The real stories behind past and present Flylow products with names like Pierogi Hoody, BA Puffy, Micah Fleece, Roger Vest, and more.
For more on how we name our product names, check out Outside Magazine's story How Flylow Comes Up With Its Wacky Product Names (Like the Pierogi Jacket).
It used to be all 1980s TV show characters that inspired Flylow product names. As children of the ’80s, we couldn’t help but draw back on the characters we loved as kids. If you’ve been around the brand for a while, you may recall the BA Puffy, which was named after the Mr. T character, B.A. Baracus, from the 1983 cult action show “The A-Team.” (We also designed our first Flylow van to look just like The A-Team van, but that’s another story.) Or the old, beloved Higgins Coat, which was named after the Higgins character in the 1980s crime-comedy TV series “Magnum P.I.” (And yep, that’s where the old Magnum Pant got its name, too.)
As an independently owned company, we get to come up with product names that suit us or make us laugh. (Minding copyright infringements, of course.) Sometimes, that means designers are sitting around a room, challenging each other to come up with the most unique, weird, or entertaining name for a new product. “How about the Brosé Work Shirt, for guys who drink rose?” someone will say. “Sure, why not?” another will chime in. “I’m hungry. Anyone want to order pierogies for lunch?” “Oh, that’d be good! The Pierogi Hoody!” You get the idea. There’s no scientific formula; it’s more a fun brainstorming session until one name jumps out.
Sometimes, we opt for full tribute mode. When we were making a new mountain bike kit a few years back for our spring collection, we named the shirt the Johnny Shirt. So, naturally, the short was called the Cash Short, a nod to singer-songwriter Johnny Cash. Closer to home, there was the Jim Jack-et, a shirt-jacket hybrid named in honor of the late, great freeskiing pioneer Jim Jack, who died in an avalanche in 2012, and the Rudolph Jacket, a streamlined puffy named for our fallen friend and beloved ski industry personality Chris Rudolph, who died in the same slide.
We do our best not to name products after friends or family—because then feelings get hurt when the product eventually gets cut from the line. But sometimes, we can’t help ourselves. There was the Rog Vest named after Flylow co-founder Greg Steen’s dad, Roger, who always wears old-school puffy vests while chopping wood in Colorado. And there was the Phil A Shirt, named after Flylow co-founder Dan Abrams’ dad, Phil, who has spent his life wearing a blue collared button-up just like the one we made. And don’t forget the current Micah Fleece, named after our sales manager Micah, because he really wanted us to make a fleece midlayer.
Sometimes, names accidentally get named after people we know and love. The Nina Pant was just a name we liked for a durable women’s ski pant, but then a close friend of Flylow named Nina assumed (hoped?) the pant was named after her, and well, we didn’t exactly correct her.
Not all of our product names have been, um, successes. We used to have a women’s pant called the Bella Donna Pant, which we named after a memorable ski trip to Italy. That translates to beautiful lady in Italian, but the belladonna plant is also a poisonous perennial herb. Oops.
Or what about the time we made a T-shirt that said, in large letters across the front: “Let It Go.” We thought that was a nice sentiment, about not letting stresses weigh you down. But apparently Disney thought it was a nice phrase, too, as Elsa’s “Frozen” empire was launching at, coincidentally, the same time, with her hit song, “Let It Go.” Double oops.
The point is, when you pick out a Flylow product with a name like Baker, or Larry, or Craigieburn, or Fae, there’s probably a story behind it.