Luxury Ski Gear: Cool or Tacky?
December 26, 2010 Leave a comment
For big name fashion houses, designing ski inspired apparel as part of their fall/winter collections is nothing new. Lately however, a few have tried their hand at producing skis, snowboards, and related gear – a different animal altogether. Navigating through uncharted waters could prove a risky gamble for couture labels. It definitely leads us to question, “Is high fashion ski gear the pinnacle of sporting luxury or just plain tacky?”
Skiers and snowboarders tend to purchase their gear from brands that are established in the industry. These brands have been around for a long time having sponsored both major ski/snowboard competitions and professional athletes. Many of these corporations have also funded or carried out their own research that has resulted in major scientific innovations and technological advancements that we see in ski gear today.
It may be just as difficult for a Rossignol or K2 to take a pair of Gucci or D&G ski goggles seriously, as it would be for Gucci and D&G to respect a pair of Rossignol or K2 dress shoes or pumps. Earlier this year, Ski Magazine was quick to mock Chanel’s $3,600 parabolic skis stating, “the term “parabolic” is a little outdated now. All skis now have a shape to them—nobody skis on French Fry-straight skis anymore..” and “although wood topsheets are making a comeback…did you really need to go with rosewood, a high-end wood used mainly for cabinetry?” Astutely pointing out that at $3,600, you could buy an “entire quiver” of skis, or go on a “ski vacation with your entire family.” (See full article)
It’s understandable that the ski world would be taken aback by high fashion’s attempt at ski gear and they would certainly balk at the audacity of fashion designers setting ski gear prices much higher than that of their own. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel that all designer ski gear is necessarily overpriced or technically sub par. Just look at Indigo/Bogner. This a great example of a German ski company that produces fashionable, yet state-of-the-art skis and snowboards. Let’s face it though, there’s something to be said about someone hitting the slopes in a pair of ski goggles encrusted with 2,500 Swarovski crystals. There are boundaries that even some Eastern Europeans wouldn’t cross, or so one would hope.
Instead of going it alone, it would have been nice to have seen more collaboration between the reputable ski gear companies and the high fashion labels. Something along the lines of Ducati Motors and their collaboration with Burton Snowboards to create a limited edition snowboard. The best of Italian motorcycle design meets the industry leader in snowboards gear to create a beautifully designed and supremely functional snowboard. Definitely on the right track with that concept. I should know, I bought one for myself and love it.
Please visit my Facebook page and judge for yourself. Are these high fashion ski gear designs cool or tacky? Let me know what you think.