AS EARLY ’90S HIP-HOP pumps through computer speakers in Atmosphere’s Southeast Portland office, it’s clear where 28-year-old Chris Prosser finds inspiration for his line of men’s snowboarding apparel: “We have an East Coast–throwback feel. Very 1993,” he says. “The cuts were a little baggier, and the style was a little louder.” The surrounding loft seems to echo his words, tacked floor-to-ceiling with neon fabric swatches and bold graphics.
The Portland-based brand takes streetwise style to the mountain with merchandise like the military-themed “Iraq” jacket and “Kriss Kross” pants, which playfully display back pockets in the front. But Atmosphere’s aesthetic is as much about clean design as it is about bold statements. “We’re really heavy into fit,” Prosser says.
Prosser began selling his own screen-printed T-shirts out of his locker as a student at Wilson High School; now he has distributors as far away as Korea, Australia, and Poland, supplying international riders with colorful Atmosphere gear like a nylon twill “Upstate” jacket in sunshine yellow and custom crewneck sweatshirts in cerulean. Last year, he opened Atmosphere’s flagship store in Southwest Portland with his father, John, and he recently teamed up with professional snowboarder Darrell Mathes to launch the subsidiary brand Mäsa, whose quirky accessories (like fleecy gaiters to keep your neck warm) line Atmosphere’s shelves alongside flannels, goggles, and other mountain must-haves.
After three successful seasons designing men’s threads, Atmosphere is psyching up to shred a path in some fresh terrain this year: women’s wear.