Tag Archives: NYC

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.

Posted in Accessories, Art & Graphics, Fashion, Mountaineering, Other Mountain Sports, Outerwear, Shopping, Ski, Snowboard, Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Accessories, Art & Graphics, Equipment, Fashion, Lifestyle, Other Mountain Sports, Shopping | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Uniqlo: Alpine Merchandising

uniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display alpine mountaineeringxuniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display alpine mountaineeringxuniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display alpine mountaineeringxuniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display women alpine mountaineeringxuniqlo winter 2013 down fleece jackets NYC window display alpine mountaineering

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.

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Uniqlo: Ultra Light Down

uniqlo ultra light down vest women polka dot gingham checkxuniqlo winter 2013 2014 ultra light down vests jacketsxuniqlo ultra light down jacket vest stuff sack pouchxuniqlo ultra light down men jacket camo denimx
uniqlo ultra light down men vest jacket camp hoodyMy shopping advice to everyone is this — run, don’t walk to the nearest Uniqlo store (or computer for uniqlo.com) to scoop up some ultra light down.  With prices of $49.90 for vests and $69.90 for jackets, it is all too easy to consider an assortment.

Last week, after five hours and as many hooded down vests later, I emerged from a Manhattan Uniqlo overwhelmed but hardly defeated by the excessive goodness in store.  Sure, the down collection is nothing new – but the success has driven more selection in styles, colors and prints!  To me, the prints are the real coup:  polka dots, gingham, plaid and more for women; camouflage, houndstooth, denim and others for men.  I was defenseless against the super-cute hooded vests with dots and checks!

The designs are simple and flattering – the women’s styles in particular benefit from this approach, as they are not overdone with excessive quilting and shaping.  In terms of weight, these garments fall in the down “sweater” category, perfect as outerwear in cool (not cold) temps and excellent layering weight.  As for quality, the fill is 90% down / 10% feather with downproof nylon shell fabric.  Zippers are YKK.  The included stuff sack is a reasonable size that makes for easy storage.  The concept of the compact stuff sack is widely promoted as an integral part of this collection with instructional videos running throughout the store and down garments put into their pouches by sales clerks at checkout.

It is exciting to see performance apparel stories take root in mainstream fashion.  Uniqlo has been effective in educating consumers about the benefits of down (light, warm, packable, versatile, comfortable, natural) and showing how to make it a part of everyday dress.  (Another success is their Heattech program developed with leading technical fabric supplier, Toray.)

Personally, I have been a big fan of Uniqlo since the Japanese fast fashion retailer opened the SoHo store in 2006.  Some of my most worn staples are Uniqlo, product quality is excellent and price can’t be beat.  I expect the same of these down pieces and am thrilled to have added to my vest collection for daily uniform wear and broadened my on-hill layering options.  And I can’t wait to layer a polka dotted hooded vest under a contrasting color technical shell!

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Ski NYC: Central Park

ski central park new york city vintage 1938 snow storm thanksgiving11/25/1938 Press Photo:  NEW YORK – The near-blizzard which struck the city on Thanksgiving Day brought joy to the hearts of many winter sports enthusiasts.  But to Tomon Murstad, reputed Norwegian ski jumper, it gave ample opportunity to practice some of his stunts on snow covered slopes of Central Park.

ski central park new york city vintage 1939 snow storm 1/14/1939 Press Photo:  SKIING IN NEW YORK’S CENTRAL PARK, New York City – A view in Central Park, Jan. 14 as ski enthusiasts took advantage of season’s heaviest snowfall in the metropolitan area.  In the background can be seen some of the Manhattan skyscrapers that border the park.

I am in New York City for a couple days of meetings.  With the August heat of the streets outside and recycled air inside — it is very fun to imagine a city experience of snow and skiing!

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