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Coat Tales

TUNES ON THE SLOPES: Burton has made making music on the mountain one step easier. The Burlington, Vt.-based outerwear company’s latest launch is an "analog clone MD jacket," the first snowboarding jacket with a built-in sound...

TUNES ON THE SLOPES: Burton has made making music on the mountain one step easier. The Burlington, Vt.-based outerwear company’s latest launch is an “analog clone MD jacket,” the first snowboarding jacket with a built-in sound system.

This story first appeared in the July 16, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Burton teamed up with SOFTswitch, a company that integrates electronics with fabrics, to develop a jacket with a Sony mini-disc player and recorder. SOFTswitch technology enables fabrics to serve as interfaces for electronic devices or audio equipment. Instead of having to remove ski gloves to fiddle with controls, wearers can just adjust the key pad on the jacket sleeve to change songs or volume levels.

Greg Dacyshyn, vice president and director of soft goods, said, “For years, riders have struggled with making makeshift systems so they have easy access to their music while riding.”

The MD player rests in the chest pocket and can be removed to machine wash the seam-sealed, waterproof jacket. This fall there will be only 100 units of the $1,000 item offered worldwide, with 30 to 35 being sold in the U.S.

COLUMBIA’S SECOND SKIN: Columbia Sportswear has signed a licensing deal with Excelled Leather Corp. to design a collection of leather coats for women, men and children.

A select number of stores will carry the men’s line for the holiday season and a major launch is set for women’s for fall 2003. The 20-piece women’s collection will be offered in department stores, sporting goods stores and outdoor specialty stores, a Columbia spokeswoman said. Retail prices will range from $170 to $500 for the rugged, outdoor styles and novelty items.

IN THE JUNGLE: David Goodman is taking his Buonumo line up a notch. This fall, the fur-trimmed cashmere collection offers more sable and chinchilla items, and focuses on animal-print cashmere. It will be sold at about 35 trunk shows, more than any other previous season. Given that, Goodman is planning for at least a 50 percent increase compared to last year’s sales of $1.5 million. A recent trunk show at an Omaha specialty store doubled sales versus last year, he said.

Goodman remains involved with his 80-year-old family business.