Company Callout: Dragon
This article originally appeared in the December 2010 issue of Freeskier Magazine. For more from this issue make sure to pick up a copy at your local newsstand.
Words: Steven Hemphill, Photo: Nate Abbott
Action sports enthusiast and former Oakley employee Will Howard started Dragon Alliance in 1993 in San Clemente, CA, with just a pair of sunglasses and some help from his friends.
Today, Dragon Alliance has grown into a global brand that's rooted in the core of the surf, snow and motocross communities.
After starting in Howard's garage, Dragon quickly outgrew its humble roots, and Howard initiated a partnership with his former employer, Oakley, to work together on everything from goggle design to marketing to advertising. With the expertise and support of its parent company, Dragon grew steadily until 2008, when the company broke free and began operating independently.
As an independent eyewear manufacturer, Dragon was able to connect to the heart of the action sports industry and give its athletes unfettered input into the design of its products.
On the ski side, that team includes TJ Schiller, PK Hunder, Eric Pollard and Chris Benchetler. Dragon is proud to say we are rider-designed from the top down, says snow-marketing manager Alex Pashley. "We want to focus on our athletes and provide them with a goggle that they want to wear and functions properly for them in all conditions."
This focus is evident in this year's goggle line, which features a TJ Schiller signature Rogue goggle. The goggle has a "Fresh Prince" design inspiration, and it comes with Dragons signature Super Anti-Fog coating. Pollard and Mahre have also worked on a Nimbus co-op Rogue goggle.
Along new products and ideas, the family like atmosphere at Dragon continues to define the brand's style.
"Skiing has been around for a long time and it is not going anywhere," Pashley notes. "It is booming right now. At Dragon, we are really looking forward to this season with the new crew and launching some new products."