Friday, December 15, 2017

Bavarian Soul’s Hip Vibe

By Nicolette House

If Sun Valley, ID and the ski slopes of Europe have one common trait, it’s excellent taste in ski wear.

Those looking for a hip and youthful ski look frequent Bavarian Soul, a new and trendy boutique in Ketchum, ID. Mother and son team, Lorraine and Carter Rowand, opened the doors to Bavarian Soul in 2o10. Since then, they have become the exclusive carriers of Maloja, a German based active clothing company, in the United States.

When Lorraine had the opportunity of turning her lifelong dream of owning a shop into a reality she knew Sun Valley was the perfect place to open Bavarian Soul. The store mostly sells Maloja and the clothes fit the valley’s lifetsyle to a tee. Maloja’s spring/summer and fall/winter collections are made for Alpine and Nordic ski activities and summer cycling adventures. The colors and patterns carry through each season, making the pieces easy to mix and match.

When line after line showcases the same neon colors and puffy jackets, Maloja’s fresh take on traditonal ski and bike wear is refreshing. It’s what drew Lorraine to the brand while visiting Southern Germany just a few years ago.

“They are innovators. As opposed to following trends they’re setting trends, ” says Lorraine of Maloja. “They have an amazing design team and themes for each year.Maloja has an emotion to their clothing.”

This year’s collection, HiSociety, drew inspiration from the tablecloths and patterns used by the people that farm in remote mountainous regions. Drawing on that history adds “soul” to the clothing. This spring Maloja will debut it’s new collection Pachamama (Mother Earth in Spanish), which is based on the mountain regions of Peru and Bolivia.

Consistently drawing on the mountainous areas of the Earth for design ideas makes selling Maloja in a town nestled in the Sawtooth Mountain Range a natural fit.

“I thought it was a really good product that would work in our alpine environment,” says Lorraine.

While Maloja fills the aisles of Bavarian Soul, Lorraine and Carter hope to expand the line and see Maloja’s presence in the United States grow. Maloja plans to keep their clothes stocked in boutique and small shops only, but brining more Maloja clothing to the US is on the horizon.

While Carter reps the line on the West Coast, he still enjoys working on the in and outs of owning Bavarian Soul with his mother. Keeping business in the family works well for the Rowands.

“We mesh pretty well,” says Lorraine. “Carter has fresh ideas.”

Carter agrees that working with families members adds to the business.

“It’s good because we are able to be upfront with each other,” says Carter. The two even trade off which days they’ll work the store or enjoy the freshly powdered ski slopes.

Neither repping the line on the West Coast or traveling to Europe to purchase inventory could tear the Rowands away from Sun Valley for too long. Both enjoy the outdoor lifestyle the valley provides. Lorraine is an avid downhill skier. Her shop’s location allows her to ski the slopes of Baldy often. Drawn to Sun Valley’s active lifestyle, skiing in the winter, mountain biking, hiking, and cycling in the summer, owning a shop here gives to Rowands plenty of physical activity and time to show off the Maloja clothing.

More importantly, Lorraine points to the Wood River Community itself as a source of joy. The valley’s history, cultural scene, and outdoor lifestyle never get old. After twenty years of beng a vacation hotspot for the Rowands Sun Valley has turned into a backdrop for a thriving business.

“Ketchum is a real town at the base of a big mountatin.  It’s not commercialized. The actual community  is very charming,” says Lorraine.