WGSN@ OutDoor Friedrichshafen S/S16


If you’re en route to OutDoor Friedrichshafen, you’ll be pleased to know that unlike last years biblical-scale rain, this year the weather is glorious. It’s scorching in fact, with temperatures in the 90s so dump the flannel and cargo pants and go outdoor-hipster with shorts, vest and sunnies (beards optional for ladies!!)

Getting to the show is always a challenge but once you’ve negotiated shuttle buses, ferries, mountains, registered and found a free locker, you’ll find that OutDoor has a real festival vibe about it this year. As well as new hall layouts there’s a lot more to do in and around the show, from kayaking at the West entrance to chilling with some sundown yoga at the end of the day. When you’re in between halls, you’ll find the open air areas in the centre are buzzing with the usual mix of slack liners, chill out areas, open air stands and food stalls.

The show has also increased in size this year with Hall 2 now housing ‘The Hall of Vision’, a trend show which takes you on a ‘trend journey’ and features computer mapping as well as SS16 trend windows. Naturally, we’ll be checking to see if they got it right!

Because the show is so big, the new OutDoor app is a must. Not only can you view and virtually zoom about 3D plans of the halls, the app lets you record voice notes, add photos and notes to each of the brands you visit. It essentially becomes your note book for the show.


One day in and there are already some early over-riding themes coming though:

Transitional – the outdoor market is turning to the urban landscape for it’s next potential market, understanding their consumer is constantly shifting between an outdoor, mountain and city environment with slick new offerings of transitional apparel. (We seriously had a moment in Peak Performance of absolute design love for their new Technical Sportswear line)

Womens Active – Active in general continues to grow, but in particular the focus on the women’s market is ever increasing with beautifully executed silhouettes and exquisite materials that are high performance but would not look out of place in high fashion retail. There are also a lot of seminars on engaging the female outdoor market.

Eco – Environmentally friendly continues to be an important message. No longer ‘a nice to have’ it is now an essential attribute for outdoor, and brands were shouting this message on their stands in letting consumers, and retailers, know they understand, and are implementing the bigger picture – the thing to watch now is who are the future leaders.

Attention to detail – If you want to stay relevant in the outdoor market, attention to the smallest of detail is key to put you ahead of the competition. Clever and unexpected color usage, multi media graphics, new trim solutions and executions elevate basic product in to the seasons must have pieces.


So finally, for any newbies to OutDoor here is our list of ‘must do’s’ at the end of our first day:

Do go and see Peak Performance. We will be surprised if we see a better collection this week* (*happy to be proved wrong though! ).

Do take a spare pair of shoes. That way you can leave the other pair at Vibram’s amazing ‘Upgrade / Improve/ Up-cycle’ Sole Factor where they will customize your shoes with a new performance sole of your choice.

Do take a time out at the Gore-tex beach in the outdoor area. You can cool your feet in the pool, sunbath in a deckchair under a palm tree and if you time it right, sample one of their ‘performance’ cocktails (healthy or non-healthy options available)

Do make sure that you sample the famous rotewurst and paprika fries at least once. Served at the trestle tables in the outdoor area, its also a great place to people watch and grab some streetshots.

Do enjoy the show! Immerse yourself in the creative merchandising and VM,  test out the products, visit the seminars and cheer on the slack liners. This show is so much more than just product!


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