ELHO, the iconic skiwear brand known for its groundbreaking designs in the 1970s, is poised for a comeback. This revival, spearheaded by the visionary art director Donald Schneider, marks a new era in the intersection of fashion and functionality.
Schneider, the mastermind behind the celebrated H&M and Karl Lagerfeld collaboration, aims to reinvigorate ELHO by infusing contemporary style with the brand’s inherent rebellious streak. “Our idea is that all the products are functional, but they look so cool you’ll want to wear them in the city as a style statement,” Schneider states, highlighting his vision for ELHO’s future.
ELHO’s resurgence is marked by its fusion of style and performance, a concept that has become increasingly relevant in today’s fashion landscape. Schneider brings his expertise to ELHO, aiming to blend the brand’s rebellious spirit with contemporary aesthetics. This approach is exemplified in the brand’s performance jackets and “jet pants,” which are already catching the eye of Swiss freestyle champion Andri Ragettli.
Ragettli, a prominent figure in the skiing world with a substantial Instagram following, has been sporting ELHO’s latest designs. His involvement offers a sneak peek into the brand’s renewed focus on blending high performance with high fashion. Ragettli shares, “What you do on the slope is the most important, but it’s also the style, how you look. So yeah, for me, it’s very important to look good, to have stylish clothes.“
Ragettli’s role as an ambassador for ELHO goes beyond mere endorsement. He actively contributes to the design process, providing valuable insights to enhance the functionality of the products. For instance, he recommended that zippers on ski pants be positioned on outer seams to prevent damage during skiing. “It’s awesome,” Ragettli enthuses about the prototypes, “It’s super stylish and super technical.”
The brand’s commitment to both function and fashion is evident in their new line, which includes a variety of items from logo knits to insulated jackets, and accessories.
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One of the standout pieces in ELHO’s upcoming collection is a performance bomber jacket, which combines sleek design with practicality. This item, along with others in the 25-item launch collection, will be showcased at the ISPO trade show in Munich, a key event for winter sports retailers.
Schneider’s vision for ELHO extends beyond aesthetics. He has assembled a team, including Claudia Hofmann, a fashion consultant with a history of working with brands like Bogner, and Grand Studio, known for their expertise in performance gear. Together, they are propelling ELHO into the eco-age by focusing on bio-based, high-performance fabrics, primarily sourced from Japan and Taiwan. “Grand Studio has also taken on the challenge of propelling Elho into the eco age by employing a maximum of bio-based, high-performance fabrics,” Schneider explains.
The brand’s renaissance is not just about reviving old styles but reinterpreting ELHO’s ethos of boldness and innovation for the modern era. Schneider’s strategy involves understanding current trends and identifying gaps in the market, as seen in his observation of the uniformity and blandness in contemporary skiwear.
ELHO’s relaunch is strategically planned to create a buzz before the products hit the market, a tactic Schneider believes in strongly. This approach, combined with Ragettli’s endorsement, has set the stage for ELHO‘s anticipated return in October 2024.
The brand aims to generate significant revenue through its dedicated web store, supplemented by partnerships with retailers like Melagence, targeting high-end department stores and specialty retailers. The pricing strategy, focusing on premium segments, is evident in the planned retail price of around 700 euros for ELHO jackets.