Aspen is close to the hearts of Aztech Mountain founders David Roth and Anthony Rutgers—in fact, the idea for the refined, cross-functional line of performance sportswear was conceived there on the slopes. Rutgers grew up in the pristine ski town, and when the two married, they began splitting their time between the mountains and New York. The line very much reflects the city-to-slopes lifestyle they embrace. “Aspen has been—and will always remain—my main source of inspiration,” explains Rutgers. “To me, it’s about the town’s colorful kindred spirits, old and new, all of whom share a connected mentality for pristine snow and the unimaginable beauty of the Rocky Mountains.”

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West 82 is the only way into Aspen and therefore has become an iconic highway marker. Image by Bruno Staub.

As Roth and Rutgers prepare to spend the holiday season in their beloved second home, Rutgers takes the time to share the design duo’s insider tips to enjoying the winter months in their favorite place on Earth.

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Image by Bruno Staub.

“Christmas always kicks off with an age-old tree-cutting adventure out in Lenado, just about a 40 minute drive from downtown Aspen. My family and I have been doing this for years. Necessities for finding that special tree include snowshoes, a full flask of Bourbon, and good cheer. Don’t forget to get a permit from the Forest Service before you head out there for a tree of your own!”

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“Skate skiing has become one of my biggest passions as of late. Not only has it informed many of the design decisions we have made in our collection, but it’s the only exercise I have found that completely transforms your body in just a couple of weeks. There are over 60 miles of pristine, well-maintained Nordic track throughout the valley, and a good majority of them are dog-friendly. There is nothing like a skate up to the Maroon Bells on a blue bird day. Epic.”

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“Every year we do a private snow cat rental from from Aspen Powder Tours, and we search for untouched snow—’freshies,’ as we say.”

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“Mountain picnics have long been a tradition for our families. Whether you are on Snowmass or Aspen Mountain, each hosts a variety of locations with picnic tables and a view that cannot be found at any mountain restaurant. What could be better than your own bottle of Hundred Acre wine, food from Meat & Cheese, and your nearest and dearest?”

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Image courtesy of Aspen Historical Society

“Beyond the gorgeous nature that surrounds it, Aspen also has a rich cultural history that we often celebrate through our designs, like this best-selling jacket with a lining inspired from a vintage ski photograph. Pictured above is a poster designed by Herbert Bayer, a founding member of Bauhaus movement and longtime Aspen resident. He produced this for the Chamber of Commerce for the 1952 Wintersköl celebration, in which Aspenites celebrated their unique Nordic lifestyle. We’ll certainly be at Baldwin Gallery for the much-anticipated opening—he hasn’t had a show in over 10 years—of Philip Taaffe’s collection of new works.”

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Image courtesy of Hotel Jerome.

“While our modus operandi is usually to hang and chill with our family at home, this is Aspen, after all, so some fun, glitz, and glamor is mandatory. We also never miss an evening of fondue at Creperie du Village, midnight caroling at the Old Snowmass Monastery, and necessary cocktails with Tony Dilucia, the General Manager of The Jerome Hotel, in the Lobby Bar is a must, must, must.”

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