From hiking shoes being worn by fashionistas to the resurgence of tennis attire on and off the courts, the lines between fashion and traditional performance and sportswear have continued to blur. Indeed, new audiences and brand entrants have presented these markets with growth opportunities and challenged the status quo. Such is the case with the skiwear market, which has gained momentum in recent years on the heels (or ski boots) of new interest from both experienced skiers and the "ski lifestyle" curious. As evidence of this growing demand, WWD reported that the US ski jacket market should reach $2.26 billion in annual sales by 2031. Of course, demand for skiwear is tied to the weather, and much of the globe has experienced a warmer than average winter (thus far), even prompting some ski resorts to curtail their services, so finding new audiences for skiwear is all the more crucial to the sector's growth.
How much has skiwear grown in retailers' assortments? From September 2022 to late January 2023, retailers in Germany and the US have grown their skiwear product counts by 49% and 76%, respectively. In particular, we've seen luxury retailers carve out special space in their seasonal product assortments for skiwear. Saks Fifth Avenue has a "Ski Shop" with an edit of over 500 products for men and women ranging from ski suits to helmets. Another luxury player, Net-a-Porter, lets shoppers browse by occasion with its own edit of skiwear brands including Perfect Moment, Goldbergh, and Bogner.
Let's check out some of the key metrics and brands behind the growth of the e-commerce skiwear market.
Top categories in the skiwear market
In which skiwear categories are retailers investing the most? To start, it likely comes as no surprise that outerwear jackets are one of the key pieces anchoring the category as it provides warmth and protection from the elements both on and off the slopes. Our analysis shows that outerwear accounts for more than a third (37%) of the skiwear category in retailers' online assortments. Another important category is ski pants - pants which often include functional design elements like a lining, gaiters (to protect snow from entering the leg opening), and suspenders (to keep pants up and in place). Ski pants comprise another quarter (24%) of the skiwear category.
Sweaters make up less than 10% of the skiwear category, while other accessories like hats, gloves, goggles, and base layers each comprise a small share (4% or less) of the ski assortment.
Top brands in skiwear market
Whether it's a jacket or sweater, there's no shortage of choice in the market when it comes to skiwear. We broke down some of the key brands' sold-out rates in both the US and German markets, to understand the top performers.
One of the top performers in the German market included Rossignol's and Peak Mountain's ski pants, while in the US, Columbia's ski jackets and winter accessories, like gloves and hats, sold out at a high rate during the last 30 days.
Skiwear brands and collaborations
A Brazilian label known for it's tropical themed prints and dresses might not be the first you'd associate with a skiwear collection, but alas fashion is never short on surprises. We'd be referring to Farm Rio, a brand which has seen remarkable growth in recent years and is growing both its D2C and wholesale distribution. This past fall, the label released a 9-piece collection featuring vibrant ski jackets and suits that defy the notion that function needs to be boring.
The theme of bright and bold skiwear continues with another notable collaboration between Fusalp and Pucci. To mark the occasion of Fusalp's 70th anniversary, they teamed up with Pucci, the Italian luxury house known for its vivid prints, on a collection of skiwear that included ski suits, pullovers, accessories and more. The products in the collaboration range in price from $290 to $2,350.
This season's performance
Skiing had a moment in the spotlight during the pandemic, as many deemed it a Covid-safe outdoor activity, and its forward momentum through 2022 and into 2023 can be seen in the latest market data.
We see that sold out product percentages for skiwear in the German market have jumped from 5% to 15% (Jan 2022 vs 2023), and in the US a similar trend has played out, as sold out rates increased from 6% to 13% YOY.