When a vintage ski jacket in a Swedish mountain town caught the eye of Louis Joseph, he knew he had found his calling. An avid alpine and telemark skier since the age of five, Joseph adored the knitwear jacket for its nostalgic features, which set it apart from the abundance of Gore-Tex ski apparel on the market. Deciding he could keep the garment’s timeless design but improve on its functionality, he started making plans for a premium alpine sportswear line, gathering anecdotes and feedback about classic ski wear and mountain lifestyles from around the world. Ten years later, Alps & Meters was born.
Joseph’s Boston-based company launched its direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform last November. Its first collection comprised of the Men’s Shawl Collar Jacket, Classic Pom Hat, and Alpine Winter Collar. The jacket borrows from the Swedish garment that started it all, with essential upgrades: the traditional shawl collar is backed with full-grain leather for wind protection; the dense 100% lambswool exterior is applied with a water repellent nano coating, the interior body with a windproof membrane; waterproof zippers and utility pockets were added to the jacket, and much more.
Each item by Alps & Meters is created according to the standards of their Forged Performance philosophy, which marries classic garment craftsmanship and natural materials with contemporary technologies. The brand is especially popular among ski veterans, who appreciate the maximum on-mountain fit and protection, but the products’ stylish look and use of natural fabrics make them great for everyday winter wear as well.
Their second collection, which will be unveiled during the Fall/Winter 2015 season, expands their range to meet the demand by customers for pants and mid-layer knitwear options. The three new styles that will arrive later this year are the wool herringbone Alpine Snow Trousers, the Alpine Anorak made from British Millerain waxed canvas, and the traditional half-zip ski Alpine Guide Sweater – all of which complement the original jacket and accessories. Their products are available through their website, but plans are in place for pop-up shops in select locations. Someday, Alps & Meters hopes to open retail stores in mountain resort towns in New England, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, bringing their unique performance outerwear directly to the winter sports enthusiasts.
Photos via Alps & Meters