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19 / 20 Collection Story

In designing this collection of prints, I took direction from how I imagine the energy of 1980s skiing and mountain culture, with visions from my memories of spending time in the French Alps before and after my Aunt Ilse passed away.

REMEMBERING ILSE

(1953 – 2003)

In the late 1960s, the French were the best in the world in ski racing, which is what drew Ilse to France in 1969. She left the USA for her senior year of high school, attended university in Grenoble, and never looked back. She ski raced at a high level, became a ski instructor, and eventually created her own guiding company called Ski Safari 9 Vallées, which her daughter, Misha, continues to run today.

Ilse chased a life of passion and desire to be where she wanted to be, a lifestyle that was unique to her. She spoke six languages, skied with the boys, climbed mountains in the Himalayas, ran her own guiding business out of a chalet near Val D’Isère, raised four children – she was beautiful and full of life. But the dangers of her sport so devastatingly cut hers short. In 2003, while guiding in Switzerland, an avalanche took her and others’ lives, but her spirit left a legacy for her family and friends.

This collection has been a few years in the making, but the inspiration comes from family legacy. The process of bringing this product line to you in steeped in experiences and memories of loved ones who shared a passion for big mountains and the joy of skiing.

 

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