NO SMALL FEAT: The New Zealand-based company Icebreaker has tapped British artist Simon Beck to launch the brand’s new “The Art of Nature” product series, an ongoing, annual collaboration with artists who use objects found in nature in their work. For its first time out, Icebreaker is producing 20 garments with designs modeled after what Beck has created by snowshoeing in the Alps. One of the inspirations for his designs for Icebreaker, a gigantic ram’s horn, took Beck eight hours to trace in the snow on the frozen Bachalpsee Lake in Switzerland. Icebreaker will post a two-minute video of how he created that this fall.
To create his art, Beck sketches a design and sets off outdoors with a four-season tent, a pair of snowshoes, an orienteering compass, protractor, bearings and layers of Icebreaker merino pieces among other necessities in order to wait out his ideal weather conditions — a fresh snowfall and no wind. Walking with great care, Beck can spend up to 11 hours laying down the meticulous patterned tracks. Since he started this wintery art, Beck has created a range such designs as snowflakes, three-dimensional squares, starbursts and spirographic patterns.
Icebreaker will donate $1 from each purchase of the Beck-inspired merino wool pieces to the nonprofit Protect Our Winters dedicated to encouraging the winter sports community to fight against climate change. The Simon Beck for Icebreaker collection, an assortment of women’s and men’s tops and a “hipkini” brief for women, will be sold in leading outdoor retailers globally and on Icebreaker’s Web site starting in October.