By Emily Lohman / Bloomberg News / December 21, 2016 9:27:29With a new year, we’re celebrating our new home with a new style of beachwear.
The latest trend: waterproof pants.
The trend has been a staple of American beach culture for years, but this year’s wave of beach-inspired clothing has sparked renewed interest in waterproofs, and a new generation of brands to explore the idea.
In addition to a new trend, brands are also exploring how to best blend water-repellent fabric into their designs.
Here are five brands taking the plunge.
Lingerie brand Vans says it’s trying to capture the new wave of style.
“We’re trying to get to a point where we can use waterproof fabric on the front and back and that’s how it’ll look,” says Vans creative director, Rachel A. Kuczynska.
The brand has been working with the designer of the new Vans bathing suit to develop a waterproof version of its original “Pump It Up” water-resistant pant.
It will debut later this year at the New York City Ballet in partnership with Levi Strauss & Teller.
“There’s a lot of people that are looking for something to wear under their bathing suits and we think it’s something that will appeal to that,” says Kuczynska.
Sunglasses brand Nubar is working with designer Chris Katt to create a waterproof, low-profile version of their iconic “Nubar” sunglasses.
The new sunglasses, which will go on sale in January, will feature a waterproof fabric that can be layered underneath the sunglasses for a more casual look.
A new generation is also embracing the idea of using a fabric that doesn’t require a whole lot of space, as Katt’s latest creations demonstrate.
“The fabric itself doesn’t need to be a lot different than what you’re used to,” says Nubars director of fashion design, Benoit Lefèvre.
“You can have a lot more fabric on your shoulders, you can have it as a hoodie underneath the hoodie and you can just put a hood on top of that.
And it’s not that you need to go crazy with the fabric.”
The new trend is attracting some of the same people who have flocked to other waterproof fabrics.
“I think the thing that I like most about this whole thing is that it is an expression of people who want to wear waterproof clothing on their own,” says Kate Spade designer, Adam Cresswell.
The company, which has a strong partnership with Nubaro, has also begun exploring water-proofing its own brands, like the Nubari swimwear and Nubaru pants.
“In terms of the brand, we have a very, very high degree of confidence in the durability of the fabric that we use and it doesn’t degrade, it’s going to last for a long time,” says Spade.
“We are trying to push the boundaries of the world,” says Cressill.
“As we get older and as we get more and more in our 40s and 50s, we are just starting to look at things differently.”
“Waterproofing is a new idea in terms of how we look at fashion,” says Ballys owner, Matt Fogg, who is a proponent of waterproof garments.
“It’s a new way to look, and I think it is very, VERY new.
And I think that’s something you can really tell by how the fashion industry is evolving.”
The trend is gaining steam across the country.
A handful of new brands have launched in the past few months including Pops and New York-based H&M.
The clothing company, along with brands like Pampers, Banana Republic and Zara, have made waterproof swimwear a focal point of their collections.
“Our aim is to be the first brand to wear the waterproof material on our own,” explains Fogg.
“That’s not to say that we’re trying for a trend, we just want to do something different.”
Bike and Swimwear, which is launching in December, also is promoting the idea, with founder and CEO, Adam D. Johnson, saying the brand is using waterproofing to make its products more practical and functional.
“This is not just a fashion trend, it is the future of the cycling industry,” says Johnson.
“If you can do it right, you won’t need a lot, and it will fit into your everyday life.”
Bose and its Beachwear line is also expanding its range of water-resisting clothing to include waterproof boots.
The shoes, which are made of a material called polyester, feature a stretchy fabric that has a moisture barrier.
The idea is that the shoes will absorb the sun’s rays while providing warmth, making them more comfortable and effective for people in colder climates.
The Beachwear range will launch later