A BRIEF ENCOUNTER: HENRIK HARLAUT

He was known as 'pants down'Harlaut' during the Winter Olympics, 2014, and now Swedish Freestyle rider, Henrik Harlaut's memorable style has, though, found him a perfect new sponsor, Bjorn Borg underwear.

We catch up with the Steezy style hero of Sochi, Henrik Harlaut, who might be remembered more for his loose pants and briefs encounter than his awesome Slopestyle performance earning him sixth place in the Winter Olympics. We ask him about style - ski style and pants style.

Congratulations on coming sixth in the Ski Slopestyle at Sochi. The judges seemed to award perfection in performance more than flamboyance and flare. If you were judging, how would you rate style in Slopestyle?

Its hard to tell, but I think I would be a little careful with focusing too much on perfection since that will regulate our sport and that will take away a lot of the free spirit and creative part of the competitions skiing. So I would judge style upon flow and being unique, smooth and creative. 

What defines your skiing style?

Bent knees, hands low sorta like a monkey.. :D haha

How do you feel about the media seeming to make more of your pants falling down than of your actual slopestyle performance?

I'm okay with it, I knew going into the Games it would be a lot of media going crazy since the way I dress is definitely not 'normal' to the main public. 

So, to set the record straight, exactly what size were your pants? We heard XXXXL?

Yes that is correct, 4XL pants and jacket. 

Your tie-up with fellow Swede, Bjorn Borg, and his colourful underwear seems the perfect match as you are so good at exposing yours to millions. What do you like about the Bjorn Borg Active Underwear line and how will you be promoting the brand name?

I really like their boxers, fit and material so that works perfectly for skiing, I will always be wearing them and as the media really likes to zoom in on my pants being low, that will definitely be a big promoting way for them.

 

Our on-line magazine, Style Altitude, has defined six snow tribes - we have put you in the 'Steezies' who ride with style and ease - and in baggy pants. How do you define your style?

Baggy, happy, creative and influncial skier with a style full of influences from skateboarding, snowboarding, hiphop and much more. 

Why go extreme loose fit for competition? Wouldn't it be more aerodynamic for Slopestyle riders to wear sleek and tight-fitting Lycra? Will it ever happen?

I've done it for the past 10 years. It's how I'm most comfortable and I think it looks the best like that. I'm sure I could go faster and spin faster if I was in tights but that wouldn't be right. As of right now I always have really good speed and can speed fast enough so I don't see a problem for myself wearing my gear the way I do. And I hope to never have to change.

When it comes to style - skiing and clothes - what advice would you give?

Be yourself, find what style fits you. Everybody is different. 

What was the motivation for Education Of Style, the film that you made with Eric Iberg? And what's coming next, film-wise?

To create the best film segment I had ever put out! Next, this spring I'm dedicating all my time and effort into my own film, that will be out for free online this fall, which should be a sick one. Hopefully! I've been filming pretty much every day since the Olympics finished. I've had a goal to at least stack one clip a day and I've been able to do that, plus more. So I'm trying to keep it going this way and it should be good!

Obviously brands identify with your style such as Armada - and now Bjorn Borg. But does it go beyond just wearing the brand? Influencing design, for instance?

Yes definitely the longer I'm gonna be with a brand the more you get of a family feeling and you can take the relationship to new levels. Like with Armada I have my own skis, ski pants, jacket, gloves that I get to design and the same with Fulltilt for boots (together with my best bud, Phil Casabon). So I hope to keep pushing it in that direction where I can be there and have an input in the gear I wear.

 

But we're guessing  (with your dreads) you haven't had a call from L'Oreal (as a sponsor)?

I don't know what L'Oreal is so answer is, no... :D hahah

Bjorn Borg underwear is available on-line: www.bjornborg.com