“After just ten minutes of running my bra smells terrible!”
“When I have to go to the bathroom on top of a mountain, it’s always super uncomfortable!”
“When I was pregnant, I had to borrow my husband’s down jacket!”
We are a chemist, a journalist, a manager, a radio host, an entrepreneur, a communications expert, a shopkeeper, an art director, an influencer and many other professionals from Italy, Austria and Germany. Twenty women with different backgrounds, united by the same passion for the mountains and the outdoors. We met in the Dolomites in January for a two-day workshop — enthusiasm and positive energy were perceivable from the very start. The goal: to participate in the creation of the first outdoor brand designed, created, and dedicated by women for women. It is way too often that we happen to be cold, to see odd colors on women’s products, that our size doesn’t exist or that we feel clumsy and inadequate wearing a garment that is obviously not designed for the shape of our body, which is very different from that of a man. So, when Ruth Oberrauch invited us to discuss this project, we all gladly accepted.
The program included a ski tour up to a magnificent mountain hut, where we were introduced to the project and exchanged our first ideas. Night skiing with headlamps is one of those experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. The following day’s location was just as exclusive and evocative: our meetings took place on the upper floors of the Oberalp Headquarters, where you feel like you can touch the Dolomites. We had a fun and creative brainstorming session in which we put our imagination to work. Each one of us brought some of our personal sports garments from home, sharing the reasons why some seem just perfect while others are uncomfortable and inadequate. We laughed, discussed, wrote, reflected, ate, thought, did yoga, and came up with some brilliant ideas. The desire to participate in a project that feels as “ours” is obvious: each one of us dreams of the garment she would like to see made, that piece she has always wanted to help design and wear.
We still do not know what all this vitality, strength and determination will bring, but we are sure that it will be something beautiful and being part of it is amazing. It is too often that we find ourselves fighting to become more like men in order to earn our place: we accept standards, rules and yardsticks that are born from the desire to establish ourselves amongst others, with the belief that aiming to be like the other is the only way to go. Perhaps, as the Italian mountaineer Nives Meroi writes in her book “I won’t keep you waiting”: “There could be another way that lies in between giving up and taking advantage — taking a moment to look at our inner selves again and finding the courage to identify our own qualities. The differences would release that creative energy that is born when opposites meet and complement each other”. We did exactly that. In the process we took home new friendships and greeted each other with a little bit of nostalgia for this unforgettable experience which dates back nine months, somehow the beginning of everything. Now, step by step, the new brand is taking shape and we are very curious to discover more!
The journey continues with our backpacks more loaded and at the same time lighter.