Fashion Hits the Slopes with First-Ever Aspen Fashion Week, March 1-5, 2009

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Celebrating the "Mountain Lifestyle," Five-Day Event to Showcase Booming Winter Resort & Ski Wear Market

With Aspen's status as the king of ski resorts and winter culture, Aspen Fashion Week is ideally suited to be an important stop on the annual fashion week circuit.

Cementing Aspen's reputation as an epicenter for winter and ski fashion trends, the first-ever Aspen Fashion Week will shine a spotlight on the booming skiwear industry from March 1-5, 2009, organizers announced today.

Aspen Fashion Week will serve as a consumer showcase and industry marketplace for winter sports products, a fast-growing sector that took in nearly $3 billion last year, including $661 million in apparel, $663 million in accessories, and $571 million in equipment sales, according to Snowsports Industry of America.

Combining the stunning backdrop of the Rockies with Bryant Park glamour, Aspen Fashion Week will celebrate fashion Aspen-style, with nightly fashion events, in-store presentations, and après-ski soirees. Luxury retail stores throughout downtown Aspen will host an estimated 15 designers as they present their Winter 2009/2010 collections to fashion buyers, media, and customers from around the world, offering a sneak preview of next winter's hottest looks. Organizers said that the event will expand in 2010 with full-scale runway productions.

Confirmed sponsors include W magazine, Veuve Clicquot, Plum TV, The Sky Hotel, St. Regis Aspen Resort, The Little Nell, Limelight Lodge, and Aspen Peak magazine. A preliminary schedule of designers showing collections and an expanded list of sponsors will be announced in mid-January.

The event is the brainchild of Lisa Johnson, the former vice president of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) and an avid skier and fashion enthusiast. During her tenure at ACRA, Johnson oversaw marketing and promotion for Aspen's signature annual events, including the Food & Wine Classic and HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

"Winter sports and resorts attract 6 million of the most affluent, influential, and athletic consumers in America, and while more and more leading designers are catering to this A-list group, up until now there have been no flagship fashion events to reflect this trend," said Johnson. "With Aspen's status as the king of ski resorts and winter culture, Aspen Fashion Week is ideally suited to be an important stop on the annual fashion week circuit."

Johnson noted that Aspen's second-home residency and occupancy rates are both at their peak in March, making it the optimal month to reach the thousands of jetsetters who flock to the city each winter.

"Aspen Fashion Week fills a major void in the fashion industry," said Debbie Braun, President of ACRA. "It's an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of this expanding market and to make Aspen the ski and resort wear fashion capital of the world."

For more information on participating in or sponsoring Aspen Fashion Week, visit http://www.aspenfashionweek.com

(NOTE: A limited number of travel packages, including airfare and hotel rooms in downtown Aspen, are available for members of the fashion media. For information contact, visit http://www.aspenfashionweek.com.)

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