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Category Archives: Mountaineering
Vintage postcard of Mount Washington, New Hampshire showing snow left Tuckerman Ravine on July 20, 1926.
I dreamed I climbed the highest mountain in my Maidenform bra. I could not resist this uplifting vintage 1955 advertisement from Maidenform!
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.
Intricate 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.
Lots 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.
xSweaty 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.
xxOver 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.
Changing 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.
Uniqlo is alpine-themed! All windows and displays in the 34th Street Manhattan store are outfitted with this mountaineering-inspired look to promote the Ultra Light Down and Fleece programs. Climbing rope, harnesses, sky-high heels and skateboard decks – somehow this mash-up works to merge outdoor with fast fashion.
While combing through the thick fall fashion magazines, I was thrilled to come across new Moncler print ads that actually represent an alpine setting!
Although luxury and fashion are certainly nothing new to Moncler — arguably as much of the brand’s identity as function — the repositioning of the label in recent history has diverged from why I relate to the brand. Celebrity collaborations, flash mob fashion shows and Bruce Weber ad campaigns of golden retrievers leave me cold and do little to reinforce the brand’s distinguished mountain heritage. The reality: Moncler has changed from a luxury sport brand to a luxury fashion brand.
I love Moncler not just for the finest quality goose down garments – but because the brand was born in the mountains and of adventure. Founded in 1952 in France, Moncler manufactured tents and sleeping bags which led to the creation of the duvet (down) parka. These innovative new garments outfitted mountain climbers for expeditions, evolved further into ski-specific outerwear and a trademark style inevitably resulted.
With the purchase of Moncler by businessman Remo Ruffini in 2003, positioning of the brand has transformed to court the fashionable elite more so than the luxury-minded athlete. New urban retail outposts have fed this strategy. Demand and business appear to be on the rise, an IPO is in the works – cementing this trendier direction.
I will do my best to filter through the fashion overload to keep my relationship with Moncler one of a little luxury, a lot of utility and always the mountains.
3/2/1964 Press Photo: 83 DIE IN MOUNTAIN AIR DISASTER. 75 passengers bound for a ski-ing holiday, and the crew of eight, all British, died when their Britannia aircraft of British Eagle International Airlines crashed on to the side of the Glungezer Mountain in the Austrian Alps, as it was approaching INNSBRUCK Airport. After the aircraft had disappeared, fog and snow held up the search, and it was several hours before the wreck was found. PHOTO SHOWS: 31-year-old HANNES GASSER (left) the best mountain guide in the district, stands by waiting for news of the location of the wrecked Britannia, beside an Austrian Army vehicle.
For someone who is about to embark on a search for plane crash victims of the worst aviation disaster in Austria’s history, this guide seems disturbingly happy – but let’s focus on his ensemble that is classic alpine perfection, right down to the edelweiss pin! The soldier’s camouflage jacket with gathered bottom hem is pretty fantastic, too — and would be perfectly on trend today with the current camo moment in fashion.
(The setting of this post is a pretty big downer but I am finding it interesting – in terms of history and the reinforcement of the vast scale and power of mountains. Read the Wikipedia post for more info about the crash and ensuing avalanche. Watch video footage of the wreckage, please note some content is graphic.)
6/6/1940: QUEBEC ALPINE CLUB HOLDS SPRING OUTING. . . Claire Ferrier, President of the Club and one of the nerviest girls in Canada coming over the edge of a rock cliff on Mt. Baldy.
STE. MARGUERITE, QUEBEC. . . Canada’s only girl mountain climbing club, the Quebec Alpine Club, holds its first spring session, in the picturesque Laurentian mountain area. The year’s first conquest was the precipitous cliffs of Mt. Baldy, 2,400 feet of sheer rock which they scaled in less than two hours. Rubber soled shoes, a half inch rope, miner’s picks, and a strong constitution are all they use. Dangling over a 200 foot sheer rock precipice is their greatest joy. Winter months are spent keeping in shape by skiing down that sides of the mountains they climb in summer, at a mile a minute clip. Press Photo: Hamilton Wright
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.
The 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
Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay ascend Everest. Photo: Smithsonian.com
Norgay and Hillary at camp. Photo: The Times UK
Hillary and Norgay. Love the anoraks! Photo: Stamford Advocate
Swiss luxury brand Bally is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first Everest ascent with a new capsule collection featuring a reproduction of the Reindeer-Himalaya boots worn by Tenzing Norgay while summiting with Sir Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953. Photo: Bally
Check the Bally website for the full collection and information about the historic expedition. Photo: Bally