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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.


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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