NILS Continues to Build on 35 Years of Ski Wear Style and Performance
It’s NILS signature look: Fitted jackets and pants for women in smooth, stretchable fabrics, all in bright, pop-out colors—the kind of sporty elegance the company has excelled at for more than 35 years.
NILS ski wear began on the kitchen table of Nils and Nancy Andersson. In the mid-1970s, Swedish-born Nils began taking custom orders for men’s poplin shells from customers at a ski shop in Southern California. Nils and his wife, Nancy, would design and sew the shells in their home—a bespoke service that soon became extremely popular. Eventually the duo turned solely to the production of women’s alpine apparel, taking care to craft jackets and pants that were both fashionable and functional—a quality commitment the NILS brand continues today.
In 2014 with the Anderssons still at the helm, NILS took stock of their designs and decided on a shift—a new approach to style, technology, and craftsmanship that would see an increase in the quality of hardware, four-way stretch fabrics, authentic fur trimming, and the use of color blocking in vivid prints and shades such as watermelon, lemon, mint, and ocean.
The look is best exemplified in the ns20, a jacket and pant combo NILS Marketing Manager Lane Fowler calls one of the brand’s bestsellers. With the industry’s highest waterproof rating, 3M taping, and reflective strips that come in handy on the slopes in flat light or while night skiing, the ns20 is technically superior. But it’s this fashion line’s new color schemes that are especially alluring: color and print blocking has been used so that women can mix and match jackets and pants in at least four different ways—a feature Fowler says is getting a great deal of positive feedback from NILS customers.
There’s been a departure in the silhouette of NILS apparel as well. “Fit has been one of our biggest changes this year,” explains Fowler. “In the past our fit has been more relaxed. We’ve gone back to our roots in our alpine women’s ski brand, fitting skiwear specially to the curves of women’s bodies—in this line you’ll see more jackets with that fitted nature.”
NILS line of 2015/16 skiwear is currently in development. Fowler promises the brand will build on the feedback it’s receiving on the company’s new direction. We’ll see more sleek cuts, fun colors, superior hardware, stretch fabrics, and mix-and-match capabilities. The brand is especially excited about employing a new, highly advanced quilting method that uses heat compression instead of stitching – a technique that will no longer compromise waterproofing.
It’s one more assurance NILS will strive to ensure fashion meets function, style meets performance.