The next time you hit the slopes, don’t fall in with the North Face-clad crowd. Set yourself apart with Owner Operator’s high-performance outdoor gear. Helmed by longtime snowboarding Steven Kimura and Peter Sieper, this independent company sidles away from the industry status quo. “When we started out, there were all these brands that weren’t exciting or inspiring to us,” Kimura says. “We wanted to change the industry.”
All of Owner Operator’s products, currently found at six New York City stores, are made domestically in a factory located in NYC’s Garment District. With backgrounds in art and fashion design, Kimura and Sieper pay meticulous attention to technical details. “Figuring out how to make something that’s functional and can keep you dry in a snowstorm is a challenge,” Kimura says. ”We wear our stuff out in the mountains to find the weak points. And the next time we’re in the factory, we make sure it’s done differently.”
Kimura says the company is best known for its Operator 111 Parka ($490), featuring an emergency whistle and a three-way adjustable hood to brave any cold-weather conditions. Complete the look with matching Operator 111 pants ($335). We also dig the durable Day Pack ($165) and the waterproof Summit Mitt ($110), adorned with adjustable cinch straps.