Aspen has a patch of terra firma where fashion, form and function meet for the skiing elite.
New from Toni Sailer this season.
Rodeo Drive. Bond Street. The Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. For fashionistas, they are the world’s top stops for luxury shopping.
But for alpine enthusiasts, the only street to know is Durant Avenue in Aspen. In the very shadow of Ajax, perhaps the world’s most iconic ski mountain, sits a collection of independently owned and operated ski shops that set the global standard for offering the finest in ski fashion and high-altitude sliding technology.
Winter warmth for gents from Amundsen.
Just steps from the Gondola, skiers can literally stumble into the Gorsuch Ski Cafe (gorsuch.com) and satiate their thirst while they get 3-D custom-fitted for Swiss-made Heierling ski boots and select new skis. The vibe, a touch European but uniquely Aspen, is augmented by communal tables where guests can sip a glass of wine (Zweigelt, anyone?) between runs while deciding whether a Cuma cashmere helmet or Kask chrome visor helmet best matches their ski style. The shop is curated by Jeff Gorsuch, of the Gorsuch family, whose pedigree in the world of ski fashion is unrivalled with its shops in America’s ski destinations.
The Gorsuch Ski Cafe.
Just across Durant Avenue is the shop that has been synonymous with cutting-edge skiwear and accessories since it opened 34 years ago. Lee Keating and Tom Bower’s Performance Ski (performanceskiaspen.com) has been known by the ski world cognoscenti as the place to launch a brand. Ski styles come and go, but if you want to know what’s next, Performance is your place. “This corner [of Durant and Hunter], directly across from the Aspen Mountain gondola, may be the best place in the world for a ski shop,” Bowers says about the Performance Ski location. The wood-walled luxury and comfort of the shop showcase the best skiwear from Authier, Amundsen and Aztech—a triple-A collection if there ever was one.
Ski fashion from Authier.
Around the corner are Bill Miller and Ted Davenport. These brilliant racers and adventurers themselves have created a modern mountain retail experience for Aspen’s alpine aficionados at Miller Sports Aspen (millersportsaspen.com). The reclaimed barnwood interior offers an authentic feel, while black and chrome accents appropriately showcase the European skiwear from innovative designers like Toni Sailer, Fusalp and Mountain Force. “The last piece of the puzzle is world-class customer service,” Davenport says. These are guys who know both the mountains and their clients’ needs to a T. Miller is also the go-to for the highest-end performance ski rental packages.
Toni Sailer can be found at Aspen’s Miller Sports, led by Bill Miller and Ted Davenport, two racers and adventurers with helpful insight into the latest fashion and gear for skiers this season in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Jeff Robinson’s newly relocated The Ski Shop (theskishopajax.com) provides a clubhouse for those looking for proximity to the mountain. No fashion found here; this is about form and function. Thunderbowl Architects and interior designer Carolynn Heil have created a no-nonsense one-stop shop that has at its heart a new, automated Wintersteiger Scout ski-tuning machine to ensure that skis work efficiently. A locker room with a well-stocked bar is highlighted by gallery-quality prints of the surrounding mountains by photographer Larry Weidel. Robinson is emphatic about the Ski Shop’s raison d’etre, noting, “We wanted to create a ski shop that was full service to all of its customers and locker members. We want people to experience a state-of-the-art ski shop with the best of the best ski-tuning capabilities and gear.”
Photography by: Photos courtesy of Toni Sailer; Amundsen; Gorsuch Ski Cafe; Authier.