Fusalp plants roots in Aspen with storefront and Pucci collab
In a time when it seems like every brand from Apparis to Zara has a skiwear line, legacy brands are upping their game via expansion and high-fashion collaborations.
Seventy-year-old luxury ski brand Fusalp, shorthand for “fuseau from the Alps.” referring to the brand’s famous stirrup ski pants (which it invented), has been a staple of the French and greater European ski set for decades. Founded in 1952 by two tailors from Annecy, Fusalp became well-known for skiwear that married both style and function, their body-conscious, impeccably-cut women’s one-piece ski suits becoming iconic amongst serious and fashionable skiers.
The brand initially gained fame by generations of ski champions who wore Fusalp in international competitions, most notably, the Goitschel sisters at the 1964 Olympic Games in Innsbruck, and Jean-Claude Killy, an Olympic gold medalist in alpine skiing, Grenoble, 1968. And, though the brand and the company grew in Europe, eventually opening more than 50 stores, outside of diehard skiers, it had remained relatively unknown in the North American market.
That’s about to change.
Within the last eight weeks, Fusalp has opened their first two North American stores: the first on New York’s Madison Avenue and the second, less than 10 days ago, in Aspen. Until now, the only place you could purchase Fuslap in town was at Miller Sports, but now the brand is operating its own brick and mortar in a temporary location at 406 E. Hopkins Ave., next door to the Isis, until its permanent location on Hyman is move-in ready this spring.
The boutique is offering their bestselling men’s and women’s city and ski wear and features Fusalp’s latest limited-edition collaboration with Italian fashion house Pucci that is only available in two locations in North America: here and New York.
“For the 70th anniversary of Fusalp, I wanted to convey the enthusiasm and joy embedded in our brand through its history. Only Emilio Pucci could bring these vibrant colours and iconic prints that
convey such incomparable energy,” said Fuslap creative director, Mathilde Lacoste.
These days, when most people think of Pucci, they visualize vividly printed silk jersey dresses, blouses and swimsuits worn by women vacationing in Capri and other warm climates.
Pucci, however, plays a significant role in the history of luxury ski wear.
Born to an aristocratic family in Naples, the brand’s founder and namesake, Emilio Pucci, was a champion skier as a young man. At age 17, he traveled to Lake Placid to ski with the Italian national team, and, in 1936, he competed in the Berlin Winter Olympics. His career in fashion started somewhat unexpectedly when he designed vibrantly colored one-piece skisuits for himself and his girlfriend to wear while in Zermatt, Switzerland.
The year was 1947, and, at the time, there was no such thing as ready-to-wear ski gear, which made the suits that much more desirable and launched his fashion career. He continued to make and redesign his signature ski suit well into the 1960s, creating a fabric that hugs the body to make skiers more aerodynamic.
Given both Fuslap and Pucci’s long history and passion for marrying form and function in skiwear, this collaboration is a natural fit, with the collection’s tagline being “When Glamour Chic Meets Technical Elegance.”
The collection includes eight pieces in three main looks, each characterized by three ranges of different color prints, including three emblematic and Fusalp bestsellers — the Gardena jacket, the Elancia and Belalp ski pants, and the Maria ski suit — with all-over Pucci prints. The apres-ski offerings include six pieces in warm knit and two padded ponchos. A selection of accessories in Pucci colors: hat, scarf, neckerchief, earmuffs, and a polycarbonate ski helmet complete this collection.
Aspen’s history with both skiing and fashion provides an ideal backdrop for the brand.
Olivier Bamberger, the chief commercial officer at Fuslap, stated, “We chose Aspen because it is an exceptional, world-renowned, and authentic ski-resort destination, catering to a strong domestic community as well as international travelers looking for excellence in terms of ski practice, hotels, restaurants, and luxury shopping.”
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