With warm, elegant, retro clothing designed for both flying down the slopes and going to the office, the French winter sports brand Rossignol is slaloming into the American market. Its popularity led to the opening of a store in Aspen, Colorado, two years ago, and one in Manhattan the following year.
Sixty years ago, Rossignol made an eye-catching entrance into the United States. Sporting the revolutionary Allais 60 skis in steel and polyethylene, French skier Jean Vuarnet stormed ahead of the competition in the showpiece downhill event at the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics in California. This victory secured in two minutes and six seconds confirmed the reputation of the French brand, which is now the world’s leading ski company.
However, not every customer walking into the Rossignol flagship store in New York City is an exceptional skier. “We welcome both beginners and professionals,” says Philippe Edelman, the store manager. “But don’t come looking for skis or snowboards, those are the only things we don’t sell here! We offer a vast range of clothing and footwear for men, women, and children, along with a wide variety of accessories including hats, gloves, socks, helmets, and eyewear. People enjoy our products for their technical performance and style.”
The Rossignol catalogue pays tribute to the century-old brand’s origins while combining vintage aesthetics with cutting-edge materials. The Megève 1907 winter boots with their recognizable red laces are akin to the shoes worn in times past, and will keep your feet warm and dry thanks to a waterproof, breathable HDry® membrane. The Victoire and Magnet jackets, whose tricolor stripes are a nod to the 1970s, guarantee comfort in the harshest conditions, whether in the mountains or the city. And, at the peak of chic, a collection of sweaters and ski jackets designed by French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac will be available in January.
“With their typically French tailoring, our jackets are different to what everyone else wears,” says Philippe Edelman, who splits his time between Manhattan, where he has lived for 28 years, and his second home in Park City, a winter sports hotspot in Utah. (On the East Coast, he is particularly fond of the Killington ski area in Vermont, where he recently discovered snowboarding.) “We are a luxury brand, but we are mainly focused on an active clientele who is receptive to Rossignol’s ‘mountain to city’ approach.”
The manager strives to apply this culture to his New York store, which was designed to recreate the cozy atmosphere of an American ski lodge. The retro wallpaper and thick red carpet add to the ambience, as does the glass of champagne given to customers as they walk through the door. “If you are planning a trip to the mountains, we will be delighted to welcome you – whatever your ability!”
Rossignol New York
108 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10012