It all started in 2013 with the search for a ski jumper. After many years of skiing in Switzerland, founder of Snow Finel, Hampshire-based Louise Waldron, realised that there was a need for stylish jumpers and base layers for skiers to wear under a jacket.
‘I felt amazing when I was actually on the slopes, dressed in beautiful jackets from great brands like Moncler and Spyder,’ says Louise. ‘But when I took my jacket off at lunchtime or in the après-ski bar, I just had on a rather unattractive sports top. When I tried to find the type of ski jumpers that I wanted to wear, they were nowhere to be seen, so I decided to make my own.’ And Snow Finel was born.
Snow Finel’s unique products combine top-quality merino wool with signature zips and embroidery to create a style that evokes both mountain action and après-ski fun. Merino wool was the obvious choice, says Louise, as it allows the body to regulate its temperature naturally during exercise or, indeed, dancing on the tables after a busy day on the pistes. Cut to fit and flatter in beautiful classic and statement colours with contrasting detailing, Snow Finel garments can be combined to ensure the perfect match for all ski conditions or worn without a jacket in spring.
Louise designs all the jumpers herself and takes pride in Snow Finel being a purely British brand. ‘It is very important to me that all Snow Finel garments are manufactured in Britain,’ she says. ‘I am always keen to support British businesses and I never really considered having the jumpers made anywhere else. I want this brand to have real integrity and I am proud to say that I have established great working relationships with the factories we use.’
From small beginnings the Snow Finel range has grown and evolved through listening to what customers want and through unique product development tested on the slopes by the Snow Finel team. The range, for both men and women, now includes base layers, mid layers, tanks, gilets and classic ski jumpers. There is also a selection of hats. Perfect for stylish skiers on and off the slopes.
And the name? It was inspired, says Louise, by the Swiss ski resort of Mürren, a fairytale village in the Jungfrau region where she has skied for more than 20 years. ‘The last run of the day back to the village is called the “finel”. It’s a wonderful route down towards my favourite après-ski bar, Gondelbar (quite literally, a bar in a gondola car), for hot chocolate and glühwein. The finel is a run that always makes you smile as you speed home towards Mürren and I felt the word would give my brand a warm, positive and very personal vibe, at the same time adding great authenticity to a new ski product.’