Creating fully functional outfits for a certain physical activity or sport is always demanding. Yet the real experts in the market can push their know-how to the limits, giving their clients endless options! I have deep admiration for sportswear designers and manufacturers. They are the innovators of the fashion industry! And I’m so excited that French independent freeski label Black Crows launches the “corpus,” the brand’s first collection of technical outerwear. The launch, which signifies the expansion of the previously exclusively ski and pole brand, aligns with the brand’s recent move into the US market.
As Black Crows approaches the 10th anniversary of Black Crows’ first ski (the corvus 196 launched in December 2006) the label proudly announces its first line of technical apparel made for freeride skiing. The first apparel collection consists of a ski jacket and ski pant and two interior layers, gloves and beanies, and represents a point of convergence between the highly technical world of freeriding and the black crows’ aesthetic take on the skier’s anatomy. Designed by talented designer Camille Kunz, in close collaboration with the design agency Yorgo & co and the office team in Chamonix, these two ski ensembles don’t physically resemble black crows’ skis, but they have the same essence: highly technical products with a soupcon of exclusivity.
The idea to expand into outwear didn’t just spring up from nowhere last winter, it had been slowly germinating in Black Crows’ Chamonix office for several seasons. The ski clothing market undeniably already boasts many high quality garments, but at the same time the Black Crows’ high mountain experience proved to that there were technical improvements which could be made and that an outfit which expressed the Black Crows identity could hold its own in the universe of contemporary freeskiing. It’s this identity which, since the birth of Black Crows, has continued to defy the traditional barriers between the mountain and urban worlds and which can now attire you – skis on or off.
“We went for global silhouettes, simple sketches and photographic references which brought a more urban aesthetic. We wanted the different layers to work as well on their own as they do when they’re worn together. And we paid special attention to the patterns, creating several made up from little chevrons” reveals Yorgo Tloupas.
“We were inspired by iconic adventure and mountain clothing, legacies of apparel which has been tried and tested in the mountains, like the parka. And we wanted to mix different worlds and different know-hows like we always do at Black Crows. We collaborated with the best component manufacturers to create a product which is both technical and stylish” adds Camille Jaccoux.
From these starting points the first Black Crows silhouette was born, with jackets inspired by the old-school mountain parka in sober colours and, in stark contrast, very brightly colored ski pants. “We decided that the skier would be easily recognizable from afar with these contrasting tones on their top and bottom halves. In terms of visibility we decided against overbearing logos and having the brand name anywhere visible on the outside of the clothes. We went on the principal that we don’t want to be advertising boards on skis so we chose a more restrained approach. On the other hand we put a lot of details on the inside of the outfits, which gave us a giggle,” explains Camille Jaccoux. One of these special touches is the lining of the padded bomber-style jacket which is printed with the Mont Blanc massif in chevrons. Others include the interior waterproof seaming and the waist drawcord on the corpus jacket which have chevrons printed on them.
The result of this dynamic is an intriguing and subtle collection whose minimalist aesthetic and technical rigor are an exact reflection of the Black Crows spirit. It succeeds in the hunt for synergy between the mountain and urban universes whilst differentiating itself from stereotypical ski clothing. The corpus apparel reflects black crows’ art of contrast: technicality, discretion and a strong identity.
The entire collection from Black Crows is available to shop at www.black-crows.com