In sport today there are no better or more inspired dressers than those who wear skis for a foundation garment. Skiers change their mode of dress more from one season to the next than participants in perhaps any other sport—a stimulating state of affairs to manufacturers and designers of ski wear and to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as well. For one of our happy tasks is previewing the styles that will distinguish the season that starts any snowfall now.
An annual task, it is also almost a year-long project. One ski season is not over before the editors of the SPORTING LOOK, Fred R. Smith and Jo Ahern Zill, are in touch with such firms as White Stag in Portland, Sportcaster in Seattle and many others in the East and abroad, to make SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's plans for the following winter as manufacturers make theirs.
Taking an early look at designers' drawing boards, they judge what styles later on will move from the two dimensions of paper to the three dimensions of snowy slopes. Their next problem is to find the snowy slopes.
"We believe strongly," says Smith, "in photographing our clothes on men and women who will wear them, in authentic settings where it makes sense to have them worn.
"Last year, you may recall, that setting was Squaw Valley. In our November 23 issue SPORTS ILLUSTRATED forecast the cable-quilted, rusty-brown and pine-green garb which two months later did indeed set the fashion pattern at the site of the Olympic Games."
What will set the pattern this season SPORTS ILLUSTRATED forecasts next week, in a setting far from Squaw Valley but no less authentic. It is Portillo in the Chilean Andes, where it was winter last summer when Fred Smith and his SPORTING LOOK crew arrived. To mix the seasons up entirely, Portillo is what can fairly be called the spring training camp for U.S. and European designers, manufacturers and skiers. There they test the clothes, equipment and techniques which half a year later bring color, action and style to some of sports' best-dressed people. As snow comes to the Northern Hemisphere you'll be seeing them at lodges and on trails from Sugarbush to Sugar Bowl and the Adirondacks to the Rockies.