Mountain Mayhem: Mountain Rides
Ralph Lauren Aspen hosted a book signing and in-store, apres-ski reception on Saturday, April 8, for “Mountain Rides: Vintage Vehicles & Tales of the Wild West,” the second coffee table book from John and Whitney Annetti. To celebrate, several of the vehicles from the book were lined up out front of the store for photo ops. Guests also enjoyed browsing, buying books, and having them signed as well as bites from chef Greg Topper.
Whitney and John first met on opening day eight years ago on top of Aspen Mountain and got married last year. She grew up in Aspen and graduated from Aspen High School; her family now lives in Carbondale. John is from the Boston area and founded Johnny Vacay, a lifestyle apparel brand.
While they’re often on the road for projects and travels or living on the East Coast, they regularly return to the Roaring Fork Valley to visit friends and family. They also now run their company together, creating books, apparel, and photography, as well as self-publish their books, with Whitney as author and John as photographer.
They launched their first coffee table book in 2021, “Beach Rides: Time Machines for Modern Day Escapists,” about cars and stories from Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket — John’s neck of the woods. It was an unexpected success, which led them to bring the concept to Whitney’s home turf in the mountains.
For this book, they chronicled 20 stories about mountain locals and their vintage 4x4s, organized by decade of the vehicle starting in the 1940s and spanning to the 1990s and shot all out West in Aspen, Jackson Hole, Telluride, Crested Butte, and Steamboat Springs. Nine of the 20 stories feature Aspen locals: Chris Bendon (former Aspen city planner for 20 years), Nathan Mohrman (Whitney’s classmate from Aspen High School and on the book’s cover), Lorelei Baldogo (RL store manager), Judy Collins (of McCabe Ranch), Charley Podolak (a 50+ year Aspenite), Jeff Groom (cowboy, Snowmass Creek Outfitters), Carl Buckingham, Billy Weisman, and Karen Sahr.
RL is the exclusive retailer for Mountain Rides until June 1, and then after that, it will open to all retailers. For this edition, “we launched exclusively with Ralph Lauren online and in stores nationally and are currently stocked in all of their ‘home’ stores (NYC Flagship store on Madison Ave., The Hamptons, Palm Beach, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, Beverly Hills, and Aspen),” Whitney noted.
Now they’re crisscrossing the coast of California for the next five months in an RV camper to capture content for their third book, “Surf Rides,” being shot in California, Hawaii, and Baja. They’ll document their journey with behind-the-scenes footage of making the surf book on YouTube. Follow along @JohnnyVacay and on Instagram @JohnnyVacay! johnnyvacay.com