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Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 10/30/2014

NAME: Aztech Mountain

This story first appeared in the October 30, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

HISTORY: Anthony Heifara Rutgers and his partner David Roth have a combined 20 years of experience in the apparel industry. Rutgers worked at LVMH’s watch and jewelry division and moved on to Marc Jacobs before launching Aztech about 20 months ago. Roth has an MBA from New York University and is a trained forensic accountant whose grandfather started the eyeglass firm Avant-Garde, which was eventually sold to Luxottica, and whose father started Marchon, which was sold to VSP in 2008. “Our passion for the fashion industry runs deep,” said Rutgers. When not working in the apparel arena, the men are avid outdoorsmen and spend their free time on the ski slopes in Aspen, Colo. It was there that they made the acquaintance of the retailer Performance Ski, which pushed them into creating something for the men’s fashion skiwear market.

NICHE: The luxury collection, which is heavy on outerwear but includes pants and vests, uses high-end fabrics — suiting-grade wool, high-loft down, premium microfleece — that are bonded with cashmere infused with waterproof, breathable attributes and possess a cutting-edge construction, making the pieces fully functional for a day on the mountain. But while the line might be perfect for a ski slope, the styling makes the collection as much at home on the streets of New York.

KEY LOOKS: Aztech offered 10 styles and 30 stockkeeping units for its fall 2014 launch. Among the offerings is the Nuke Suit, a down puffer in stretch Schoeller nylon and suiting-grade wool with color-block details and a detachable hood; the Team Aztech Bomber, a slim-fitting take on the classic varsity jacket lined with double-faced, double-ply fleece, and the Berko Shirt, a merino-wool plaid shirt with down insulation and a napa leather undercollar. The lining of the Berko Shirt, however, is what sets Aztech apart: It showcases digitally printed vintage photographs by Aspen lensman Ferenc Berko in vivid black and white.

PRICE POINTS: The opening price point for jackets is $1,000 and goes up to $2,300 for a seam-sealed, waterproof down model.

DISTRIBUTION: Barneys New York in New York City, Beverly Hills, Chicago and San Francisco as well as Performance Ski in Aspen and Snowmass, Colo., and Tommy Bowers Vail. There’s also a Web site, Aztechmountain.com.

COMPETITION: Moncler, Canada Goose, Patagonia, Arc’teryx and Aether.

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