Skiing’s military pioneers inspired the Alps & Meters Patrol bomber, a flight jacket grounded in the snow. This chocolate sheepskin is the Boston brand’s homage to the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, trained for service in the second world war by the National Ski Patrol. Deployed in the Northern Apennines in 1944, the unit operated for just four months, but had one of the conflict’s highest casualty rates and endured some of its most hostile conditions. Veterans went on to shape recreational skiing in post-war America, developing some of the country’s most popular resorts and rooting both the sport and their heroic tales in cultural history.
The design team has special a reverence for the National Ski Patrol founder, Charles Minot Dole, who petitioned President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the 10th Mountain Division’s formation (unlike European armies, the U.S. had no ski combat-ready unit before 1940, which made the ski safety expert understandably leery). Dole, a Massachusetts-born insurance broker, was moved to found the National Ski Patrol in 1938 after a close friend died in a ski accident that would not have been fatal were a trained assistant present. Ski patrollers were a vital part of the 10th Mountain Division, and Dole’s service was recognised with a War Department citation in 1946.