Location and Access
Show Notes 003
The following is the third and final excerpt from Show Notes—the initial manifesto for 77mm.
This project has always been about the import and export of ideas to ‘remote’ locations. Growing up in Utah in the early early days of the internet I didn’t really have access to the world of fashion and design. When I first went away to school in Illinois to study art history, and then later working professionally in New York and Germany I remember feeling like I had missed out on something. Like their was this whole world going on that I just wasn’t aware of and from a work perspective it felt like I was starting way behind my international colleagues and basically any kid in major city.
On the flip side I quickly realized there was something about the community and culture of skiing that the people I worked with professionally had missed out on. They would never know what it’s like to live at the base of a mountain with quick access to a canyon, to be missing school every Friday to go to ski school, or watching chug life, browsing Newschoolers, buying level 1 dvd’s, building summer setups, and even using a tow rope to pull you friends around the neighborhood on skis you found at goodwill. And beyond my own personal experiences, it seemed the videographers, photographers, and designers in skiing felt isolated from he studios and designers I was being inspired by.
So with this new beginning of 77mm a huge driving question is what starts to happen when we start pulling from the world of skiing and mountain living while simultaneously referencing the high fashion and critical graphic design taking place in the major cities of the world. What happens when we mix a reinterpreted park city, and a reinterpreted ski culture, with cities like Berlin, New York, or Tokyo. Park City is already home to art galleries, film festivals, restaurants, shopping, and world class outdoor activities—all ripe for cultural disruption.
In a way can we, like Howard Head with his initial standard aluminum ski, make skiing more accessible to people in locations that don’t have skiing in their immediate culture and more interesting to people in other industries by speaking to them in their language? A language of Art history, critical graphic design, High fashion etc.
To this end a pose a handful of questions.
What do our less permanent cultural manifestations look like if we start to bring in the influences of major cities, not just copying or translating, but genuine exchange of ideas to create something that is uniquely park city while still being understandable and distributable world wide?
Can we start to push the boundaries of what it means to live in a ski town?
Can we invent new concepts framed by new language?
What is a contemporary ski gallery?
What would a ski library or ski archive look like?
Where do we sit in an art historical context?
What would architecture critics and art historians have to say about the free skiing culture?
Where do our books and publications sit in that conversation?
Are ski films and magazines being talked about in art schools? If not how do we make that happen?
What will it take to make a ski film or publication so impactful it is discussed in a larger context?
What are the untold cultural stories in skiing that need some global attention?
What is a ski school and what can we learn about education from skiing?
What happens if we reinvent the housing, development, transportation and hotel industry of ski towns by looking at sustainable practices and bringing in innovative architects?
What does an architecture firm look like born out of this context?
What does a luxury fashion house look like if it came out of ski town?
Every luxury brand has touched on outdoor apparel but it never gets down to the kids really skiing. Free skiers have the greatest sense of individuality and style but they don’t get to Paris fashion week. Can we collectively bridge that gap?
Can I make a ski t-shirt that’s appealing to a kid in Amsterdam or Atlanta because it’s simultaneously referencing a visual language or context that they understand?
Can 77mm be a brand that acts as a sort of library that offers insight into the minutiae of the free skiing community and what it’s like to live in a reimagined Park City?
These are all open ended questions and it’s my highest ambition to explore them through this research and publishing arm of 77mm in order to make skiing and mountain living more accessible to a larger audience.
Most of our apparel projects have been explorations of creating greater access and wider distribution for the world of skiing. The first Easiest Way Down hoodies and Ski Patrol products were attempts to create a graphic born out of ski signage that was appealing to kids globally while simultaneously reflecting on and providing an ‘Easiest Way Down’ or easiest way in. Surfing and skateboarding have successfully managed that level of global access. You can see a surf or skate brand or shop in every city all over the world. People wear skate and surf brands that do neither activity. You’ll see people in life guard apparel but never Ski Patrol. Not because they don’t exist, they just haven’t been executed at a level that made it interesting globally. I did a small run of the ski patrol hoodies and it was really satisfying to see where in the world they made it to and that they are being worn by people who have never skied. There are obviously barriers in gear, location, weather, lift tickets that make skiing inaccessible. But by embedding some of skiing in a Hoodie it’s my way of sharing access to the world of skiing that’s brought me so much joy and meaning. That’s part of the reason why partnering with Level 1 Productions on the 20 year commemorative tee was so important to me. Through their talents in story telling and cinematography they’ve given access to countless numbers of people to the greatest skiing of the past 20 years while simultaneously lifting up and showcasing the people, locations and athletes that make the sport so fantastic. They’re a brand I really look up to and hope to emulate in that regard. I hope to leverage any talents, insights, or resource I may have to help share this community, build up the people involved, and push skiing forward
It is currently a solo project and I often feel like a Howard Head working in a stable and selling out of a station wagon, but ideally it’s collaborative in nature. I don’t think I have the time or resources to accomplishing everything I’d like to accomplish and answer all the questions I’ve mentioned here. So this is call out to anyone interested in innovating at the lower level of cultural manifestations, reimagining mountain living, and pushing skiing forward. Calling all skiers, hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, designers, artists, web developers, engineers, musicians, DJs, architects, city planners. We are responsible for cumulatively creating this milieu we live in. I’m grateful for the support and I’m excited to continue this journey with all of you. Please reach out. If you’re ever in Park City I’d love to meet up.