Thanksgiving weekend is the unofficial start of many things. It’s the beginning of the holiday season and also the countdown to the end of the year. For snow sport lovers, though, it marks the start of the ski season in North America and with the European season commencing in late December, right now is the opportune time to consider an update to this season’s snow wardrobe.
Whether a skier, snowboarder, or a passionately committed attender of après, these brands deliver all the elements needed for a perfect slopeside sojourn. From tried-and-true technical capabilities to the latest in textile technologies, each one of these brands also deliver its own, unique aesthetic to ensure each run is steeped in style for every snow-covered mile.
Halfdays is the brand founded by women for women and strives to deliver sustainability, style, and technical capacity at a price point which is absolutely approachable. While they flawlessly execute on all these fronts, where Halfdays truly excels is with fit.
Halfdays co-founder Kiley McKinnon is a former Olympic skier and has experienced firsthand the discrepancy female athletes faced when it came to their clothes because even as an Olympian her only choice was to wear men’s clothes. In a sport where bearing the elements matters and gear can affect every outcome from speed to technical execution, wearing clothes cut for men put female athletes at an obvious disadvantage.
When McKinnon analyzed the consumer market for snow clothes, she saw the same transfer of male clothing cuts being applied to clothes for females in the consumer sector. So she and co-founder Ariana Ferwerda (both of whom, incidentally, have been named to the just-released 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 list) founded Halfdays with the mission to design snow clothes specifically for the needs of a woman’s body.
Interestingly, Halfdays outerwear–which is made from recycled materials–is significantly lighter than those which use natural fibers such as down, yet on a minus-10 degree Fahrenheit day on the slopes of Aspen last year, Halfdays gear was as warm as any other brand. Lightness, warmth, and woman-specific technical design? Yes, please.
If you’re seeing stars slopeside then you know it can only be one brand in your sight–Perfect Moment. The star motif which has come to emblazon everything from bibs to hats to sweaters stands for the brand’s sharp, graphic point of view to ski clothes and is an unapologetic symbol of their high standards towards quality.
While Perfect Moment’s silhouettes are ultra-sleek, the design is technical, and the prints are playful, there is still an underlying classicism to this brand. Its palette skews heavily in the direction of bold, primary colors which are smattered across tried and true graphic elements such as herringbone, chevron, and stripes. But when these traditional motifs are created in the Perfect Moment point of view, they are doused with the brand’s super chic stance on snow-wear, making Perfect Moment the ultimate fashion statement on and off the slopes.
The sunny shores of Los Angeles are a long road from the wintry conditions of a mountain resort, although the founders of Holden have successfully combined the vibes of their Venice roots and their love of the slopes to create a brand which embodies an irreverent, West Coast street cool and super high-tech details.
“Our brand evokes a meticulous attention to detail and offers a unique interaction with the elements, not only in the mountains but within urban landscapes as well,” says Holden President, Patrick Nebiolo. “Although technical in construction, our luxury fabrics provide a soft hand feel that are beautiful and minimalist, effortless and warm.”
While the brand is inspired by music, art, culture, and the outdoors, ultimately Holden is a line defined by proportions. While the collections have the requisite pieces for any proper ski wardrobe such as well-fitted bibs and gloves, it’s the parts of the collection which play with said proportion that makes Holden’s pieces stand out. Jackets are cocoon-like. Shells are sculpted. Vests have shape. Layer these proportions with imaginative concepts such as moon-blue tie dye patterns and unique application of texture–think down-filled quilted joggers–and Holden’s pieces bring to the slope the sort of upscale West Coast vibe inspired by the oceanside city of its birth.
Aztech Mountain brings all the technical and fashion credibility into this born and bred in Aspen brand. Its desirability is part and parcel built on its famed provenance, but this is combined with the authority of co-founder, the Olympic skier Bode Miller, and their Head of Design, fashion designer Casey Cadwallader (who is also the Creative Director of fashion house Thierry Mugler). The brand which results is a melding of elegant silhouettes and super-detailed technical wear all laced with a high-fashion edge.
Classic color combinations make up Aztech’s palette which are often interrupted with bold, attention-grabbing prints. This season, they partnered with emerging UK-based artist Ed Curtis to create a special squiggle-print collection. They have also driven forward the evolution of pieces in snow wear with the creation of the pillow shirt jacket which has the design of a button down shirt but is in fact a jacket to be worn on the slopes.
The brand is built upon a DNA which eschews logo placement to the point where they are nearly impossible to find on the garment. Although, Aztech’s wares are immediately identifiable by the unique style of zippers and zipper coverings used which can be spotted by those who admire the brand, making Aztech the ultimate if-you-know-you clothes on the slopes.
70 years of French craftsmanship are fused with timeless elegance to form the backbone of this heritage French line. Technical tailoring and materials are the starting point of each Fusalp piece upon which silhouettes are built with classic luxury in mind, but without ever sacrificing modernity or innovation, both important values to the brand. Fusalp’s allegiance to technical design has earned them the privilege of being the wardrobe of choice for several Olympic skiers over the years and have most recently been the official supplier of the Monaco Olympic Committee in 2018. Best known for their skintight fuseau stirrup pant which has been reimagined each year for the last half a century, Fusalp is a celebration of French sartorial elegance which makes their clothes as relevant off the slopes as they are on them.