Orage: Putting Fun First
You need not look much further than the Orage Masters to understand the culture behind the Orage brand.
Often named the funnest event in skiing, the Orage Masters is the opposite of a serious contest. Teams of skiers battle head to head on a custom-built slopestyle course, while costumes, music and hilarity combine into one giant on-slope funfest. The event started in the early 2000s as a rule-free way to loosen up the contest scene, and in 2014, the Masters, a.k.a. “The Anti Comp,” moved to the backcountry of Retallack, BC.
“It’s all about being ourselves and putting our own stamp on the competition scene, just like we put our own stamp on our products,” says Mike Nick, the vice president of sales and marketing for Orage. “The event speaks true to what the brand is: It’s about doing it our own way, not taking things too seriously, and just having fun.”
Doing things differently has always been the Orage way. The brand was founded in 1989 by University of Québec at Montréal business students Evelyn Trempe and Eric D’Anjou. The two set out to make more unique outerwear for their university friends and started selling Orage’s first jackets out of their car on the streets of Montréal.
It was one of the first ski outerwear manufacturers to introduce fashion-forward collections with innovative fabrics and a more cutting-edge design, such as bold and bright color blocking to complement its youthful style.
The brand continued to grow and, despite a brief change of ownership, is now back under private ownership lead by D’Anjou and Nick. “We’re fully owned and led by skiers again, like it was in the beginning,” says Nick. “That’s our agenda and our mission now: to make products for skiers, by skiers. We’re smaller, we’re dedicated, we can move quickly and we’re focused on ski outerwear only.”
These words are more than just marketing talk. Interacting with the owners gives you a sense of their genuine love for the sport and the people involved in it. This also applies to the athletes who ride for Orage and embody that same spirit. The team includes the likes of Phil Casabon, Chris Logan, Banks Gilberti and Tatum Monod, all of whom contribute to product design with their own personal flair and feedback.
Whether it is Gilberti and his long, blonde hair boosting in the Idaho backcountry; the talented Monod sending gargantuan double backflips in the hills above Retallack Lodge; or Casabon greasing rails in Estonia, the athletes demand gear that stands up to abuse.
“Our products are team and skier driven, 100 percent,” says Nick. And thanks to the new independent ownership structure, he adds, “We can set our own rules again. We’re in the driver’s seat, and we’ve got the pedal on the floor once again.”
“Phil Casabon’s latest creation and will undoubtedly live up to the legacy he and Orage strive to represent… Innovation Through Style…” Click for full review.
“Designed 100% to team specs, the Orage Sarg ski jacket is a rugged Prime 10K long fit 2 ply shell piece with a burly look and a list of built in features. The pigment print canvas…” Click for full review.
“Inspired by Tatum Monod, the Orage Deal ski jacket is a Prime 10 strategically seam sealed and insulated jacket with pigment print canvas exterior designed to keep you warm…” Click for full review.