snowboards, 56 East Walton, (312)202-7900, www.burton.com.