Helmets are a hot topic in the ski industry. The National Ski Areas Association 2010/11 National Demographic Study shows that 60 percent of skiers and snowboarders are now wearing helmets, up from only 25 percent during the 2002/03 season. That’s a big leap, yet I still see plenty of helmet-less heads on the slopes. Last season a coiffed woman on the chairlift at Deer Valley told me that although her husband purchased her a top-of-the-line helmet, she never wears it because it makes her feel like a geek. And she’s not alone – some people just feel plain dorky in a helmet. Well, now there’s a new accessory that enables fashion-conscious helmet resisters to go from “geek-to-chic”…Helmet Band-Its!
Robin Dorman, an interior designer who owns a vacation home in Park City, became a helmet convert a few years ago after taking a spill on the slopes which left her uninjured but rattled. Dorman embraced helmets from that day forward but as a fashion careerist she wasn’t thrilled with the utilitarian vibe of her brain bucket. So the crafty style-maven whipped out a hot glue gun and doctored her helmet with a band of faux fur and viola! – a business was born. Her glamorous new accessory line features a variety of styles for women, men and kids to choose from including colored bandanas, faux and real fur, and silver or bronze nail heads.
My personal taste tends to be sporty and simple so when I first heard about this concept I’ll admit that it struck me as a bit ‘Bond girl meets Ivana Trump.’ I needed to see these bands for myself so I popped into Vida, a sophisticated Park City boutique that has been carrying Helmet Band-Its since November. The bands and matching cuffs on center display in the shop were visually stunning, well-crafted and beautifully packaged. Vida’s owner Luz Emma Holmes told me that there’s a great deal of excitement about Helmet Band-Its and sales are strong. I believe that any product that convinces someone to wear a helmet is worth buzzing about!
Robin hopes that by marrying style with safety, the bands will help to raise awareness about the importance of helmet usage and encourage more people to wear them on the slopes. She plans to launch her product on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival and I’m guessing that she’ll have a great response! Helmet Band-Its are one-size-fits-all. They can be purchased online or at Vida, Bjorn Stova Boutique, Flight and ColeSport in Park City .