Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
The 2021-’22 winter season is going to be a big one for Aspen Snowmass. The ski resort, which consists of four different mountains in western Colorado, is celebrating 75 years of operation. In honor of this anniversary, the brand will see a renovation of its iconic logo and, for the first time ever, launch a ski apparel brand tailored to its employees and recreational skiers alike.
The new Aspen Snowmass apparel line features new uniforms for all on-snow employees, including ski patrol, professional ski instructors, lifties, and more. The uniforms, which Aspen Snowmass has been developing for more than two years, are all custom-built from the ground up to fit each employee’s specific needs. High-end performance ski apparel for the general public—which will be under the brand name ASPENX—will be available this year as well.
“After listening to feedback from our employees regarding their on-mountain needs, we knew we could apply their expertise to purpose-building an apparel system for the four mountains of Aspen Snowmass,” says Erin Sprague, Chief Brand Officer at Aspen Snowmass. “These pieces were inspired and designed by some of the best and most experienced professionals in the ski industry, and tested in iconic settings from the Highland Bowl to the Buttermilk Superpipe.”
“By shifting away from a typical, every-resort-does-it partnership path, we were able to take full control and get our hands dirty at every step—and misstep—of the process,” continues Lauren Myatt, Product Line Manager for Aspen Snowmass. “It allowed us to build something that truly represents our experience.”
Myatt spent seven years working at Obermeyer before joining Aspen Snowmass in 2015. Part of her role at Obermeyer involved being the women’s merchandiser, where she first started designing ski apparel.
“What I learned the most during my time at Obermeyer, and repeatedly from Klaus, was the importance of fit,” she says.
SKI was able to get an exclusive first look at the line, including the full kits for ski patrol, ski instructors, and the ASPENX consumer line. All of the jackets, pants, and bibs are made with Bluesign-approved Gore-Tex material, signaling Aspen Snowmass’ continued commitment to sustainability and a clean environment with its new outerwear line. The midlayers, meanwhile, are made with industry-leading Primaloft Gold insulation.
“We had to go top-of-the-line [for insulation],” says Myatt. “Our biggest sustainability move was building a more superior product/uniform than what we had before. By increasing each piece’s useful life, we reduce our global footprint.”
The extended life and durability factor are very noticeable for the shell jacket and pants. SKI staff immediately noticed that the face fabric—or the clothing material on the exterior of the jacket—is a bit stiff compared to many of the supple fabrics found in most of the apparel products currently slated to be in the 2022 Gear Guide. But, if this means the uniforms and consumer line will last longer, then it’s a valid trade-off.
Additionally, the fit is more trim and less baggy than many of this season’s coming options, but it’s a sharp-looking cut. And we all know looking good is an important element to skiing in Aspen.
“Our guests often ask our Ski & Snowboard School Professionals about their gear, so we launched the inaugural ASPENX Ajax Line,
Get the most from SKI this winter: Join Outside+ Today
Not unlike a visit to any of the four ski areas, it’s the details that really matter for the entire Aspen Snowmass apparel line. The jacket for ski instructor pros features an oversized aspen leaf logo that’s instantly recognizable. Despite the clean look on the outside, all of the jackets have exciting interiors based on an abstract map of Aspen created by Paula Crown. This ties into the ski area’s Art in Unexpected Places program.
And the small text on the tags, powder skirt, and patrol suspenders is especially important for tourists, locals, employees, and anyone who spends a day skiing at Aspen Snowmass.
“Inside the garments, we subtly remind the user of our brand promise: Return Transformed,” says Myatt.
“The coolest part is the fact that a ski resort was able to pull this off,” says Myatt. “We are resort operators, so building outerwear is not in our immediate wheelhouse. It’s cool that we were given the opportunity, money, and trust to do it in the first place. “
Skiers anxious to check out the product will have a chance to do so at a new ASPENX storefront in Gondola Square at the base of Ajax this winter. The consumer line, which features the Ajax Jacket, Pant, and Insulator, is only available in black and there will be a limited inventory available for the entire season.
More Ski Apparel: How Well Does Sugar Cane Perform as a Technical Skiing Fabric?