The most successful, storied skier in history teams with Aspen skiwear brand Aztech Mountain.
Bode Miller’s introduction to Aztech Mountain, the Aspen-based luxury ski and lifestyle sportswear brand for men, was battle-tested. On a August, 2015, photo shoot in Portillo, Chile, the weather turned nasty; winds were whipping, snow was blowing, and the temperature was frigid. “I kept gravitating back to this jacket from Aztech Mountain, a brand I had never heard of,” says Miller, 39. “It had a better fit and better cut than everything else. It was warmer and more useful than the rest of the wardrobe. By the end of the day, I had a good idea of the jacket’s performance and attributes. It was the best ski jacket I’d ever put on.”
Fast-forward one month to an uptown soirée in New York, in the Fifth Avenue penthouse of real estate developer Robert Siegel, a principal investor in handcrafted ski company Bomber. Miller, in attendance, spotted the cofounder and owner of Aztech Mountain across the room and approached him to praise his upstart company. Born-and-bred Aspenite Heifara Rutgers was stunned—Miller, the six-time Olympic medalist, winner of 33 World Cup races, and two-time World Cup champion, was his childhood idol. That night, Miller and Rutgers, along with Rutgers’s partner, Aztech cofounder David Roth, forged a friendship that would soon turn into something bigger. Miller, so impressed by Aztech’s wares, joined the ranks at the burgeoning Aspen-based brand last September as an equity partner and chief innovation officer.
While the brand launched in New York, in 2013, Aztech Mountain’s Aspen DNA informs its spirit. Its jackets, pants, shirts, and base layers are now stocked at retailers like Performance Ski at the base of Aspen Mountain, Barneys New York, Harrods in London, and Mr Porter online, while th e menswear brand’s creative use of fabrics (specifically mixing high-end natural fabrics like wool with high-tech synthetics, such as ultra-strong nylon), seamless stitching, and world-class technical performance have long been lauded by its devoted following. Indeed, nine months before Miller came on board, Aztech won the 2016 ISPO BRANDNEW entrepreneurial award for style, a coveted piece of hardware given out at the biggest ski industry tradeshow in the world.
In his new role, Miller is focusing his creativity and incessant tinkering on adapting Aztech’s products for both mountain and city—continuing to outperform the competition on Ajax but equally turning heads on the streets in New York. “I want to be able to wear a technically advanced ski jacket on the hill that looks great at the restaurant or bar the night after skiing,” says Miller. “That has been my life for the last 20 years. That’s what I do.” “A lot of what drives me is to provide a better experience for the user. That’s a big part of my motivation,” he adds. “Aztech Mountain is a company that believes the same thing. We’re at an interesting time where, if you are creative and you have the experience, you can do some amazing things.” Performance Ski, 614 E. Durant Ave., 970-925-8657
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSE JAMES HOFFMAN