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Colmar is one of SnowKings favourite brands, the Italian brand has everything - a great history dating right back to the 1920s, the company has been a pioneer in ski-race clothing, it's fantastically stylish and also has a bit of uniqueness to it - thanks mainly to the fact that hardly anyone in the UK sells it ! Which is somewhat surprising given Colmar's role as a big player in the world of alpine skiing, not just kitting out various national teams, but being major sponsors of the events.

Colmar Company History

Colmar was formed back in 1923 in the small Italian city of Monza by a local called Mario Colombo. At the time Colombo was mainly manufacturing accessories such as felt hats, the name of the company was created from the 3 three letters of his surname, and the first three letters of his Christian name, a decision that was apparently rubber-stamped by his friends as he handed around a few suggestions that he'd written on the back of a fag packet, quite literally !

By the 1930s Colmar had start to concentrate on ski clothing, treating cotton with chemicals to produce fabrics which would last longer in the mountains. Within 10 years they were producing hooded waterproof jackets and were starting to work with Italian skiers, even forging relations with legendary skiers of day such as Zeno Colo, manufacturing outfits for them to race in. By the 1950s Colmar were leading the world of alpine ski-racing clothing as it produced the sport's first aerodynamic outfits, and these proved their worth as Colo raced to downhill gold in the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo. Colmar now became extremely popular amongst ski racers of the time, legends such as Toni Sailer, and the great Italian team of the 70's featuring the likes of Gustav Thoni, Erwin Stricker, and Piero Gros, all sported Colmar clothing, whilst Luigi Marco claimed the fastest recorded speed of 174km/h in a Colmar ski suit, all great publicity for the company and it's burgeoning reputation. Things get hi-tech, as Colmar uses the wind tunnels at nearby Fiat and Moto Guzzi to test the results of it's outfits. And it's not just race gear that Colmar is now turning out, as it's lines of clothing for casual skiers become increasingly popular in Europe but particularly so in homeland Italy, where it is now seen as the de facto brand amongst the country's serious skiers. By the 1980s, the third generation of Mario Colombo's family is still running the company, meaning that passion for winter sports is still being radiated from the very top of the company downwards. A new set of world class skiers, led by the Italian hero Alberto Tomba, are now clad in Colmar, and helping bring the brand to a new generation of ski fans. The 90's sees winter clothing manufacturers going fabric crazy as the main players of the ski industry all look for the next big thing in fabric technology. Colmar remains at the forefront by experimenting in a host of new materials and techniques. Around the same time it starts to expand it's range of casual clothing, not only in it's ski-wear but also summer clothing, and golf, and produces a new brand called Ten Yards.

The company knows what it's doing - it invests in youngsters, kitting out not just many of the talented young Italian skiers and Italian national ski schools, but also the country's young golfers, as it attempts to grow the other sides of it's business into the minds of new generations of the country's youngsters. Colmar is not just restricted to the Italians though, sponsoring other teams, such as the Croatian, British and even the French ski teams.

Colmar Style

Well, if you're heading out to Italy and you want to have that look of on-piste finesse that many of the locals manage to pull off so effortlessly, get yourself a Colmar jacket. If you go to some of the classic well-heeled Italian resorts like Cortina d'Ampezzo or Madonna di Campiglio, you'll notice that the skiing glitterati out there are all wearing them. The top ski shops in these resorts all give them pride of place in the shop window displays too. And why not - they look the business, Colmar jackets look like proper ski jackets. with contrast colours and stripes in red, black and white, or black with white striped panels. Coloured panels ?! Stripes ?! "Is this the 1980's!?!" we hear you scream. Yes, these could look a bit corny or cheap if they're not done correctly, but not with Colmar - it looks great. Naturally the Italians make them look uber-fashionable with their dark looks, and be warned that it probably won't look quite as good on pasty British people, but what the hell !

Colmar - Performance

With a background that hails from creating outfits for professional ski racers, you can rest assure that Colmar is a decent bit of kit. You don't tend to sponsor World Cup events and kit out international ski-race teams unless you know what you're doing.

Colmar - Pricing

Well, as you've probably guessed given its popularity amongst the Italian elite, Colmar is expensive stuff. Seeing as though you hardly see it priced in pounds (because hardly anyone sells it over here), you'll be looking at euros, and about 400 of them for a jacket, which translates to around £350 given the current exchange rate.

Colmar - Stockists

Colmar clothing is available at the following Ski and Snow-sports Shops:

Colmar - Useful Links

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