On Saturday, Armani showed off its newly relaunched skiwear line, Neve, at a show in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The line had already been available for purchase for a week, in which time it sold more than $500,000 worth of merchandise.
Armani isn’t the only brand to see dollar signs in the skiwear category. Louis Vuitton, Farm Rio, Woolrich, Pucci and Off-White all introduced skiwear collections in the last three months. It’s a lucrative market, with ski jackets alone projected to reach $2.26 billion in the next eight years.
It’s not unexpected that brands like Louis Vuitton and Armani would enter this category, since skiing has long been associated with the glamorous and wealthy upper crust. But increasingly, brands with more mass appeal are beginning to put out ski collections. Farm Rio, a Brazilian brand known for sunnier, tropical designs, typically retails its dresses and skirts for around $100. Its skiwear is more expensive, with ski pants retailing for around $345 — but that’s still far less than Armani, which sells a ski sweater for close to $2,000.
Farm Rio isn’t just atypical in the ski category for its price. On Instagram, where the brand has been promoting its ski collection through a series of short videos, the brand’s use of bright patterns and colors stands is front and center. It’s a different look than the typical heritage ski brand’s aesthetic of monochrome styles.
DL1961, which sells its signature denim styles for around $100, released a holiday skiwear collaboration with ski brand Perfect Moment in late November. The capsule encompasses multiple jackets and pants, all made from denim yet featuring the waterproof and insulating qualities needed for winter sports. Forty-three-year-old Perfect Moment is also on the more affordable end, with prices ranging from around $300-$500.
In a press release, Jane Gottschalk, creative director of Perfect Moment, said bridging the gap between the high-end world of skiwear and the more mass-appeal of denim was one of the goals of the capsule.
The skiwear trend was already going strong at the beginning of this year, when shopping app Mada reported an increase in skiwear sales by 400%. It’s been helped along by the comeback of the ski resorts themselves, which saw revenue slowly returning throughout 2022 and surpassing pre-pandemic levels by September. The return of travel to destinations like Aspen mean that skiers have a reason to refresh their wardrobes again.
According to Jarah Burke, fashion account director at marketing firm Power Digital, the growth of ski fashion is driven as much by TikTok as it is by the popularity of ski resorts themselves.
“Aside from travel opening up, the rise of combining a pastime or a hobby with a specific style can also be attributed to people not only finding joy in dressing the part, but also being able to document it for socials,” Burke said. “This is particularly prominent on TikTok where people play up the aesthetic side of a hobby. The ‘vibification’ of activities can be a way for a brand to bring new people into its fold in an aspirational manner.”