By Greg Fitzsimmons | November 21, 2014 | Lifestyle
Husband-and-wife ski mountaineers Darcy Conover and Adam Moszyn marry fashion and philanthropy with the launch of Corbeaux.
Adam Moszynski and Darcy Conover are using their skiing and climbing know-how to create a collection of base layers that gives back.
During a honeymoon trip to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, newlyweds Darcy Conover and Adam Moszynski, both 32, had a life-changing epiphany. “We were looking at the guides and porters, who don’t have soles on their shoes or are in flip-flops, running up the mountain in front of us,” remembers Conover. “It was humbling and got us thinking [of ways to give back].”
The result is Corbeaux, an environmentally friendly base-layer company that’s also on a quest to donate used gear to the porter and guide communities in mountain regions throughout the world. Launching this winter with five bamboo based pieces for women and men, Corbeaux’s initial product line features everything from a tank top—perfect for hikes up the Ute and Smuggler—to a “onesie”—the must-have base layer for frigid powder mornings. Each piece’s hangtag will include instructions for donating used base layers, hiking boots, socks, jackets, and other gear at Corbeaux hosted clothing drives and online.
“These are pieces that you will wear every single day living in Aspen,” says Conover. (She and Moszynski would know—the pair made careers as sponsored skiers, have graced the pages of magazines and starred in ski films, have summited most of the 13er and 14er peaks that encircle the city, and are everyday fixtures on Aspen Mountain in the winter.)
Boasting bells and whistles that most big brands overlook, Corbeaux’s base layers feature athlete-inspired design elements like three quarter-length legs to minimize bunching in ski boots, sewn-in mittens for Highland Bowl laps, and slits on wristbands to easily access a watch.
In addition to functionality, the fit and look of Corbeaux’s line were very important to Conover and Moszynski. Thanks to the brand’s distinct patterns and colors (polka dots and eye-catching aqua and pink for women, bold solid whites, grays, and blues for men), flattering seams and stitching (color-accented zippers and seams), and a tailored fit, Aspenites no longer have to look like Tour de France cyclists while sidling up to the bar for an après-ski cocktail. Even its black and white raven logo is significant—Corbeaux is French for “raven,” a symbol that permeates mountain cultures across the globe. From the Alps in Chamonix to the Andes in Chile, the raven embodies the souls of lost skiers and climbers. “It is always comforting to see a raven circling overhead when we are exploring in the mountains,” says Moszynski. “It feels like fallen friends are watching over us, protecting us, and sharing the experience.”
And just as the raven protects, Corbeaux is devoted to watching out for people. “There is a massive collection of unused gear sitting in drawers and closets in Aspen,” says Moszynski. “We will make sure every single piece gets donated to men and women who need this gear to make a living.” Hamilton Sports, 520 E. Durant Ave., 970-925-1200
photography by shawn o’connor (portrait); courtesy of corbeaux