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Ski Fashion 2012: Columbia Ups Their Game With Style – Brave Ski Mom

Fashion Week. London. Paris. Milan. How about Park City? Well, it wasn’t a week, but it was an evening. And there was a runway and I was with the media. You know, you’ve seen pictures of people like us — sitting at the edge of the runway in Paris, next to Madonna and Gwyneth. Intently peering at the styles, scribbling notes and sipping champagne. Sure, you have. Here’s the real story, fresh from The Canyons in Park City, Utah.

 

 

Columbia’s Fall 2012 Launch

In December, I was in Park City with about 30 other editors from the world of snowsports, hiking and backpacking and outdoor gear. These are people who know gear. They know the numbers, the data, the materials needed to keep anyone warm and dry. Me? I know what I like in terms of color and style. While the gear-heads were dazzled by Columbia’s emerging technology, I was dazzled by color.

Haute Couture?

If you’ve thought of Columbia outerwear as dowdy or plain, think again. I have watched Columbia’s Omni-Heat line for women for two years and I’m continually impressed with the flattering shapes and designs Columbia is creating. Where their women’s coats used to look like men’s coats, only smaller, they are now cut and styled for a flattering fit. Columbia is using a much improved, and pumped-up, color palette for 2012, as well as subtle patterns and textures in what look like otherwise solid color fabrics.

As for the men’s line, I was blown away. Columbia is using color, design and fabric to create men’s ski clothes that look serious, but fun. These are outdoor technical products for grownups who want to look great. Drawing on a more European look, the men’s coats appear as worthy rivals to brands like Spyder or Descente.

While I clearly didn’t have the best camera for a fashion shoot, these are just a few of the looks that hit the runway.

Columbia focuses on snowsports and trail gear for fall and winter. These styles bridge the gap between the two.
Can you have too many puffy coats? Not when they are in pumped up colors like these.
The Men’s Jacket on the left would look really good with orange (or yellow or bright green or bright blue) ski pants. Just saying…
I love puffy coats (down is so warm) and the contrasting white and black looks great.
Not loving the middle look. Her top looks like pajamas, but I do like the white coat on the right and the Triple Trail shell on the left.
From Columbia’s Trail line. Pacific Crest to the casual boardroom. Who would know the difference?
US Freestyle Ski Team Members Bryon Wilson (Moguls) and Ashley Caldwell (Aerials) wearing their official team jackets, supplied by Columbia.
The trail colors are a bit more subtle — no blaze orange here.

It’s All About Innovation

If you haven’t looked at Columbia in a few years, you’re not alone. Dan Hanson, Columbia’s Vice President of Marketing admitted as much. “We lost our focus,” he… to read more click here!!!

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Colorado's Best Mountain Towns and Ski Resorts