Designer Dialogues: Diane Boyer – Skea
SNOW caught up with Skea designer and owner, Diane Boyer, to get the inside scoop on what makes SKEA a standout in the ski world. Diane Boyer grew up in Greenwich Ct., and Stratton Mtn Vt., but now resides in Vail, Colorado. A passionate skier from day one, Diane was a junior national freestyle skiing champion, specializing in moguls. She also sailed competitively on Long Island Sound in the summers and made the trek to Stratton Mountain, Vermont every weekend in the winter where she was one of the founding members of the Stratton Freestyle Team. Diane never did the ski academy thing; instead she attended Miss Porter’s School where she studied hard, played field hockey and lacrosse, and skied at Mt. Southington, CT every winter afternoon. Then it was off to Dartmouth where Diane played varsity field hockey and lacrosse and competed on the pro mogul tour during winter months.—Diane actually began her career with SKEA as the New England salesperson while in college. Her foray into clothing design was truly “on the job learning” The original designer for SKEA, was Jocelyn Boyer, Diane’s mom. She brought an artistic approach to designing ski wear. Diane’s design training grew with experience—fabrics and colors are Diane’s forte, combined with knowing what a female skier really wants and needs in a ski garment. On mountain testing is a perk!
Diane finds inspiration everywhere, but mostly in art, nature, travel, and fashion trends. In 2010 she traveled to base camp of Everest with her daughter Jocelyn. It was a mother-daughter trip of a lifetime, AND the inspiration for the SKEA 2011 collection. They came home from the Khombu region of Nepal where they discovered the jewel of compassion in the mantra, “ Om Mani Padme Hum”. Diane explains “It helps us toward perfection in the 6 realms of existence: generosity, ethics, patience, diligence, renunciation, and wisdom”. Centuries old rock art repeats this mantra which is carved into the rock. SKEA embraced this mantra with an exclusive “rock art” print in respect for the history of the Everest region. Diane describes her signature style as clean, chic, and colorful. She feels blessed with her life as a business owner in the mountains. She works hard and plays hard and feels like there’s never enough time to get it all done! She is always on the go, teaching skiing, doing 10th Mountain hut trips-winter and summer, cycling, hiking with her dog, and doing back country horseback trips with her friends. She is part of the huge mountain community that moved to Vail for the winters, but stayed for the summers. She says that the only problem with running a company in the mountains is that it sometimes gets in the way of her playtime, but she makes getting out on the mountain a priority and she is working when she’s product testing! Diane is a leader and innovator in the industry. She was the first female chairman of the board of SIA ( Snowsports Industries America). This is significant in a heavily male dominated industry.
SKIING THE WORLD
Skiing Vail is Diane’s passion, she knows every nook and cranny, so skiing in Vail is pure pleasure and mental relaxation for her. She also loves Val d’Isere for the challenging skiing and French cuisine, Lech for the charm and gemeutlichkeit, Taos for the steeps and Sun Valley for the long fast groomers. Her favorite après spot is Sarah’s Bar at the Christiana in Vail—fun, friendly and lots of ski buddies. Her passion for skiing has been transmitted to her two daughters. They both grew up ski racing; the race training left a strong imprint on them. Skiing is an integral part of their life. Diane says, “It’s our passion for skiing and for the mountains that makes SKEA what it is. Follow your passion to your dreams is a personal and SKEA mantra. Her daughter Katharine has a passion for speed skiing which led her to her dream of making the U.S. Ski Team where she’s on the Speed Team. Everyone at SKEA skis, and skis well. This is how they know what works and why. We all believe that girls can look like girls, but ski like guys (just with more panache).
SKEA SKI WEAR COLLECTION 2014-15:
This season, the best SKEA pieces are ones that transition well from slope to street chic. The ANNA down coat in luxe Tahitian pearl with fur trim or the EFFIE jacket in champagne with silver look to be hits in both venues as they are cozy and soft—perfect for the Passeggiata in Cortina, blustery walks down the avenues of New York, or the boulevards of Paris. The super sexy SARI black textured stretch pant goes well from slope to street too! This year’s new SKEA 2014-2015 collection is great for skiers and snow lovers, as well as for ladies who love to stay warm and “ahead of the fashion curve”. One can always spot a SKEA by the silhouette. It has a clean classic look without all the logos and screaming patches. This season’s must have item is their “over the top” fur TZARINA hat in chinchilla. Born and based in Colorado, SKEA is designed by women who ski. Since 1972, founder Diane Boyer’s passion for fashion, the mountains, and an active lifestyle is evident in every thread of her SKEA line. Beautifully crafted stylish performance wear, for on slope and off, and for those who share the passion… “Follow your passion, it will lead to your purpose” Oprah Winfrey.