I Went Snowboarding With an Olympian (Casual)—She Clued Me Into These 5 Trends


(Image credit: @handinfire; Roxy; @annarvitiello)

Just in case you somehow have yet to hear the name Chloe Kim, let me fill you in. Kim is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who's broken countless records, including being the youngest person to win a gold medal in the halfpipe at just 17. She's been snowboarding since she was 4, and on top of that, she is already becoming a budding fashion girl. Kim attended her first Met Gala this year along with several red carpets, so it's safe to say that she knows a thing or two about how to look cool on and off the mountain.

In fact, you could say that Kim is somewhat of an expert on the topic now that she's added designer to her résumé with the launch of her namesake snow collection for Roxy, a brand she's been the face of for the past three years. I got the unique chance to hit the slopes with Kim and the Roxy team last week during a trip to Aspen, so when I sat down with her to chat about all things snowboarding style, she clued me into five big themes, most of which were top of mind for Kim on the Roxy design floor.

Ahead, read excerpts from our interview, and further down, get your download on the ski and snowboard trends that will dominate on slopes everywhere this winter.

Why Roxy? What is it about the brand that you were drawn to?

I loved the idea of being with a female-led brand. You know, "for women, by women." That's where I want to be.

What does the brand relationship mean to you now, three years later?

So much. They've just given me so many amazing opportunities, like allowing me to design my own collection and so much more. It's just been such an amazing relationship because it's something I've dreamt of doing for so long. I've always been such a fan of Roxy because they have [Olympic snowboarder] Torah Bright as an ambassador, and she was my role model when I was a kid.

Was this collection with Roxy your first foray into designing? 

Yeah, I think I've really only designed with Oakley. And it's so much fun designing a goggle, but it's on your face. I feel like outerwear was always so much more important to me. Obviously, I want to look cute when I'm on the mountain. When I'm doing tricks, I want people to be like, "Damn, she's hot." So I gotta look hot.


(Image credit: Roxy)

What was your main inspiration? 

I really just wanted to make things I love. I was kind of in my head about making things that would sell well [versus making what I wanted to] for a sec. And then I called Cynthia Rowley because she works with Roxy too for the wetsuits. I was actually part of the shoot for her wetsuit collection, and I went to her show at New York Fashion Week. Anyways, I called her, and she gave me the best advice. "Just make something that you really like, and other people are gonna love it," she said. I'm so glad I called her because she was absolutely right. I love everything that's in this collection. I love the process. And I only have to worry about myself and what I thought would be cool. And it turns out that other people feel the same.

What do you want to evoke?

I guess I want everyone to feel like they've been thought about. I've been doing this for so long, and I feel like there are so many times that I wish there was this, and I wish this was different. Those are things I brought up with the Roxy team, and that was a big part of our process. For instance, the bib had a zip in the back so you can go to the bathroom without getting completely naked.

When I'm on the mountain in training, I don't want to go all the way down to the lodge to go pee because a halfpipe is always at the top of the mountain. In Switzerland, it's an hour to get back up to the top, so I'm not going to go to the bathroom. I've gotten so many UTIs.

Was there anything you knew you had to have in the line when you were first approached with the project?

I got inspired by so many different things when it came to this collection. I just thought about the colors I really liked. I really wanted to do just a bright-red jacket, and I knew that that was the first thing that I was putting in the collection. I was like, "I want a red jacket [that] says Roxy on the back."

Another thing that was really important to me was just the length of the jackets. I don't like when my butt's like "Oh, foul." And then as a boarder, I'm sure you're sitting down your findings on everything. Yeah, I'd rather not have my puppy out. So that was another thing too. … The length was important for me.


(Image credit: @chloekim)

How long have you been snowboarding? And how did you first get into it? 

Oh my gosh, 18 years. I started when I was 4. I started because my dad wanted to learn, so we learned together with no expectation at all. And then at 13, I started competing in every contest. At 14, I started winning every contest. So that's how my career has gone. 

You've accomplished so much with snowboarding already, and now that you're taking a break from competing this season, are you pursuing any other goals?

I'm actually getting into acting these days. It's been really exciting and nice to focus on something else for a bit, obviously. I started taking this season off of snowboarding professionally, so now, I'm just doing it for fun and having a good time. It's nice to put all of that crazy competition energy into something else.

Well, off the slopes, I feel like you've had quite a banner year, attending the Met Gala and other red carpets. You're quickly becoming this fashion girl. What is your relationship with fashion right now? Have you always had an interest in it, or is it a newer thing?

I think I've always had an interest in fashion, but now that I'm able to go to the Met and meet all these people in high fashion, it's been really interesting. I went to my first New York Fashion Week this past year, which was amazing.

What was your experience like at fashion week?

It was incredible. I went to see Peter Do. He's the best. I think he might be my favorite designer. And funnily enough, I actually sat next to him at the Met Gala, so we became quite close. It's just moments like that, where it's especially cool. And I feel like I can really appreciate it because I did grow up around it in L.A. 


(Image credit: Roxy; @handinfire)

My favorite look of the bunch has to be the marble-like swirl prints. "That was just a fun one to throw in there. It's a little crazy, a little trippy," Kim effuses.



(Image credit: @camillecharriere; Roxy)

"I've always loved pastels, and I love that they're coming back," Kim explains when I ask her about all the soft periwinkle and baby pink in the collection. "Everywhere I go, there are pastel colors and everything. They're so fun to wear, too, and people love them." 



(Image credit: @chloekim@camillecharriere)

"I feel like the whole cargo thing has really been coming back," Kim tells me. While cargo pants have been a massive trend on the street style scene this year, it seems the utility theme has finally arrived on the slopes. Kim explains that she was psyched to design the white jacket because it was the perfect opportunity to feature pockets all over. When you're on the mountain, those thoughtful details are key—there's a pocket for your phone with a slit for a headphones cord and a spot for your lift pass on the arm for easy access to the ski lifts, just to name a few.



(Image credit: @handinfire; Roxy)

As a frequent skier, I've noticed that one-pieces have been on the rise for the past few ski seasons. Each time I hit the slopes, I'm pretty much guaranteed to spot a few, and this trip to Aspen with the Roxy team was no exception. Kim is clearly clued into this theme, too, because one of the hero pieces in her Roxy collection was a bib (aka snow-ready overalls) in a cheery pastel color combo.



(Image credit: Roxy; @annarvitiello)

When I asked Kim about her favorite piece in the collection, she didn't even flinch as she responded it was the red pullover emblazoned with the Roxy logo in large white letters across the back. "Red is going to be in your face," she tells me before following up with "in a good way."


Next: 9 Pieces I Tried On and Loved From Reformation's New Canada Goose Collab

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.