In the midst of winter, if I were to ask Kendall Jenner to select the most necessary designer for a pop-up shop in Aspen, I would anticipate hearing a winter sport brand or even a designer that is known for creating shearling coats and winter boots. She doesn’t waste any time in correcting my erroneous calculation, saying, “The Row is the obvious exception.”
It was a rookie error on my behalf to make that mistake. Before I ever arrived in Aspen, I had the impression that the clothing worn on the slopes and after skiing would be more reminiscent of a Hallmark holiday movie (cable knit sweaters, plaid flannel) than the refined and understated sensibilities of the Olsen twins.
Nevertheless, as one strolled through the snow-globe-like center of town, past a new Bottega Veneta outpost and established neighbors such as Loro Piana, Prada, and Chanel, and into FWRD’s debut Aspen pop-up, it became abundantly clear that the best ski-town fashion of today is really just winter luxury turned up several opulent degrees. So, the Row was born.
“It’s a no-brainer for me, and I love them, and they just in my eyes can do absolutely no wrong,” Jenner elaborates while standing in a corner of the FWRD store. She is wearing a jacket by Rick Owens, leggings that coordinate with the jacket, and pointed Saint Laurent heels.
Her chic ensemble was just another example of how she subverted the expectations of après-ski, and it was a reflection of the pieces that she put together for the new store in her role as creative director for FWRD.
The shopping destination, which will remain open on East Hyman Avenue in Aspen until March, features a range of rare vintage bags and ready-to-wear by Chanel, Hermès, and Fendi, amongst other brands, in addition to new pieces from designers such as Chloé, Ferragamo, and the Attico.
An example of this would be a gigantic silver Chanel flap bag that was adorned with fake ice cubes and displayed on one of the shelves. Checked Burberry wool happens to be the only plaid that can be seen.
It is not a matter of speculation to assert that the store is a reflection of Jenner’s personal wardrobe, which is a combination of Los Angeles and Aspen, or of the closets of the seasonal regulars who spend the months of December through February taking over the town.
Since a few seasons ago, luxury designers have been responding to the Aspen scene by releasing dedicated capsule collections of intarsia knits and ripstop snow trousers.
However, it is their more advanced winter offering that is actually worn to dinner, which then develops into dancing at the Snow Lodge or a summit at the Caribou Club.
The chief brand officer of FWRD and a confidante of Jenner, Raissa Gerona, has stated that in order to connect with the fashion scene in Aspen, a unique equilibrium was required.
This balance was exemplified by her own evening appearance, which consisted of a Khaite fake fur jacket and a Helsa miniskirt. I think it’s really smart that we didn’t go all out with the ski theme, even though it’s obvious that [the store] is more of an Aspen-inspired boutique.
When you look around where we are, you will notice that everyone is dressed up. This is despite the fact that we have the Moncler and even the Balenciagas of the world producing skis, outerwear, and skiwear.
For Jenner, a type of fashion escapism that materializes on every rack is the act of leaning into the season’s richest textures and warmest tones. Her current favorite color is chocolate brown. It is always a lot of fun to dress up for snowy weather, she says.
“I think it’s always so fun.” “Because I’m from Los Angeles, I don’t experience temperatures that are even remotely chilly. The ability to really dress up and layer up is something that I find to be a lot of fun.
The fashion model makes it a point to travel to Aspen whenever she has the opportunity, not just to go snowboarding and see her friends, but also to experience the kind of fashion that Southern California is unable to provide.
She goes on to say, “Here, I adore a good faux fur—anything that is warm and luxurious.” This day, I wore a YSL leather puffer that was really beautiful.
It is just as important to have a dependable ski jacket as it is to have a wonderful dress and shoes when you are in a place that is perfect for high fashion and winter nightlife.
It is just for the lift that functionality is important; fashion is what is important in town.
Before Jenner goes on to explore the remainder of the store, she recalls a recent “no-pant moment” that encapsulated the most memorable aspects of her winter wardrobe, regardless of whether it was in Aspen or somewhere else.
According to her, “I just went out the other night wearing a Bottega coat, and all I had underneath was a pair of tight black t-shirts and a pair of little briefs.”
There is a good chance that I will put that on five times this week. There was not a single cable knit sweater in sight.