Eira is a skier’s brand. Designed with performance in mind, the outerwear is nimble enough to let you reach for that grab, technical enough to keep you dry and stylish enough to keep you looking good every step of the way. Created in 2010, the brand is young, vibrant and ever changing. To that end, the company is expanding its offerings this year with a new line of women’s outerwear. A full line of high-performance wear for the ladies will be available alongside the menswear, and the athlete roster will also get a fitting bump in membership.
The initial reception of the women’s line has been welcoming. The collection takes cues from purses and accessories, and highlights them in the form of liners, prints and zippers on the technical outerwear. One piece in the line, the Northern Shell, features a custom-print satin lining and shiny rose-colored zips for feminine appeal, but, like all of Eira’s outerwear, is complete with a 20K/20K rating and YKK waterproof zips.
When asked about the direction of the brand, Lead Designer Paul McGrath said, “We wanted to freshen things up. A lot of outerwear tends to be the jacket with the pop color zip. We wanted to get away from that, incorporate more art into it.”
Peter Olenick launches one. Photo by Geoff Andruik
This year, the brand’s main focus has been solidifying that identity through the commitment to “form, function and fashion,” according to McGrath. The form, function and fashion philosophy is mirrored in the men’s line, incorporating fresh pocket trims, a mix of different fabrics and longer lengths into the garments. Eira’s designs are heavily supplemented by the input of team riders, especially in building the 2014-15 line, as well as prototypes for 2015-16.
“We went through design ideas and colors, and gave [the athletes] a whole binder full of prints that were already developed, and they went through that and provided feedback,” explains McGrath. “I’m a designer, and having the athlete interaction provides the right parameters for design, and it’s amazing.”
Building a strong brand, though, takes more than just some technical know-how. Whether it’s team originals Peter Olenick and Joe Schuster, or newer faces like Matt Walker, Mack Jones and Dania Assaly, all of whom provided input that factored heavily into designs for 2015-16, the athletes’ voices are irreplaceable assets to the brand.
In addition to the technical and stylish elements of its outerwear, the principles of sustainability run deep within the company. This year’s Whiteout jacket is constructed with 100-percent recycled polyester, as is the case for the majority of Eira’s offerings. “We want to make use of all of the high-end fabrics but do it with recycled materials,” says McGrath. “Our goal is to one day utilize 100 percent sustainable materials, and each season we seem to get closer to that.”
As Eira continues to establish itself in the world of outerwear, it aims to stay true to its technical designs, keeping its products at a minimum of 20K/20K across the board. In terms of the next step, the brand will continue to build off of its initial success, focusing on technical wear with a stylish flair. Because in the end, why do something if you can’t turn some heads while doing it?