Wow!! Unless you've experienced Springtime in Aspen first hand it's difficult to conceptualize what it's really like. AspenSpin attempts to bring it to you in your eye-balls digitally, so here goes.
In addition to the fantastic Spring skiing conditions and the fabulous (but unpredictable) weather, March in Aspen translates into a major league party atmosphere. Aspen's social schedule is so jam packed with events that no one can do it all. A.Party tried and failed...but the photos linked below will give you an indication of what it's really like.
ASPEN INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEK: The new organizers behind AIFW gave an honest effort and created a fun fashion showcase. AIFW hosted 3 days of cat walk shows in the center of town and numerous in-store events and parties. AIFW created positive energy. It was no easy task to rekindle interest in AIFW, an event who's previous incarnation left a trail of unpaid bills and broken champagne glasses in its wake. The new AIFW was upbeat, professional and appeared to stay within a more modest budget. There are still plenty of kinks to be worked out with AIFW, but we wish them luck in the future. Featured brands included; Dennis Basso, Perfect Moment, Columbia, Gorski, Obermeyer, Mountain Hides, SIA Snowlink, ALR Style Tribe and Helly Hanson.
As always AIFW was a good time. But shouldn't it be more than that? What's the call to action? I can't quite put my finger on what the main objectives are for AIFW. Obviously they want to highlight mountain style and showcase the participating brands...but why March? The most important ski industry events, the ISPO show in Munich and the SIA Snow Show in Denver along with most of the buying for next year have already taken place. No offense, but I didn't get the impression that key taste-makers and trend-setters were sitting in the front row. Maybe it's geared more for the consumer...which is fine. Hopefully AIFW moved the needle on the retail front. It was a good effort...but AIFW has some work to do before it can be considered a meaningful event on the fashion calendar and the Aspen party docket. The drinks were flowing, the models were showing and I appreciate AIFW inviting me to participate.
CLICK 4 PIX: ASPEN FASHION WEEK
ASPEN PARTY WEEK: It all started in 1961, led by the Crawford Brothers who hosted the first Wine Party, the infamous on-mountain soiree centered around vino. 53 years later it has evolved into a full week of parties and drunken revelry. Most of the guys are in their 70's and 80's now, but their chicks are in their 40's and 50's. If you ask most of them...Aspen Party Week is the highlight of their year. The guys don't ski quite as hard as they used to...but they can out party anyone. It's an unofficial group that consists of about 300 interchangeable members. Their calendar is full. The Wine Party, The After Wine Party, the Lemon drop Party, the Tamale Party, the New Jersey Party, the Cheeseburger Party, the Snowmass Picnic and the longest running dance party in Aspen..the Sneak-a-Peak which morphed out of the Sneaker Ball (RIP). I can't keep up...but I tried.
CLICK 4 PIX. ASPEN PARTY WEEK.
FALLEN FRIENDS & BIG AIR: The Ski Co. throws their gig...The Core Party every spring. Free music, booze specials, a mobile champagne bar and plenty of activities. Every year the highlight for me is FALLEN FRIENDs, a celebration of mountain lifestyle which honors the friends we have all lost to the mountains. As we say in Detroit " for the brothers who ain't here". Fallen Friends which benefits AVSC, is one part slope-style comp., one part costume party and 100% fun. I always love seeing guys in leotards throwing back-flips and pre-teen rippers dressed as minotaurs straightlining the course. It's a great way to celebrate the season and to honor and to never forget our fallen friends. This year's Fallen Friends event received a picture perfect, text-book clear, extremely beautiful Colorado Bluebird day on which to celebrate. With Out A Paddle (Wylie Adams, Blake Axelson and Brandon Rohrbaugh) topped the podium. A special Aspen Spinnie Award goes to the Fab Five (Packy and Ben Westfeldt, Michael and Peter Olenick and Ryan Odell) for skiing in leotards and owning it. That takes balls.
The previous night the testosterone was flowing as BIG AIR Aspen took place on Ajax. A 70 foot kicker was built at the base of Aspen Mountain for the comp. Both skiers & riders hucked their meat under the lights in front of a crowd of thousands (well maybe hundreds). Big Air awards cash prizes so it's always a battle to see who has the skills to pay the bills...and for bragging rights. In the end Aspen Local, Charlie Lasser stomped the skiing comp. and Justin Morgan topped all the knuckle draggers to score victory and take hope the cash. We heard they were poppin' corks all over town.
CLICK 4 PIX: FALLEN FRIENDS & BIG AIR.