Category Archives: Other Mountain Sports

Hermès: Winter At Last!

hermes winter at last 2009 2010 reindeer orange boxes ice snowxhermes winter at last 2009 2010 ad campaign dog sled igloo xhermes winter at last dogsled 2009 2010 raquel zimmerman snow ice dog

The weather is certainly feeling like. . . winter at last!  Hurrah!  Looking back at some pretty, dreamy, celebratory pictures from the 2009-2010 Hermès winter ad campaign featuring model Raquel Zimmerman, photographed by Eric Valli.

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Shopping NYC: Snow + Outdoor

A few weeks ago, I was able to combine a sprint shopping session with a meeting in Manhattan.  I was pleasantly surprised – the city was feeling rather outdoorsy.  Good timing with the onset of winter and stores ramping up for the holiday onslaught.  In addition to stops at Best Made Company and Uniqlo already documented, here are some more alpine and outdoor findings.

neve designs switzerland zip neck base layer vintage redNeve Switzerland Zip Neck base layer, luxurious blend of silk, merino wool and spandex. One of many designs in a series inspired by vintage ski posters.

mountain force joplin ski jacket woman switzerland swissIntricate laser cut and bonded detail on Mountain Force women’s Joplin jacket.  This Swiss brand is the pinnacle of technical outerwear design and engineering.  Check out this season’s line at a specialty retailer such as Paragon Sports or if not familiar with the brand, spend some time on the Mountain Force web site to get an idea of the precision in design, details and manufacturing, premium materials and covetable styling.

quiksilver snowboarding general insulator jacket retro deer stag gondolaQuiksilver’s General Insulator Jacket features a fantastic retro print combining hunting and snow themes – stags, pheasants and gondolas all co-existing in one happy outdoor world!

volcom astrid wolf wolves quiksilver forever gore tex jacket ski snowboardLots of photo-real wildlife on outerwear this season.  Volcom Snowboarding women’s Astrid jacket features wolves (left) and Quiksilver men’s Forever jacket with birds (right) both offer the performance of Gore-Tex in 2-layer shell construction.

sweaty betty soho new york women fitness ski yoga apparel shopxsweaty betty ski collection 2013 2014 jacket pants vest suitSweaty Betty is now stateside!  The British line of women’s performance sport apparel now has retail shops in Soho and Greenwich, Connecticut.  I am long familiar with the brand for workout, running and yoga gear but was surprised to learn they offer ski.  The ski collection is tightly edited with a precisely merchandised color palette.  Base and mid layers come in unique interpretations and bold body-conscious outerwear bib and jacket styles give the impression of a one-piece suit.  My feeling on Sweaty Betty ski and the rest of the line is this – it is not cheap (pricier than Lululemon) but is a fresh alternative to the competition and a welcome addition to women’s performance apparel.

fjallraven shop soho greene street outdoor swedenxfjallraven daypack 21 medium sweden swedish outdoor heritagexfjallraven fox logo t shirt sweden swedish outdoor outfitterOver the past few years, Fjällräven has become a favorite outdoor brand of mine, luring me in with their rucksacks, tight logo and heritage to realize there is so much more.  The Swedish specialty outfitter, named after the arctic fox, has a long history producing functional equipment and apparel for exploring the outdoors.  Fjällräven claims to be the inventor of the framed backpack and in 1960 became the first brand to manufacture and distribute this innovative equipment.  As for apparel, Fjällräven is famous for their G-1000 waxed fabric that is durable and resistant to the elements.

Fjällräven’s second New York City shop is located on the corner of Greene and Grand Streets in Soho.  A well-merchandised store shows off the fabulous full product range – beyond the adorable and colorful Kånken backpacks most readily associated with this brand.  Fjällräven products possess function and classic looks steeped in heritage and rich color for all that is involved in an outdoor lifestyle. (Yet another example of Swedish design being responsible for some of the finest sporting product available.)  For the merchandise and shopping experience, I recommend Fjällräven as a must on any NYC shopping list.

joe fresh store shop holiday 2013 merchandising deer stagChanging gears to fashion – clean and bright Joe Fresh prominently features this shiny and white deer family for holiday.  (Reminiscent of the Hermès 2010 winter ad campaign.)  It is always nice to see this icon of the outdoors.

joe fresh men slim packaway down jacket Like Uniqlo, Joe Fresh has an affordable and colorful offering of lightweight down jackets for men and women.

american eagle ae shaggy faux fur vest yeti apres skiThis number at American Eagle looks like a candidate for a fabulous and fun après ski ensemble.  They call it the Shaggy Faux Fur Vest, I’m calling it yeti chic.

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Dogsled Norway: Schneider Outdoor Visions

patagonia holiday catalog 2013 lars schneider dogsled norway dividal national parkxlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal park xlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkxlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkxlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkxlars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkxx
lars schneider outdoor visions photo dogsled norway øvre dividal parkPhotos:  Lars Schneider, Schneider Outdoor Visions

Of all the things I collect, archive and otherwise save, how I haven’t kept Patagonia catalogs for the last few decades is inexplicable.  Finally, a few years ago I started a file for the covers.  This year’s holiday catalog is one of my all-time favorites.  Shot in Norway by Lars Schneider, this dogsled cover image led me to the Schneider Outdoor Visions web site, deep in gorgeous portfolio photos and rich in engaging blog posts and compelling short films.

I love how one thing leads to another and am very happy to have become acquainted with the work of Lars and Katrin Schneider.  The German duo based near Hamburg, Germany travels the world, often as a family with their infant son, to capture outdoor sport, adventure and the natural world at the most inspiring and beautiful.  Lots to check out and follow at outdoor-visions.com.

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Best Made Company: Wonderful

best made company new york axe camp outsidexbest made company new york axe camp outsidexbest made company new york axe camp outside first aid kitxbest made company new york patches wonderful optimistic axe camp outsidexbest made company new york axe camp outside badgesxbest made company new york axe camp outside 36 white street tribecaBest Made Company® is dedicated to equipping customers with quality tools and dependable information that they can use and pass down for generations.  We seek to empower people to get outside, use their hands and in doing so embark on a life of fulfilling projects and lasting experiences.

Founded in 2009 with their now-famous axe collection, Best Made’s product line of tools and supplies has grown to include apparel, bags, knives, first aid kits, enamelware, maps, badges and assorted other utilitarian items in luxe execution.  Product is tightly edited, presentation and merchandising are delightfully straightforward.  The aesthetic and brand identity are simple, clear and deftly make the nostalgia of camp and the great outdoors modern.

Best Made Co. is function, quality and community – and absolutely worth a visit:  in person at 36 White Street, Tribeca, New York, NY or on-line at bestmadeco.com.  Communications from the brand, both printed and electronic, are a pleasure to receive.

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Ascutney: Vermont 50

little ascutney snowmobile club vermont fisher cat

Today my husband and I are headed to Ascutney, Vermont for the 20th annual Vermont 50 Mountain Bike Race or Ultra-Run.  So happy that the weather is looking really nice for a really long bike ride!

I found this vintage patch for the Little Ascutney Snowmobile Club at a flea market a few months ago. The patch is large (6”), features a flocked fisher cat mascot and shows wear of riding many miles stitched to a snowmobile suit – it’s fantastic!

Like the VAST trails snowmobilers travel in winter, the fifty-mile course of the VT50 is made possible only with generous access to private land.  Thank you, landowners!

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Shredly: Women’s Mountain Bike Apparel

shredly mountain bike shorts ashley rankin downhill free rideAshley Rankin wears the Shredly NIKOLI short at left; the CAROLINE short at right.  Photo:  Seth Beckton

shredly dh knicker ana maria mountain bikeNew this year, the DH KNICKER offers extra length perfect for downhill, cooler temps or a classic pedal pusher look for cruising town.  Fully featured with adjustable waist, thigh vents and cargo pocket.  Shown in the ANA MARIA pattern.  Photo:  shredly.com

 

ashley rankin shredly shorts apparel mt sopris coloradoAshley checks the view of Mount Sopris in the KTO short.  Photo:  Shredly

shredly mountain bike short j moThe MTB SHORT features an adjustable waist and invisible-zip thigh vents.  Shown in the J-MO pattern.  Photo:  shredly.com

Mountain Biking Gamble's Oak ColoradoAshley rocks the RIXFORD short in the Colorado autumn color of a Prince Creek trail.  Photo:  Jay Goodrichshredly elvira mountain bike short blue whiteThe BASIC SHORT is anything but basic.  Performance, comfort, style and nice details make this short not just a standard for mountain biking but so many other active pursuits.  Shown in the ELVIRA pattern.  Photo:  shredly.com

ashley rankin shredly mountain bike apparel trunk showAshley showcasing the full range of the Shredly collection at a recent trunk show.

Ashley Rankin is a woman who makes things happen.  A lifelong Colorado mountain girl and avid mountain biker dissatisfied with women’s performance apparel – she created Shredly to put an end to big, baggy and boring and ushered in flattering, functional and fun bike clothing.

As a devout user from the launch of the brand, I can tell you Shredly makes riding even more fun! The short fabric is lightweight and breathable with stretch for mobility while being rugged, durable and surprisingly mud-stain resistant.  Thoughtful features like adjustable waistband, thigh vents and slim cargo pocket with blinged-out faux-crystal snap put the shorts over the top.

As for the separate inner liner, the Shredly YOGACHAM puts an end to hot and awkward diaper-like chamois.  There is just enough padding – but not too much – in all the right places and a low-rise waistband inspired by yoga pants for comfort.

The bottom (no pun!) line is that I feel great in my shorts — the fit, function and comfort help me ride longer; style that is fun but also a little badass makes me happy – so I like to believe that Shredly helps me ride a little better!  Check shredly.com for the full story and product range, including jerseys.  And as Shredly says:  Look Good.  Feel Good.  Shred Good.

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Shopping Munich: Sport Schuster

sport schuster munich munchen germany vintage camping 1956Illustration from the 1956 summer catalog.  ASMÜ was the brand name of a proprietary ski binding developed and patented in 1924.  (ASMÜ = Founder August Schuster + Münich)

sport schuster munich munchen germany vintage store window bathing suits 1959Peepholes in the window display created curiosity and revealed the latest swimsuit fashions for summer 1959.

sporthaus schuster marienplatz munich germany

Celebrating 100 years, Sporthaus Schuster opened in 1913 as a sport specialty shop for mountaineers and skiers.  Located in the heart of Munich, the enormous 5,000 square meter / 5-floor store offers all that is good to buy for outdoor sports.

With top-notch merchandising that is both clean and cozy, I love how much energy and vitality Schuster gives to the sale of outdoor gear.  This is not, by any means, a traditional, sleepy outfitter.  In addition to offering all the usual leading brands, the primary value of Schuster shopping is access to European specialty brands not readily available in the US:  Peak Performance, Maloja, Houdini, Eisbar, Dynafit, and so many more.

Check the top floor for a chapter of Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV), the Bavarian mountain club, helpful with educated staff, maps and info.  Don’t miss the Gustl store-in-store on the main level featuring contemporary souvenirs celebrating Bavarian heritage.  And you won’t be able to miss the 25-meter climbing wall running the height of the shop.

I get a little bit fanatical about this place, so for me it is my first shopping stop in Munich.  I allow two or more hours and to be honest, usually have a chaser visit to go back for additional items.  At any rate, if you are in Munich do yourself a favor and stop in Schuster!

Sporthaus Schuster:  Marienplatz, Rosenstrasse 1-5, 80331 Munich, Germany

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Nike’s JUST DO IT: 25 Years Old

nike just do it roads always open run poster vintageThere are clubs you can’t belong to,
Neighborhoods you can’t live in,
Schools you can’t get into,
But the roads are always open.

Just do it.

It is fair to say that Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ quickly transcended its origin as an advertising slogan and became even more than a cultural icon – a motivator, a mantra, a way of life for many.  The landmark ad campaign launched twenty-five years ago this month in July 1988.

I purchased this poster early on in the campaign, 1991 at the latest.  To this day, ‘The Roads are Always Open’, the freedom and inspiration of the gorgeous imagery, and of course, ‘Just Do It’ ring in my head when I need a kick in the ass to get out there and get after it.

Watch the original TV spot that started it all.  Read Wieden + Kennedy’s anniversary blog post.

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Shopping Munich: Globetrotter

The Globetrotter shop in Munich is a massive four floors of outdoor clothing and equipment presented with the most thorough, precise and functional merchandising I have ever seen.  This German specialty retailer aims to make shopping an experience – and they succeed.

globetrotter munich shop outdoor gearxglobetrotter munich shop geyser waterThe tank on the lower level for testing kayaks and canoes erupts into a geyser that reaches the top floor.

globetrotter munich shop outdoor photographsxglobetrotter munich shop outdoor photos displayThousands of photos line the stairwells – it is visually staggering and impressive in execution!

globetrotter munich shop outdoor experience merchandising displayThe top floor hosts a large branch of the Bavarian alpine club, Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) – complete with extensive maps, information, merchandise and educated staff to help plan mountain adventures.

A 360° tour can be viewed on the Globetrotter web site; this video provides a walking tour – both show off the gorgeous fixtures and unique features of this store.  I strongly recommend a stop at Globetrotter to shop the wide selection of premium outdoor brands or just for inspiration.

Globetrotter Munich:  Isartorplatz 8-10, 80331 Munich, Germany

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H&M to Outfit the Swedish Olympic Team for Sochi 2014

hm_olympic_anjaparsonAnja Pärson and Viktoria Helgesson at the first fitting

Olympic and Paralympic collectionDavid Ekholm at the first fitting

Key looksPhotos & Sketches:  H&M via The Telegraph UK

Anja Pärson, a former alpine skier and multiple Olympic champion said that wearing clothes from a Swedish company “will strengthen the team, our team spirit and image to the outside world, especially when it is an internationally renowned brand like H&M.”

I am sure it will.  I am also sure I would like to see how Peak Performance would have tackled the design of uniforms, technical and casual, for their home country.  There is just too much exceptional sport and sport lifestyle product coming out of Sweden – I find it a bit disappointing to have a fashion brand land this prestigious endeavor.  (Though I can get on board with that sweater, sleeve stripes in particular.)  Sounds like H&M will provide opening and closing ceremony outfits and casual apparel – I will be curious to see what brand(s) provide the technical sport-specific uniforms.

Read the full article at The Telegraph UK.

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