Urban Alpine Ski Boutiques

Urban Alpine Ski Boutiques

Life in the big city can be trying for those who dream of powder and big mountains when the snow begins to fly. Many find solace on the internet, transporting themselves to the Alpine world via social media or YouTube. For others lucky enough to live in some of the world’s premier shopping cities, credit card swipes at ski shops are often the next best thing to clocking vertical. Fortunately for these folks, some of the best urban alpine ski boutiques are found in the world’s most urban locales.

DESCENTE – TOKYO

Descente Tokyo
Descente Tokyo

Smack dab in the heart of Tokyo’s vibrant Shibuya district is where you’ll find chic Japanese ski wear giant Descente’s flagship store. Life outside this 5,700 square foot Godzilla-sized boutique may be bustling at a frenetic pace, but inside it’s a hanging Zen garden blooming with floating ski jackets delicately suspended from the ceiling.

Designed by architect Jo Nagasaka, Descente Tokyo is one of the snow world’s most soulful commercial spaces. Reflecting the brand’s clean, understated, tech-forward lines architectural touches masterfully interpret what is nothing short of a Japanese shrine to ski & sportswear in a minimalist, ultra-modern industrial shell of concrete and steel.

Fans of Descente will find almost everything the brand produces at this location. While snow worshippers visiting the Japanese Alps during the winter months can pick up the latest mountain apparel offerings, the store also carries sportswear from Descente’s Allterrain line, as well as pieces from its youthful Pause collection, designed by Ryota Iwai.

To make this shop even more perfect, especially for those of us unaccustomed to in-store traditional teahouses, Descente Tokyo has its very own Susumuya tea-café where shoppers can coif some of the country’s finest Sencha green tea from the Kagoshima district, and even buy a teapot or two to take home!

 

ROSSIGNOL – PARIS

Rossignol Paris Boutique
Rossignol Paris Boutique

 

Fashionistas from around the globe have been transfixed by an elegant section of Paris located on the left bank of the Seine ever since French-style god Yves Saint Laurent immortalized the district by naming his first ready-to-wear shop “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche” back in the 1960s.

So, it’s no wonder the newest and sportiest Rive Gauche resident is iconic French ski brand Rossignol, whose eye-catching 2,600 square foot boutique has been bringing the mountains to the masses of the French capital since opening last fall.

Located on Boulevard des Capucines, one of the city’s four grand boulevards, Rossignol’s newest ski shop is a reflection of the label’s evolution from Alpine to transalpine, as it expands into the street wear market with brick-and-mortar shops beyond its traditional resort settings.

The store’s massive two-floor windows are a mélange of Alpine eye candy and chic French fashion, luring shoppers into a commercial space the company aptly describes as “dynamic and diversified” – a full range of Rossignol-branded clothes and accessories, from technical equipment to ski wear and après-ski to sport-chic and urban wear.

Decorated with weathered larch wood, slate stone and rugged black iron, the store’s beating heart is an elegant lounge area with a fully equipped bar where you can sip drinks while dreaming of la vie des neiges high up in the French Alps, wearing your new Jean Charles de Castelbajac-designed Rossignol ski suit while admiring the powder skis you just purchased as you après-shop with a glass of Bordeaux in your hand!

FUSALP – LONDON

With ski racks as display shelves, and an in-shop gondola to try on shoes and boots, Fusalp – one of the world’s most storied luxury ski wear brands – has turned an 1,100 square foot shopping space in London’s chic Chelsea district into a retail resort for ski connoisseurs.

The brand’s newly opened Sloane Square boutique, just a stone’s throw from fashion giants Chanel and Louis Vuitton, features the French ski fashion house’s vast collection of ski wear for men, women and children – and yes, the label’s legendary body-hugging stirrup pants and one-piece combinaison ski suits as well.

Since its inception in 1952, Fusalp has built its brand on a foundation of “heritage and innovation”. According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Fauvet, Fusalp’s new flagship London shop is the perfect marriage of both concepts, a cutting-edge urban ski boutique with whispers of Alpine memories, masterfully constructed from glass, copper and exotic timber.

“The traction we’ve experienced to date with the UK clientele in ski resorts and online has been highly encouraging, and gave us great confidence to enter the British market with our own London store,” said Fauvet.

“This also encouraged us to extend our collection beyond ski to adapt our wardrobe to people’s contemporary lifestyle on the slopes, as well as in the city. We see the UK as a great potential bridge to the US market in the future.”

 

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