Thanks in no small part to it's iconic creator, the ski-racing legend that is Jean-Claude Killy, the eponymously titled ski-clothing company has forged itself a fantastic reputation in the industry, not just in Europe, but globally. An iconic figure-head can only help create so much of a reputation though, in the end it's the quality of their products that a company is judged on, and Killy has more than delivered over the years to keep it at the fore-front of the high-end ski clothing market.
Skiing legend Jean-Claude Killy is one of those annoyingly brilliant people who could seemingly be successful at anything he turned his hand to. Winner of the first ski World Cup in 1967, he followed it up in 1968 by winning gold medals in all three of the alpine skiing events at the Winter Olympics in his homeland at Grenoble.
As well as success on the slopes he's had success in business and organisation, from work with global companies such as Rolex and Coca-Cola, to working on the Tour de France, helping bring the 1992 Winter Olmpics to Albertville, and the 2009 FIS Skiing World Cup to Val d'Isere. But it's his success in helping to create one of the world's leading ski-clothing labels that we're interested in here, and how another company managed to successfully rebrand itself working alongside one of the world's most iconic skiers, and using his name !
The new company was born in 1976 when Veleda, a French brand of ski-pants, started to work alongside Jean Claude Killy to create the eponymous titled ski-wear Killy. The French legend threw his skiing expertise and technical know-how behind the company, and his let his iconic name create an immediately successful label name. Obviously, powered by such a massively respected figure in the sport, the brand proved to be a big hit on the slopes, not just for it's name but for it's bold and quirky ideas, such as detachable sleeves, reversible garments etc.
Throughout the 1980's Killy continued to draw on the added expertise of it's figurehead, now firmly established as one of the most respected sportsmen in the world, and continued to create some of the finest ski clothing in the industry. Within just 10 years of it's inception, Killy had managed to achieve global recognition as a well-respected manufacturer of ski apparel.
Jean-Claude continued to be involved with Killy up until 1990, but with his work commitments then fully transferred into the staging of the 1992 Winter Olympics in his homeland at Albertville, he left the company and sold his part of the licence. Interestingly, a UK-based group took over the brand in 1993, giving us Brits our own sexy label of ski-clothing ! But by 2006 it's ownership was back in French hands - Eider taking control of the company. Bah ! Oh well, at least we have solid, manly, Mountain Equipment and Rab labels under our control !
Killy has had a reputation for creating stylish, bold and forward-thinking designs from the moment it first hit the slopes in the 1970s. Some of it's quirky ideas from the early days, such as detachable sleeves and reversible garments, may have been and gone, but it sowed the seed for a level of design-innovation that has stood Killy in good stead over the proceeding 40 years. Killy gear is as charismatic and as elegant as it's creator was on the slopes, when someone as successful as Jean-Claude Killy was puts their name to something, then you expect it to be pretty special. And it is.
For those skiers who take their winter sports seriously, and who are looking for a range of ski clothing that gives the highest level of performance and quality, then Killy is a brand that will meet their needs. Killy has a history of know-how and technical expertise, it's placed a lot of emphasis on investment in research and development, and whilst some of it's rivals have gone down the path of exploring other sporting avenues, Killy has stayed true to it's roots and kept it's focus on the mountains and skiing.
Killy ticks all the boxes for style, elegance, comfort and, importantly, performance. However, it also tick's the box that is labelled in bold as v.expensive. Men's Jackets for sale this winter are ranging from 500 to 800 pounds ! Whilst women's are a comparative bargain from between the 400 to 500 pounds mark. So get saving folks !