A first look at a new initiative by Burton, Private Stock is an extremely limited collection of products available exclusively at a select group of 100 specialty retailers worldwide. For the launch of Private Stock, Burton collaborated with one of Cool Hunting's favorites, Ron English. Known for his politically charged illustrations and subverted billboards, English's works are used on the Burton Hero (pictured right) and women's Blender (pictured below left) snowboards which are both available for $400. The collection also includes the Freezone Boot and Mission EST Binding which are different than the regular catalog offerings because they have special added features. The boot is comprised of both Freestyle and Ozone technologies and the binding features a Shredbed and Ultracap strap. Both are resonably priced at $200.
Featuring the upper crust of Burton product, the Private stock collection fuses the best in art and technology making for some of their most advanced and limited gear yet. You won't find any info on the Burton website so the only way to find out where and how to get these is to call the Burton Rider Service at +1 800 881 3138 to find an exclusive dealer near you. A very limited selection of Private Stock is also currently available at Burton flagship stores in New York, Burlington and Los Angeles.
Luckily, we were able to catch up with Greg Dacyshyn, VP and Creative Director of Product, to learn more about Private Stock. Dacyshyn runs point for most of Burton's creative directions so he had plenty of info to share with us regarding this new project and what we can expect from Burton in the near future.
How did the Private Stock Collection come about and how does it work?
Private Stock was created to support our most fashion forward, progressive dealers, who are really in touch with whatâ€™s going on in the art and fashion world, and who are looking for a more discerning unexpected product line. It allows us another avenue to work on â€œout of the boxâ€ collaborations and special products that we wouldnâ€™t drop into our regular collections. Private Stock dealers are very experimental in that to be a Private Stock partner you basically sign up for a series of products that you have no visibility on. In turn, these dealers can offer something to their customers that is truly unique. How it works is that on set dates, these dealers get a shipment of new products that they have never seen and that will definitely be super limited and exclusive. The intention is that these products disappear at retail as soon as they arrive. It will always be fresh, unexpected and cutting edge, but that is as much as the dealers know in advance. Itâ€™s a pretty next level program.
How is the Private Stock Collection different from Burtons other artist designed projects?
Private Stock is not different in terms of the â€˜processâ€™ of how itâ€™s created. Just like all of our artist collaborations, Private Stock seeks out the most innovative and fresh artists in the world to create unique products. What makes it different from other products in the line is the distribution. Private Stock is only distributed by a small number of our most style driven and forward thinking dealers. These dealers are chosen because they continue to push the sport of snowboarding as well as the lifestyle around it in unique and progressive ways. While this is not meant to discriminate from our other dealers, it simply comes down to those dealers who are experimental and who have a customer base which demands the most cutting edge products.
Continue reading the interview and see more images after the jump.
Why Ron English?
This was a no brainer. Ron English is an icon and is the master of irreverence. His work parodies so much of corporate thinking and messaging, and as a result, encourages a new perspective on todayâ€™s world. At Burton we have always had to forge our own path, and as a sport we have had to battle many corporate stereotypes that formally controlled the mountains in the ski industry. Our sport and our athletes have built a lifestyle around being individuals and around getting recognized for something new and different. Our platform and Ron Englishâ€™s messages are very similar, and as a result it was a very natural fit to work together.
How did you and Ron link up, does he ride?
I have always been a huge fan of his work. I had hoped we could connect with him at some point. My colleague, Steven Vogel, had the chance to meet him at Art Basel and as a result was able to connect him to me and to the Burton brand. After that introduction it was super seamless and the project just came together naturally. He is not currently a snowboarder, however, it is our mission to get him out on the mountain this year.
What is the theme for this collection? Is the creative direction something the artist and Burton work on together?
We didnâ€™t want to program Ron Englishâ€™s work into a theme. We really love what he is all about. We really just wanted him to be himself and we would then transfer his work onto our products. With someone like Ron you donâ€™t want to put in too many parameters. That would be counter intuitive to what he is all about. In the end it was about picking something that we all loved, that would speak to our customers and putting it together into this collection.
Is the artist only involved on an aesthetic level, or do they have some say or choice in which products are used?
In this case, Ron had a lot of ideas of what would work from a creative side for our audience. We knew in advance that we wanted to get his art onto a snowboard so that was never the issue. It really just came down to what art would transfer the best onto our hard-goods. But in all cases, it was a collaborative project, and Ron was involved at every step to ensure that the products and the art were coming together in the right way.
What's next for Burton?
Man, we have so much on the go at any given time. We just finished up our 2010 line, which is insane with a ton of killer products, and now itâ€™s onto 2011. Of course art is at the foundation of everything we do and we have been injecting original art into our line literally for 30 years, so the next 30 years will be no different. Burton will always strive to stay ahead of the curve and to work alongside some of the most critical artists of our time. That is the beauty of the individual expression that comes with snowboarding. Stay tuned.