… back in 1986, two very passionate skiers, one of them a world-class mogul skier with several World Cup wins, were sitting next to each other in a chairlift heading up a mountain. About to test and write about a new skiwear line, they started to talk about why no one was making skiwear that they wanted to wear. Garments that combined excellent functionality with simple, attractive design. Also, they wondered if there was any way that they could stay longer and more often in the ski resort they both loved - the little mountain village Åre, in northern Sweden.
It turned out that the answer to both questions was Peak Performance. Initially, their ambitions didn’t extend much beyond making some clothes for themselves and their friends, in sufficient quantities to make a living from it. The business was shaped by what was important to them. Finding the right design and technical solution was paramount.
And the strategy worked. In the late 1980’s, people were tired of extravagance and superficiality. Everybody was looking for the real thing that comes with genuine quality. Ski jackets with leather details and flannel shirts were suddenly the answer, rather than neon and looking like a fully decorated Christmas tree. Orders generated by the first mail order catalog overwhelmed the little post office in town. So much so that they had to take on more staff just to keep up.
During the early years, most things took longer to do than they should have. After all, Peak Performance was a company founded by skiers – people who more than anything else wanted to ski come winter. Anyone who managed to find our little office in Åre was often confronted with a sign on the front door that read: Gone skiing.