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Metal Mulisha 2017 and the Camo Crossover Trend

Real Tree Business BLOG by: Anthony Quiroz

My friends at Metal Mulisha have given me a sneak peek at their new apparel and accessory styles for 2017 while explaining their inspiration behind the Realtree-infused collection. For almost three years they have been reading buying patterns and crossover trends and then finding creative ways to appeal to their loyal customers.

At Metal Mulisha, “black is the new black.” The company lives and breathes American freedom to the fullest and has been the leader in Freestyle Motocross since the beginning.

You could call Metal Mulisha the “anti-established” brand. When most brands chased trends and tried to keep up to stay cool, Metal Mulisha went the other direction, standing out in a crowd of watered-down fashion by offering in-your-face graphics and products with lots of attitude.

It’s not hard to understand the crossover appeal that results when Realtree teams up with Metal Mulisha. Both brands have artfully demonstrated how to build an infrastructure that transcends all market trends.

As a creative person, I know the challenge of trying to create successful transitional products that appeal to a wide demographic while staying true to the core values of a brand. In my opinion, all of the Realtree patterns can cross over into fashion and lifestyle products. I’ll bet you can’t think of too many other products or styles you see being worn by hunters, rappers and outdoor professionals alike.

In the new Metal Mulisha styles for 2016-2017 you can see many camo crossover styles that not only look cool but are highly functional as well. Realtree Xtra in Meteorite, for example, looks hardcore with a solid black contrast and hints of color that pop on every detail throughout the collection. And Realtree Max-5 is utilized perfectly with contrasting panels that imply stealth destruction.

The cohesive collection consists of tees, sweatshirts, boardshorts, hats and bags. They have even added something for the ladies with some fashionable yoga wear and casual everyday goods. I even noticed a Max-5-wrapped motorcycle, which would look perfect sitting in the back of the new Realtree-edition Chevy truck. Yes, please!

Multiple cotton tee styles bring the brands together, sporting clean logos with Realtree fills and verbiage such as “Live for the Hunt” and “World Wide Domination.” The camo looks great as an accent on the background colors. Most are available in black, white, orange and army green … but black is the one for me!

They also have a handful of sweatshirts for those cold days in the field or on the track.

The boardshorts are some of my favorites because of the contrasting nature of use. Beach vibes combined with camo creates the ultimate crossover style that I call #fromthebushtothebeach and will guarantee you look good at the beach or lake. These are definitely not your hipster shorts, featuring longer lengths with drawstring front and pockets. The fits are generous and comfortable in all the right places. This is where high-performance function meets bad-ass design, and the styles tie into multiple camo matching tees, hoodies and hats to complete the look.

I’m seeing lots of Metal Mulisha/Realtree hats in public these days, and for good reason: They’re super-cool! There are trucker hats, FlexFit styles, and curved and flat visors (mostly flat). Realtree Xtra and Max-5 prints are used as appliques with a high level of detailed embroidery, which isn’t easy to produce. But they’ve perfected this style and it shows. There are many timeless logo treatments with embroidery, appliques, printing and old school patches.

One of my favorites is the Realtree snapback hat that matches the boardshort and has the Meteorite camo color crown with a solid black visor and a nice simple patch label. Just add a black tuxedo and you’re ready for the ball.

I also had the chance to use the backpacks and duffle bags during my last camping trip with my family in Northern California. My boys, wife and I were  outfitted with these rugged, tactical bags, which outperformed my high expectations.

Another excellent camo series is the backpack line. They’re great for students on the school battlefield who are looking to stand out in a sea of normalcy. They feature ergonomic shoulder straps and plenty of storage for laptops and other necessities, and they’re built to last a lifetime. I will be outfitting my boys with these when they go back to school, which isn’t coming soon enough!

I’m sure the camo crossover trend will continue to grow organically and evolve, combining function with great looks in the years to come. I am happy to be a part of it and I will continue to strive with innovative product design that pushes the limits of development.

As I mentioned in my last blog, camo is a state of mind, not just a print or pattern. My thanks goes to the teams at Metal Mulisha and Realtree for providing the inspiration and this opportunity to express my point of view!

Editor’s Note: Anthony Quiroz is a seasoned creative professional. To see some sources of his inspiration, follow him on Instagram: a.quiroz213.