Please provide an overview of how 2021/22 is shaping up for your brand. Has COVID-19 affected your line? If so, please explain the changes you’ve made, and how you came to these decisions.
COVID-19 has not affected our line, only the way we were working on it. If anything, COVID-19 and the prevailing uncertainties in the snowboard scene have somehow motivated us to work even harder on our product line in order to come up with the best DEELUXE collection so far. We think snowboarding really needs the excitement of fresh, new products and the latest technological developments. Accordingly, we came up with what we believe is the best, strongest, and freshest DEELUXE collection up to date.
How much of your new line (pre-COVID) is normally dedicated to new models and artwork, and how has this changed, percentage-wise, for 21/22?
Year after year we always try to come up with new and better products and fresh artwork. We usually only have 2 or 3 models out of our range of about 20 different boot models that are carryovers. For sure we had discussions (both internally as well as with shops) if it makes more sense to increase the number of carry-over models for the upcoming season. In the end, we decided not to increase the number of carry-over models for the upcoming season, but to come up with a fresh and interesting new line.
If you will be carrying over a larger proportion of your products than normal, how do you hope this will be received by retailers?
In our view, good and tight-knit communication with shops and excellent customer support helps shops to better overcome these uncertain times. As mentioned before, we do not see carryovers as the solution for the current uncertainties in the industry caused by COVID-19 and its impacts on the snowboarding scene. We really believe the last thing that the snowboarding scene needs right now is brands taking out the excitement of our sport. Accordingly, we see it as our duty to come up with fresh, innovative, and exciting gear. After all, we see that people are highly motivated to do outdoor activities as well as board sports and snowboarding is definitely growing in popularity again. Furthermore, we noticed that the snowboard community is always looking for the latest developments in snowboard gear. We want to do our best to keep people excited and supply them with gear that makes them stoked to go snowboarding.
If you’re pressing ahead with new items, what are the top three most important products of next year’s line, and why? Please refer specifically to new products here, and not just new marketing stories.
DEEMON L3 BOA: Besides completely redesigning our all-mountain flagship boot – the Deemon – we equipped it with an all-new BOA® Fit System configuration that is exclusively featured on the DEELUXE Deemon L3 BOA. Together with BOA® we came up with a solution that combines the advantages of our proven L3 Lacing and the BOA® Fit System in order to provide a next-level precision fit for snowboard boots. This revolutionary combination of L3 and BOA® allows you to separately and precisely adjust the foot and calf area of your boots with one dial and to secure the ankle and heel area with a 2nd dial in light speed. Get ready for the best Deemon ever.
D.N.A.: The D.N.A. will be a new addition to the DEELUXE line for the season 21/22. What we had in mind when we came up with the concept for this boot, was the reason why we started snowboarding and the moment when we got hooked on it. I am sure that pretty much every snowboarder has his/her own memory about that time/moment when he/she really got hooked on this feeling of riding a snowboard and why he/she started it in the first place. This slightly softer freestyle boot with a combination of traditional lacing and BOA® fit system for fast and effortless precision fit of the heel and ankle area is designed to get you an awesome feeling on the board straight away. It combines out of the box comfort and all the features you need to have a great time on the slopes or get wild on jumps and rails. It’s not only the fresh look of the D.N.A. that will make it a favorite amongst our park and jib focused team riders.
Footloose 2.0: After the big success of the Footloose – the first-ever boot specially designed for powsurfing and onboarding a few years ago, we thought it’s time to come up with something new again for this scene. We’ve been constantly collecting feedback of the powdersurf community in order to get ideas of how to further evolve products in order to even better meet the needs of this scene. The look of the first Footloose was rather inspired by winter boots – basically the equipment that powdersurfers were using before and it’s liners were mainly inspired by surf booties. The goal for the Footloose 2.0 however was to come up with a completely new and unique look and feel for powsurfing. The Footloose 2.0 sports an all-new powdersurf specific liner that combines an improved foothold for better board control and mobility in order to get in turns as smooth as possible. Furthermore, we’ve upgraded the lacing to improve heel hold and added an extra rubber band around the boots for better protection and improved grip for those looking to pop an ollie.
Will you be using any previously unseen materials (in build, cushioning, support or grip) or construction methods?
L3 BOA®: In order to provide a next-level precision fit for snowboard boots we teamed up with BOA® to come up with a solution that combines the advantages of our proven L3 Lacing and the BOA® Fit System. This revolutionary combination of L3 and BOA® allows you to separately and precisely adjust the foot and calf area of your boots with one dial and to secure the ankle and heel area with a 2nd dial in light speed.
Liner Set Up: We’ve completely reimagined our snowboard boot liners, rebuild everything from the ground up, and came up with an all-new DEELUXE liner set up. While we were offering special thermo liners in the past, from now on all DEELUXE liners will be thermo moldable, but still, guarantee the out of the box comfort that DEELUXE boots are known for. Each one of our liners is tailored to a certain purpose and riding style that perfectly aligns with the different series of our boots range. That means the freestyle snowboard boots will be equipped with different liners than our all-mountain range or our adventure series.
Flex construction: We’ve completely redesigned our boot tongues tailored to the respective terrain /riding style (freestyle, all-mountain etc). with further adjustment options.
What lacing systems are your main focus in 21/22, and why? Is shifting customer preference influencing what you offer, or are things pretty stable now?
Choosing the right lacing system for a boot is crucial, but the lacing system itself is only one component of boots. After all, we really think that the lacing system always needs to match with the purpose and aesthetics of the boots. Accordingly, we carefully try to equip our different models with the lacing option that fits best. Many of our customers are very happy with our patented Lacesmart® fast lacing system, which is available in 3 different versions (L1, L2, and L3 Lacing). But we definitely see a rising demand for boots with the BOA® Fit System. Accordingly, our collection will feature more BOA® models – either single BOA® or DUAL BOA®. For the all-new Deemon L3 BOA®we even teamed up with BOA® to come up with an all-new BOA® Fit System configuration that is exclusively featured on this model. And of course, we also offer traditional lacing boots, combinations of traditional lacing + BOA® as well as a combination of our Lacesmart speed lacing system + BOA®.
Please tell us about the dominant visual themes in next year’s boot line (materials as well as colours), including any interesting artist collaborations you have lined up.
We’re definitely trying to bring a bit more color to the collection, without trying to be super poppy. Besides adding some flashy highlight colors for certain models, we also added appealing detailing to rather plain colourways.
Since we have a lot of talented artists amongst our team riders, we again decided to give some of them the chance to come up with their artwork for selected models. For the 21/22 collection, our Japanse Team rider Miyon Yamaguchi came up with a colourway for a limited version of the ID Lara and Kevin Backstrom got the chance to design his first signature colourway for his favorite boots, the Team ID.
Which part of your range are you investing in the most? Freestyle, freeride, do-it-all, beginner…? Why?
For us, as a snowboard boot specialist, all riding styles and every terrain is equally important. We are constantly striving for building the best boots in the game for every terrain and every riding level. This means we invest in all parts of our range and try to come up with the best solutions tailored to every terrain and each riding style.
Which other footwear sectors do you follow which influence the line?
Our freestyle boots are a lot inspired by skate shoes. We like the clean look and style of skate shoes and also the skateboard culture is something that we really can relate to. Our backcountry/ adventure series and our all-mountain boots are rather inspired by outdoor trends and classic hiking boots.
What are your top marketing stories for next season?
TEAM BOOT: For the third year in a row we’ll present special team boots, exclusively for DEELUXE team riders. Keep your eyes open for the release at the beginning of 2021.
DEEMON L3 BOA: Completely redesigned version of our all-mountain flagship boot – the Deemon, which will feature an all-new BOA® Fit System configuration. This configuration will be exclusively featured on this model. Get ready for the best Deemon ever.
Flex construction: Completely new flex construction and customization possibilities. All new liner set up, new boot tongue design tailored to respective terrain /riding style (freestyle, all-mountain, etc). with further adjustment options.