SNOWBOARDER TORAH BRIGHT TALKS OLYMPICS, SLOPE STYLE FAUX PAS & ROXY FASHIONS
Torah Bright, 2010 Winter Olympics gold medalist, will soon have a chance to add to her medal count. The Australian snowboarding star has been focusing her efforts on the 2014 Winter Games, where she’ll compete in three events. Sochi will provide an opportunity for Bright to pad her already impressive resume. She is one of the few snowboarders who can throw down a switch Mctwist 720 in competition, and she’s had dominate performances at competitions around the world including the TTR World Tour, Global Open Series and Winter X Games.
In addition to her snowboarding skills, Torah has helped to elevate style on the slopes. She’s been a part of the Roxy team since 1999 and is among the athletes who have also acted as design collaborators. Together with the brand, she developed a signature line of apparel called the Roxy Bright Collection. She pulls inspiration from current trends for snow gear that is marked by oversized hoods, colorful jackets, slimmer fits and fashion-forward details. The Roxy Bright offerings are available here.
A Glam Slam caught up with Torah and she dished on her Olympics prep, snowboarding tricks, slope fashion faux pas and her signature Roxy collection. Check it out:
How have you been preparing for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi?
This past Winter has been the qualification round. I’ve decided to compete in three events and I’m just used to the one, the halfpipe. The slopestyle is a new event in the Olympics. Then there’s another snowboarding event that’s been a part of the Olympics for awhile, boardercross, and that’s still freestyle but more geared towards racing. You race with five or six other people. So this year has been qualifying for all three events, learning new skills as far as the boardercross event goes, and just spending as much time on the snow as possible to create a better connection to my snowboard and be the best rider I can be.
Are there any new or special tricks that you’ll be debuting at the Olympics?
Because of how hectic this season was with qualifying in all three events, it kind of depends on how my training goes this Summer. In July I’m heading to Whistler to get on snow and end of July I’ll be going back to Australia and New Zealand until November and riding that whole time. That’s the training time and that’s where I’ll be working on new tricks and combinations and things like that.
Can you talk about your signature trick, the Mctwist 720?
The Mctwist, I guess like all snowboarding tricks, comes from skateboarding. The Mctwist is an inverted backside 540. It’s the axis in which it’s inverted that makes it a Mctwist. It’s my favorite trick.
How do you come up with a trick like that?
I was about 14 and I was riding in June Mountain close to Mammoth Mountain and Scotty Lago, who is the U.S. bronze medalist, he and his father were riding in that same pipe and they actually taught me how to do Mctwists. And they gave me a little tip. They said just do it as if you’re smelling behind your back armpit. So you look underneath your back armpit and that was their little trick to help me learn the Mctwist. It’s a trick that’s difficult and scary to do because it’s all blind. You don’t see anything until you’re coming in to land. Now being a more educated snowboarder in a way, I’m able to mentalize things and see it and understand the movements and things like that more.
Fashion has become a big part of snowboarding culture and companies are working with athletes as design collaborators. What are some of your favorite, current trends in female snow gear?
The thing that I’ve noticed and been really excited to be a part of is that we as females used to wear the same cuts and things as the guys did. Working with Roxy on my signature collection, the Roxy Bright edition, we’ve really focused on the cuts and taking from street style and having it translate into a snow outfit. It’s been amazing.
Talk about your Roxy collection. Do you incorporate your personal style into your competitive gear? How much input do you have in the design process?
The girls we work with over there are riders themselves, so they get how something has to be functionable. For me, it starts with looking through fashion magazines and online and I pull pages whether it be styles, cuts, colors, and I send them over and say this is what I like. And they’ll come back to me with the initial designs and we’ll talk prints, colors, how things match together. I’ll usually meet up once the first round samples are in so we get to see the quality of the fabrics, the materials, the feel of the jackets. Then we work on just having everything cut the perfect length so when I’m doing my thing in the halfpipe, my jacket doesn’t come up above my pants. Or finer details like access of pockets, what are the easiest and most functional. Of course there’s a high emphasis on materials used also because you want to stay dry and stay warm.
Do you have a favorite piece from the collection?
I’m actually really excited about the new collection. I love all the higher end jackets. There are three different colorways and I can’t decide which is my favorite.
Do you ever look back at old snow styles that you’ve worn and have a “what was I thinking” fashion moment? Is there a particular trend you’re glad is now in the past?
When you ask that, a little situation comes to mind. My own faux pas. We were at a photo shoot and my teammate at the time, she told me I wasn’t allowed to dress myself anymore because I put myself in orange pants and an orange jacket. I was wearing a full orange onesie pretty much. I had an orange suit on with a pink beanie and a studded belt.
Back in February, at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, you were among the female Olympians who walked the runway in the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fashion Show. Which is more nerve-wracking for you – walking the runway or competing on the slopes?
I think competing in a way because I’m not expected be a model so being a part of that was an amazing experience and a great cause. I was happy to be there and support that. And walking the runway, it was just fun. I expected to be stiff and nervous and all of a sudden I’m throwing fist bumps. It all happened so quickly. There were so many people I wanted to say hi to and my one moment backstage I had the chance, and my heels, I just had to sit down and take them off.
You were dressed by designer, Nicole Miller, for the show. Did you get to spend time with her?
I hadn’t seen the dress at all, I’d given measurements and things like that. The day before the show I arrived in New York and I went for the fitting. Nicole did it herself so I was pretty excited about that.
How would you describe your style off-the-slopes?
I don’t really try too hard. I guess I would say casual chic.