Denmark designers take a renegade approach to the creation of fashion skiwear

Every industry has one—a renegade whose approach is more revolutionary than the rest, who sees the big picture from a new and oft opposing angle. In ski wear, that renegade is SOS.

SOS designs are inspired by Scandinavian history. They are understated and subtle, with the use of blacks and grays.

This Scandinavian ski brand (SOS = Sportswear of Sweden) has been on the scene since the mid-1980s, but was purchased two seasons ago by two out-of-the-box thinkers, Anita Heske (lead designer) and Ole Damm (CEO), a couple from Copenhagen whose edgy, slim-fitting, fur-trimmed SOS collections refuse to conform to  “the norm” in skiwear. “Ole doesn’t want to make the same green jacket as everyone else,” explains SOS Director of Communications Marc Fauerby. “He wants to turn the whole process upside down.” Fauerby contends sportswear brands rely on the world’s suppliers of technical fabric to dictate hot trends in ski fashion.

If warm and wickable, waterproof fabrics in apple green and neon pink are what’s spooling off the roll, skiwear brands conform and produce designs using those fabrics. Which may be why, on the ski shop racks each season, there’s a conformity in color. sos-native-big

Not so for SOS, whose Danish mavericks disregard the trends in textiles and start instead with silhouette—first creating a memorable shape for male and female skiers. Design comes first, followed by function, then fabric is found to carry off the vision. “Our first collection under the new ownership was about detail and silhouette,” says Fauerby. “We created skiwear you don’t see every day: tighter, slimmer pants and jackets that reveal more of the feminine in skiing than what’s typically out there on the slopes.”

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2014’s selection of SOS Sportswear—the second with Damm, Heske, and fellow designer Christie Fals at the helm—continue this new tradition. Three lines are launching this fall: Gray Slate, the technical line, is a high-tech mix of cutting-edge, two-three-layer jackets and pants in blacks and grays, featuring advanced breathability and water resistance, plus attention to fit and detail. SOS’s 2014 fashion line, Black Snow, is creating a ton of buzz, melding function with high fashion in strong styles that highlight silhouette.

Fabrics are shiny and smooth, with fur trim, short cuts, and use of down, denim and checks. Both SOS’s latest fashion and technical lines incorporate the same color palette, making it easy for fashion-forward skiers to mix and match. Says Fauerby: “SOS designs are inspired by Scandinavian history. They are understated and subtle, with the use of blacks and grays. It is the opposite thinking of, say, Italian design in which there is a lot of expression and color.”

SOS is carving a space for itself in the ski world as the brand that takes a revolutionary — if edgy — approach. “There’s room for new players like us in the ski industry,” says Fauerby. “There’s a need to do something new. The consumer is ready to look for alternatives — designs that are not cheap but are innovative, and deliver the whole fashion and function package.”

For more on AW2014 Collection by SOS Sportswear, see

For more on SOS in SNOW Magazine, see a profile of Val d’Isere’s Chalet Damm, titled French (Re)Treat in SNOW’s Winter 2013/14 edition.

More on AW2014 SOS UNCHAINED: The cowboy legend was the inspiration for this campaign. It encircles a mindset and a creative force that shapes the way we think and act. The day the cowboys rode in and walked into the saloon was the day SOS pursued their ultimate desire to reimagine the future of mulitfunctional ski wear. This campaign honors the half-real, half-mythological symbol of the American West – the cowboy – the riders in the sky.