The Rose Posse

Ross & Snow is mak­ing tracks in the aprés- ski mar­ket.

Footwear News - - CONTENTS - By Jen­nie Bell

Ross & Snow is not your typ­i­cal moun­tain gear.

The lux­ury shear­ling brand — founded last year by for­mer Zap­pos ex­ecs Fred Mossler, Meghan Mossler and Steve Hill — has brought a fresh ap­proach to win­ter­wear, one that blends a fash­ion aes­thetic with per­for­mance tech­nol­ogy and fine crafts­man­ship.

“It sounds cliché, but we’re do­ing this be­cause we’re shoe peo­ple and we wanted to make shoes the way we thought they should be made,” Fred Mossler told FN. “We think [the pre­mium shear­ling] space in the mar­ket is a re­ally big op­por­tu­nity.”

Re­tail­ers seem to agree. In ad­di­tion to sell­ing on Zap­pos and Nord­strom.com, the brand this year se­cured spots in more than a dozen in­de­pen­dent bou­tiques in moun­tain re­sort towns such as Vail and Aspen in Colorado and Park City, Utah. To gen­er­ate con­sumer at­ten­tion, it has been part­ner­ing with the stores on trunk show ac­ti­va­tions that it dubs “Bour­bon & Boots.”

“With our prod­uct, it’s such a touch-and-feel ex­pe­ri­ence, and try­ing to con­vey that on­line is a chal­lenge,” said Mossler. “It’s re­ally about get­ting this prod­uct in peo­ple’s hands.”

Af­ter ini­tially crowd­sourc­ing de­signs for their first boot sam­ples, Mossler and Hill have since handed over much of the line-build­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to two Ugg vet­er­ans: creative direc­tor Leah Lar­son and Peter Young, who over­sees men’s.

“We’re get­ting away from fast fash­ion and build­ing prod­uct that is built to last,” said Lar­son. “The sil­hou­ettes are time­less but up­dated in these unique ma­te­ri­als.”

Some of the most pop­u­lar women’s styles in the col­lec­tion in­clude the Elena over-the-knee boot and the Ste­fana stud­ded biker boot; while for men, the Ste­fano hiker has been a top seller. The col­lec­tion is hand­made in Italy, with leathers sourced from lo­cal tan­ner­ies, and re­tails for $195 to $595.

Lar­son noted that per­for­mance is an es­sen­tial ele­ment for the brand. The fall ’18 boots are treated with SuPreen wa­ter­proof­ing tech­nol­ogy, and the la­bel is rolling out Vi­bram’s Ar­tic Grip non­slip out­sole to the line. “We’ve been work­ing with Vi­bram to get their prod­ucts into a fash­ion-type shoe to of­fer women some­thing that she can wear all day and all night,” she said. “So she can wear a heel but still have that stable foot­ing.”

For hol­i­day ’18, Ross & Snow also in­tro­duced luxe shear­ling slip­pers, and Lar­son said more new styles will be added for spring. But she em­pha­sized that their fo­cus will con­tinue to be the win­ter après ski cat­e­gory. “Up to now, we’ve been do­ing the ground­work and build­ing the ba­sics, but now fall ’19 will be about el­e­vat­ing those ba­sics even more,” she said.

Ross & Snow fall ’18 boot styles

The Re­nata women’s boot

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