I had been in Sweden for just under an hour, and already I was seeing the two words everywhere — on jackets, on tees, on stickers, on billboards. As it was my first time in Scandinavia, I naively expected to walk into a living Fjällräven ad; instead, I was introduced to Peak Performance. And I was damn impressed.
Peak Performance’s fascinating story begins in 1986. It’s a long one. For the sake of time, a summary: four world-class Swedish skiers returned from an epic ski trip in Sun Valley, Idaho. Their frustration with flashy, fluorescent, flamboyant ’80s slope style had reached a boiling point. Why was no one making simple, refined ski apparel? Couldn’t outerwear be high-performance without screaming about it into a proverbial megaphone? Thus Peak Performance was born: a masterful maker of understated, stylish, supremely technical ski apparel.
Thirty years after Peak Performance’s birth, hardly anything has changed. Their garments remain inspired by the great slopes of the world, yet consistently exhibit an unmistakable Scandinavian aesthetic: subdued, sleek, quietly confident. No bright colors, no flashy logos. Peak Performance is a lover of powdery slopes, yet a friend of city streets. I was impressed by Peak Performance, and you should be, too.
At the time of writing, Peak Performance’s products are available only in Sweden, Europe, Canada and one store in Santa Barbara, Calif.