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Austria in Aspen
Sari Anne Tuschman | Photo: Ashley Davis Tilly | December 10, 2013
Sportalm finds a home for its inaugural shop-in-shop boutique inside Stefan Kaelin’s new cooper avenue space.
Leave it to Stascha and Stefan Kaelin to breathe new life into on-mountain style this winter. The tastemaking twosome—longtime proprietors of Aspen’s Stefan Kaelin (416 E. Cooper Ave., 970.925.7844, stefankaelin.com)—has moved their enterprise to a new, grander Cooper Avenue space and opened a shop-in-shop for Austria-based ready-to-wear and skiwear brand Sportalm. Intent on growing its foothold in the United States, the European label singled out Aspen as the home for its first dedicated boutique stateside—the only place in town Sportalm is sold. The move, you might say, is a perfect fit. After all, adds the brand’s chief designer (and daughter of its owner and CEO), Ulli Ehrlich, “Kitzbühel and Aspen share many attributes. Both cities are internationally renowned, have world-class recreation and focus on quality—the ideal places for a global brand.”
For the Kaelins, Sportalm “fits perfectly with our vision of a contemporary store. … The design is intricate with a fantastic fit. It reflects great care, fashion-forwardness and beauty—exactly what we like and appreciate.” Sportalm, in turn, appeals to wearers for fashion and function; its skiwear features a special stretch fabric that’s both breathable and ultrawaterproof, for blistery Bowl hikes.
Also making headlines is the relaunch of Sportalm’s men’s line this season, to coincide with the label’s 60th anniversary. “We decided it is the right time to create something new,” says head of men’s design, Roland Reinmüller. “The collection embodies the typical Sportalm men’s look: masculine, laid-back, authentic and exclusive.” As for the vast female options, look for pieces both powder-perfect and appropriate for dinner at The Nell, with flattering cuts and vibrant prints, plus fur (authentic and faux) and rhinestone accents among the trademark details. Adds Ehrlich, “We adapt the glamour and style of the fashion pieces to the skiwear and, conversely, the function and quality to the fashion collection.”
As Sportalm continues to evolve, so too do the Kaelins, who understand that innovation is necessary in the ski and snowboard industry. “Change is a constant in the world we live in, and we go with the punches and don’t stand still,” Stascha says. “We need to change and adjust constantly to continue to grow.”
Spoken like a true trendsetter.