Friday, April 15, 2011

Baldy skiers model retro skiwear

Apres by CK Bradley skiwear is a hit in Sun Valley


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Ladies and pooches gather outside of Apple’s in Warm Springs to show off the latest ski fashion Apres by CK Bradley for the Janss Pro Am race.

Local skiers turned into models for a new skiwear company last weekend during the Janss Pro Am Classic.

It was not so long ago that Camilla Bradley decided she needed to do something exciting with her life. A successful ribbon belt designer from Manhattan's Upper East Side, Bradley had achieved notable clothing accessory status with her "preppy" designs. What more could a native New Yorker want? Bradley thought about how she loved to reinvent styles and as a self-proclaimed fashion "architect" not designer, Bradley decided upon creating ski clothes.

"I've always been involved in design," Bradley said. "I was always altering clothes, and I love to pair thrift store finds with high fashion like Chanel."

A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., Bradley said she thought everyone at college looked the same.

"I would use the sewing machine and change up clothes," she said. "My company started with a ribbon belt, which I produced for 10 years—and I got bored."

From Nantucket to Palm Beach, Bradley's belts and other designs were in 400 boutiques.

A native of Jackson, Wyo., Bradley is a fan of '70s ski wear and found inspiration in bringing back retro for the 21st-century ski enthusiasts.

"I'm always two years ahead," she said. "I also wanted to bring sexy back."

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Testing her style and materials off the shores of Newport, R.I., Bradley wanted to test out her slope style where it matters—in the big mountains of the West.

"I e-mailed mountain towns and asked every sexy girl and good-looking boy I could find to wear the clothes," she said. "I had no plan. I knew to attend ski parties and events."

Mapping out a trip like a 1950s traveling salesman, Bradley gathered her Apres by CK Bradley products— an array of fun and brightly colored ski bibs, vests, jackets, T-shirts and pom-pom hats for men and women. In 21st-century style, Bradley headed west in an Airstream that she had hand-decorated with the Apres by CK Bradley design. She was joined by her head of marketing, Ali Pearson, and their two dogs, Summer and Tula.

"I want to make people smile," she said. "The scene finds us. When we are not in the ski wear, we are not noticed and boring. The clothing is our calling card."

The clothing is form fitting, and stretch panels on the inseam and outer leg allow for breathing room and comfort. The ski clothes are made with Primaloft insulation and DWR fabric. Bradley added cargo pockets as well as funny labels such as "snow is cold your heart is hot."

"I like the fun and style of the '70s—it has sex appeal," she said. "It's fun for all with items for everyone."

Bradley said the cross-country trip has been an adventure, from frostbite and breaking feet to a flat tire and a broken windshield. She said she and Pearson will continue their journey until the snow is gone.

"I had no idea about Airstreams and then I saw the Eddie Bauer First Descent and others," she said. "It's a whole new world out here and I love it."

Bradley said she will seek funding for her clothing line and brand building, as well as take Apres by CK Bradley to Europe. For details, visit www.apresck.com.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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