As Seen At... The Quiksilver Air & Style Snowboard Championships

Never mind who's hot on the slopes, check the cool tags at the cutting edge of sport style. Interviews by Rosalind MacLeod. Photographs by Christopher Bissell
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The Independent Online
At the fourth annual Air & Style Championships in Innsbruck earlier this month, snowboarders showed off not just their sporting expertise but their boards, boots and gear as well. The look is big and baggy, a cold-weather version of skateboarder style. Just as fashion designers show their clothes a season ahead, Quiksilver, a label that began life with surfwear designs in the Sixties, took the opportunity to give a sneak preview of its range for next winter as worn by Austrian-born finalist, Tommy Brunner. This is where sportswear and fashion meet.

Snowboarding is one of the fastest-growing sports of the decade and clothes for snowboarding have crossed over from the slopes to the street. Diesel, for instance, takes inspiration for its casual and clubwear from its own hi-tech snowboarding range, 55DSL. Labels such as O'Neill, Quiksilver, Sims and Firetrap are sold in both specialist sports shops like Ellis Brigham and alongside designer labels in fashion stores.

The news from the slopes is that trousers in rip-stop nylon are wide and baggy, and fabrics for jackets have to be waterproof, rip-proof, warm and insulating, as well as light, comfortable and easy to move in. In other words, these are functional clothes that you don't have to be a star snowboarder to wear.

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