But as the competitive nature of the sport often extends to getting dressed, this tactic won’t last for long if you’re serious about the white stuff. Of course, nobody wants to be chastened by mutters of “all the gear, no idea” as they join the queue for the ski lift, but this is one sport in which hi-tech kit isn’t just for poseurs.
“It’s vital to have the right clothing and equipment, as conditions can be tough,” says Candice Fragis, senior buyer at Net-a-porter.com. In July, the online retailer launched net-a-sporter to cater to the increasingly active lives of its customers. In October, a ski category was added, where brands well known among winter sports aficionados, such as Peak Performance and Oakley, now face stiff competition from fashion-first labels such as Fendi, Lacroix and Pucci that have upped the technical ante. Zeal goggles
Like many of the site’s six million monthly visitors, Fragis, a keen skier, is excited about this development: “When I first started skiing, the only product I could find came in a rainbow of colours that I wouldn’t ordinarily wear; everything felt too oversized and padded. But when I found pieces like Lacroix’s Aspen monochrome jacket and matching pants, I couldn’t wait for the ski season to start. Over the last five years or so, snow gear has been totally reworked and brands now consider different body shapes.”
Perfect Moment ski jacket
The crossover between fashion and sport has not only influenced the way we dress, but it seems to have changed how we shop, too, as fashion retailers increasingly broaden their ranges and challenge traditional department stores. Autumn also saw Matchesfashion.com launch a ski studio online, inspired by the success of its earlier vacation studio: “An online hub that makes shopping for international travel very easy and has been very popular with clients.
This is our first season with a full ski offer and we’re looking to grow for the coming seasons due to the high demand and a positive reaction from our customers – we had to re-order multiple brands within the first week,” says Natalie Kingham, the buying director of Matchesfashion.com.
Stylish ski and snowboarding gear