THE CLASSIC ALPINE REVIVAL
THE BRANDS THAT ARE BRINGING CLASSIC STYLE BACK TO THE SLOPES
As with everything in life, alpine pursuits have developed rapidly over the last 50 years. What we wear on the slopes being one of the biggest changes. We sat down with Chris Pratt of Eiger Classic Alpine to ask what happened to alpine style and look at four brands who are trying to bring style back to the slopes.
Gone are the days when only the wealthiest and most adventurous travellers would make the journey to the Alps - in search of a snow filled adrenaline rush followed by a debrief in the bar afterwards with a stiff gin and tonic. The glamorous elegance and style of downhill ski champions like Jean Claude Killy casting a slim silhouette as he effortlessly carved his way down the slopes is long gone.
Today, the slopes are littered with people wearing the same, characterless, copycat, often garish colourful kit. In the pursuit of technical perfection and functionality, style has merely become an afterthought. These technical layers will keep you exceptionally warm (most of them have been designed to ensure your safety whilst trekking across the North Pole) but perhaps they might be slightly over-engineered for the average ski tourist who, after two or three runs is sneaking into the nearest mountain hut for a well-earned flat white.
The two man T-bars which dominated the slopes 20 years ago have been replaced by six man heated chairlifts with added pull down wind shield for your comfort. Not only do you reach the top in half the time but you also arrive warmer than you were at the bottom of the lift. It doesn't get any better in the mountain hut après ski scene. The jackets come off to reveal skintight base layers barely concealing the wearers ever expanding waistlines. But things are changing. Brands such as Eiger Classic Alpine are pulling inspiration from a romantic era of exploration and adventure – where performance and style went hand in hand. Influenced by the effortless style and elegance that epitomised downhill skiers such as Jean Claude Killy. It’s time to bring style back to the slopes. Here are four brands who will help you perform and look good on and off the slopes:
Hestra - Gloves
Hestra gloves are a Swedish company founded in 1936 and now run by the third generation of the Magnusson family. Hestra gloves find the right balance between durability, technical properties like cold and moisture resistance and style. All of the gloves are made in their own factories in Sweden so quality is guaranteed. The ultimate glove for anyone with both eyes firmly on style and quality.
Alps and Meters - Trousers
Alps and Meters was born from the discovery of a vintage ski sweater in Sweden, producing technical gear with a nod to the classic alpine look in days gone. The Alpine winter trouser is made using a wool blend and full-grain leather boot panels, giving a classic look and feel which is finished off with a tailored fit.
Eiger Classic Alpine - Alpine jumpers
Inspired by the golden era of 20th century classic alpine exploration, Eiger Classic Alpine is a British brand founded by friends Tom Evans and Chris Pratt. Their aim is to recreate the timeless elegance of the classic alpine age. The J. Hanlin jumper made in Leicestershire and named after Pratt's grandmother (a former British downhill ski champ), is a sporty yet sophisticated winter wardrobe addition. To use their own words “Warm on the slopes, cool as f*#k in the bar”.
L.G.R - Sunglasses
Luca Gnecchi Ruscone founded L.G.R sunglasses after he was wandering through his grandfather’s old warehouse of Italian imports in Eritrea Africa. He discovered a model of sunglasses, which were designed, and hand made in Italy and had found their way to Africa. This inspired him to return home to Italy and recreate eyewear that was purely designed and hand made in Italy using only the most durable materials.