Sunday, July 31, 2011


Sixth Avenue, NYC

Amazingly someone got a parking permit???----

The famous Votre Vu Airstream parked itself right on Sixth Ave/51st-52nd Street---and conveniently introduced media types to the travel friendly version of the cleverly packaged moisturizing/nourishing lip balm on top, rich hand creme on the bottom-Bébé Duette...

Now available paired with either clear or raspberry moisturizing lip balm...(nice texture too---with healing/soothing coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter) the lightly scented Tarte D'Amande -almond pie nutrient embedded hand cream--- that seeps right in and protects with sun filters--- and healing Jojoba, Sunflower, Grape Seed oils---

No wonder there was this steady stream of beauty editors from major publications---stopping by.

FYI: all agreed----great gift to give the gals at wedding showers etc.

$39.50 for the tinted Luxe Lips Framboise two pack
-J. Ecochard-
Available online.


Mandarin Oriental Hotel, NYC


words/images Judith Ecochard

The annual Snow Sports trade show is on our list--so we were glad for the invite to see some of the collections that exhibit at that January event, here in the Big Apple.

We actually never heard of the New York City based Transpack-makers of ski/snowboard/gear haulers with the motto "Save Your Energy For The Slopes."

XT MOGUL PRO Boots, Gear and inner zip compartments -back vertical zip -extra access
BUT Honestly, we use the EDGE lightweight and durable bag they gave out--- to haul all our triathlon transition stuff ---because it really is convenient, easy to carry- and we can pack in a lot. 

Upper top compartment of fleece/mesh- roomy and protective enough for goggles and personal items

Trapezoid bag shape makes hauling easier

Basically it's so comfortable and sturdy is because of its Isosceles Storage System™---in all the boot backpacks---with 2 huge side pockets for boots with air/water drainage grommets (ideal for sneakers/bikes shoes and flip flops, off-season), and a large water resistant central compartment that accommodates a helmet and plenty of gear. It's easy to haul around a lot of weight--- the bulk and pounds are diverted to the sides---aided by attached padded padded shoulder straps, a waist belt and sternum straps some in some models--- and an ergonomic back part (completely padded in the high end TRV Mogul Pro $199.95).

PLUS: Many internal pockets and compartments---like the handy top lid. Double locking self repairing nylon coil zippers too. 

Black Skull Bag Limited Edition-a mini me version is available too
For Fall 2011---limited edition prints ($89.95)...perfect mash-up of style and function.
Sunrise limited edition print

INFO: Prices for boot packs---start at $59.95-$199.95 for the luxe TRV Mogul Pro made out of TPU tarpaulin---super tough and lightweight---with added features like handy stowaway compartments for external straps,,,and comfort padded grip handles™

Next  up was a demo of the Maui Jim sunglasses----that seemed to enliven colors ("they squint for you") with its single gradient lenses. Imagine seeing every single blade of grass on the putting green...there goes that excuse.

Zeal Optics Snow Goggles --- rightly boasted about its Transcend GPS collection with two new models of snow goggles that feature advanced optics for 99% glare-free vision in assorted light conditions---AND a head mounted display technology that the wearer sees in an interior LCD display...for real-time access to performance stats-that can be later downloaded, shared on social media and overlaid on Google Earth Maps.

The Latest:

Transcend GPS 2.0 series  Headlined by the Spherical Polarized and Photochromic goggles that cut glare and automatically adjust to light levels...and a wide, adjustable vision screen for a complete custom fit--- (in Carbon Matte Back,Carbon Matte White, Carbon Matte Gold).
($399-$549) demo there for us but apparently a super revolutionary goggle that's even more advanced---and works with smartphone apps too for all those stats one can't live without. PRICE TBA for this one.

RECCO® is an advanced, passive rescue technology system----whereby RECCO detectors pick up harmonic radar signals from a pinky size tab that sends embedded in over 250 brands of clothing/helmets/gear---

Everyone we know that is a serious skier/snowboarder has jackets with this life -saving reflectors ---PLUS receiver units that company gives away for free to police/rescue units. (Note: the military pays for theirs).

Apparel with RECCO have their logo discreetly on it

Basically a RECCO tab looks like a tiny pod that's attached

FYI: It never launders out-we asked the CEO/President Sven Sandahl...and this system is a worldwide standard....that's so precise, it can pinpoint someone buried in an avalanche within 2 inches!!!

"GPS systems are great," Sandahl noted----- (that would be something like SPOT Personal Tracker)...."but there is not satellite coverage everywhere."

Particularly in the mountains--- buried under 3 feet of snow.
Recco unit that picks up a signal/radar

FYI: The R9 detectors also pick up avalanche beacons worn by the backcountry powderheads....or should be.


The catwalk was a nice way of seeing the highlights from the apparel manufacturers.

First up was the high end performance lifestyle and technological apparel collection KJUS, founded by the Norwegian World Cup winner/Olympic Champion LASSE KJUS. 

Using the most cutting edge fabrics and insulation---that includes PrimaLoft® for down like warmth that's water resistant, c_change™ by Schoeller Textiles for the ultimate moisture management, four way stretch materials for freedom of movement, and waterproof New Zealand wool-developed with Loro Piana...

KJUS stands by its "5-Finger Philosophy...(of) Innovation & Design, Grip & Fit, Protection, Temperature Control & Protection Against The Cold and Quality."

Very stylish too---and we did not even see the lifestyle collection. Craftsmanship, functionality, high tech---we would 'slot' this label in the very luxe French label, made in Italy, Moncler category...with better values and more of a "discreet elegance" to the design---and not as commonly seen. A plus, IMHO.

SKEA is a Vail Colorado based mountain style brand that makes activewear (SHIMMIES)---including base, yoga worthy or wear alone tops and bottoms (that look and fit terrific)...and technically performing apparel that can double as apres ski, and city worthy outerwear.

We first met them at a tradeshow two years ago...and thought the design elements very fashiony.

Prime goose down, Thinsulate Flex FX insulation, 100% merino wool, and waterproof nylon microfibers, wahsable suede and plush leather--- are some of the top of the line materials used. And the print that crops up in linings, on tops etc----is taken from a Nepalese rock garden with the stones carved with the words of the Tibetan Buddhist common mantra (prayer) "Om Mani Padme Hum."

Good thing that fur we liked the best is faux fabulous.

New to us...Ortovox USA that makes Merino Wool  and Merino Wool lined, functional separates----with merino wool acclaimed for its warmth, durability, comfort next to skin feel...and moisture management properties---naturally!
The Ortovox selections include base, mid and top layers including these techy vests, climb worthy pants, and jackets....

PLUS: ALSO---avalanche receivers, safety kits, and backpacks offered.

Boulder, Colorado based NEVE Designs makes really beautiful knit sweaters and accessories ---- fashion/function casual wear for après ski or everyday. 

We thought the vintage flavored sweaters the best----and sure they are selling well. Other nordic style classic contemporary prints...super comfy, never go out of style...Neve Designs are made from breathable cotton, silk and ultra fine Merino wool fibers. Plus, the shapes are fitted, not bulky---with the knits very refined----so we can see wearing out and about in an urban or countrified jaunt.

Völkl strutted its skis/gear down the catwalk with Marker---also a bindings/ski maker.

We assume the clothes featured on the models came from the other apparel makers present....

NILS SKIWEAR founded thirty years ago by the swedish Nils Andersen----is a women's only activewear company...that has always embraced the new tech textiles (like waterproof Gore Tex)---and prides themselves on the best fitting skiwear out there...coupled with excellent customer service. Bravo to that.

As with most collections---we loved the colors too.


DALE OF NORWAY was established in Norway in 1879!!!!

Ecologically aware...the company sources its wool locally, spins its own yarns-including its proprietary Knitshell material laminated with Windstopper--- and its beautiful designs are knitted---in the village of Dale---on the west coast of Norway. WOW.
Accessories, Merino wool sweaters, technical weatherproof sweaters and jackets, all offer superior insulation.

And style.

The sec we saw these refined ensembles walk the runway, we thought to ourselves, very German Alps---and as it turns out, Dannenmann Pure is founded by the creative Petra Dannenmann---and is based out of Stuggart.

The fashion line for women----might be considered conservative---but we approve of the clean lines, perfectly seamed knits that manage to keep the wearer warm, but stylishly feminine too.

No surprise this label sells well in ski resort areas accomplishment for a label founded in 2009.

This exhibit for two labels Parajumpers and Hell is for Heroes (yup, named after the Steve McQueen classic movie)---- was perpetually packed----and we think the eye catching emblems/insignias/patches hit just the right note for those wanting to a bit of flash with their warmth.

PJ's / Parajumpers---is inspired by the elite rescue military squad, based out of Alaska...that the designer Massimo Rossetti ---met up with while on vacation in a bar of course. Highly technical outerwear too---

Hell is for Heroes founded in 1984, is a modern clothing brand---chic and weather worthy of what ever Mother Nature can toss your way. 

Sold worldwide at the major sporting goods stores worldwide....the details are stunning, fashion styling, solid brass buttons, flattering fits what we expect from a high end designer label but outfits we would actually wear outdoors...

Top of the jacket---collar closes with the same metal hook as parajumpers

Parajumpers ski jacker, snazzy on the outside, does not stint in features...with detachable down filled linings,  inner zipped pockets, powder belts that snap shut to keep the snow out and the wear really warm, drawstring waist

Outer multi cargo pockets too---zipped/versatile for iPods, GPS devices, mobiles
Priced accordingly, the line is available in USA, Canada and western Europe.

MAJOR BONUS POINTS---Snow Magazine---aka Life/Lifts/Luxury and Rockport---for the shoes.