Olympic snowboarding star Chloe Kim is now officially a fashion designer.
Announced last week, the collaboration features a collection of snowboard apparel and accessories composed of pullover jackets, full-zip jackets, insulated snow pants, technical snow pants, a bib, a beanie and a fleece.
The 22-year-old athlete told Forbes that the opportunity to design her own signature snowboarding collection was part of the contract that she signed with ROXY as her sponsor back in 2019.
“It’s something I always wanted to do and it was such a dream of mine and for it to finally happen when I was 19, I was just so excited,” Kim was quoted as saying.
Kim shared that she learned the complicated process of apparel production in the years she collaborated with the ROXY team on her collection.
“When you’re actually designing something you’re thinking, oh, you know what, the zipper size is very important, and the color is important and the way it sits on your shoulders is very important,” Kim explained.
Kim’s collection uses waterproof, lightweight fabrics and incorporates Roxy’s HydroSmart technology, which provides insulation in collars, neck warmers and built-in gloves while ensuring the skin remains hydrated.
Kim revealed that she prioritized comfort and function in her collection’s design.
“I think that now that I’m older and my back’s hurting, my knees are hurting, I just want to be comfortable,” Kim told Forbes. “I decided, I’m gonna make it as comfortable as possible and as cute as I possibly can.”
According to Kim, her collection was designed to provide solutions to issues she’s encountered with other apparel in the past.
In a separate interview with Bazaar, she revealed that she was inspired to incorporate “pastel and fun colors” in her first collection after fashion designer Cynthia Rowley advised her to make things that she would want.
“My first jacket was a green camo thing that wasn’t super cute,” she said. “I remember being so envious of the other little girls that got to wear polka dots or pinks. But I was on snowboarding teams, and we had uniforms unless we were sponsored. Once I was sponsored, I didn’t get to pick either. It was whatever the brand wanted to see me in. The minute I was able to control what I wore, I always wanted to wear colorful things to heal that piece of me.”
Kim also touched on her experience growing up as one of the only Asian American athletes in her sport.
“Snowboarding is a predominantly white sport, and with it comes ignorance,” she noted. “I realized at a young age that I’m never going to be able to change people’s negative perception of me or the fact that they can be mean and racist. It’s out of my control.”
She lamented that at a young age, she was always looking for someone to look up to but was unable to find them.
“I later realized that person was me,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I could be that person for the next generation and, hopefully, make it a little easier for them.”
Kim shared that she considers herself blessed for being able to do what she loves, including being able to serve as an inspiration for others, particularly young Asian American girls.