Product development is in my blood. I love it. Obsessing over every detail, tweaking, testing, and always improving. It’s something I can’t stop thinking about. This collection is my creative outlet. And it presents me an opportunity to collaborate with some cool people who share my passion.
Jake Burton sat down with former Burton team rider, Jack Mitrani, to talk about a new signature collection of products that he created and tested. Watch the ten minute conversation or breeze through the condensed answers below.
What initially sparked the idea to create Mine77?
I am very involved in product development. Not so much from a fashion side, but more of the function side of things. Since I became seriously ill a few years ago, and I was pretty much on my deathbed, coming out of that I became different. I’ve really started to live for the moment, and creativity came along with that. I wanted to do some things that were outside of the box, pushing technology and price. Donna, in her infinite wisdom said, “Why don’t you just do your own thing?” Hence Mine77 was born. I’ve got the ability to make products that are very special, and in some cases, next level. The fact that 77 is in there is no coincidence. It’s very reminiscent of those times.
How did the name ‘Mine77’ come about?
Well, it was somewhat of a double entendre. A friend of mine and pro surfer, Benji Weatherley, says “mine!” when he grabs something. Sort of a goof on me, because, I don’t know, maybe I tend to be on the possessive side. But also, a “mine” is where you go to get minerals and gold, so there is that, and the 77 ties it back to Burton. The whole thing is reminiscent of how things were in that era.
You’re heavily involved with product testing and development, but with Mine77, you literally worked on every single element. What has been the highlight of the process?
Just the people. Being able to speak my mind. I am not trying to please anybody but the rider in this. It was a really hard sell to get people into snowboarding and this feels a little bit the same.
You’ve been riding for longer than just about anyone. How do you keep coming up with new ideas?
I think the ideas were always there pent up and I just needed something to trigger them. And that happened (my illness), and now they are just flowing.
Every product is probably your favorite, but which ones are you most proud of?
I would say on the softgoods side, it’s a combination of the bib pant having eight pockets, places for everything and having access through the vents to a first layer pant that keeps stuff warm, private and protected. I think that is pretty fresh. They are really functional and I think that this is far and away the best bib that’s ever been made.
On a hardgoods side, the StrapOn boot is all me. It dawned on me to put a conventional ankle strap with a ratchet on the StepOn boot. I feel like it’s the best boot for StepOn that’s ever been made. For me, StepOn is really cool.
Can you describe a few of the most unique features you’ve developed for this collection?
Having a speaker pocket that you can drop your phone into. It is a pretty cool feature to be able to play music for your whole quad.
And it seems simple, but the first layer shirt with the MFI neckwarmer/facemask stitched into it. To me, it’s a killer thing, because you can just throw it in the wash and you’re not smelling yesterday’s lunch and it’s right there, you’re not forgetting it when you get to the mountain. When you can combine two things into one, it’s good. At one point, I tried sewing socks into first layer pants, I’ll go to that extreme.
What does the future look like for Mine77?
It’s really hard to say. We’ve got stuff in the pipeline for summertime, all inspired by things that I’ve seen. I think it’s up to people’s reaction to it. I don’t care if it stops after this season, it’s just been an incredible experience. You can call it a hobby if you want. I enjoy it and it’s gotten me so engaged and back in the mix. The Mine has such respect for the mothership and I know where my bread is buttered. It’s a huge victory if Burton grabs one of our products. We all have to take it as a compliment. The Mine is subservient to Burton and that will never change. The Mine is ours.
Shop Mine77 online or check it out in person at our flagship store in Burlington, Vermont.