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Independence Shell jacket, Aztech Mountain, $625

Gear Closet: Aztech Mountain

Aspen’s Aztech Mountain makes performance outerwear built for the city—and the slopes.

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Aztech Mountain’s Independence Shell jacket looks like high fashion ripped from the pages of GQ. In fact, the Aspen brand has been featured in a host of national style bibles, including Esquire, Town & Country, and, yes, even Gentlemen’s Quarterly. Don’t let the company’s inclusion in glossy fashion magazines fool you, though. Co-founded in 2013 by Colorado native and former Louis Vuitton employee Heifara Rutgers, Aztech handles itself as admirably on the slopes—it’s actually designed to thrive in powder—as on the fashion-conscious streets of New York City. Rutgers employs some of the most high-tech and expensive fabrics in the world, including a microscopic membrane of cork, ensuring the Independence Shell remains both breathable and highly insulating. Impressed? Skier Bode Miller was. In September, the two-time alpine World Cup champion bought a stake in the company and signed on as its chief innovation officer. That’s a pretty big get for a company that values flash nearly as much as it does function.

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