Q&A Tamsin Burford,
Tamsin Burford says that the story behind Winternational, the online designer ski wear boutique for women, is a simple one. ‘I had ski wear envy whenever I went on a ski tip and saw the lovely luxury ski wear and chic styles in the ski resorts and on other skiers. Especially in the lift queue!’ she says.
When she returned home after one trip she realised she didn’t have the time to go shopping, and even when she did, the few ski shops in her area didn’t have what she was looking for.
Knowing that many other women would feel the same way, she started researching brands and labels that she loved and built a website. When they needed a name it was her eldest son who came up with Winternational.
While Winternational is thriving today, back in 2006 the internet was a very different place and it wasn’t always easy to convince brands to join the website . Tamsin says, ‘Some brands would not join a web only business and now, those same brands are coming knocking at my virtual door asking for us to stock them!’.
With so much expertise in how to look chic and stylish while keeping warm and dry, The Luxury Travel Bible asks Tamsin what we need to pack, how to stand out and what we should be investing in.
Tell us more about Winternational
Winternational is an online designer ski wear boutique for women – we stock beautiful collections of luxurious, high performing, quality ski wear and ski accessories that look good on the slopes.
Over the years we have built up great connections with our suppliers and customers and we stock a beautiful collection of stunning, stylish ski wear and ski accessories for women. Many of our customers purchase again and again, changing up an outfit or adding an accessory or two.
Every ski season we try to find new brands to add to our edit of the best ski wear for women whilst concentrating on fast delivery and excellent customer service. It's no joke to say we live, eat, breathe and sleep ski wear in our quest to become that go to shop for women who want the best quality ski wear but who want to look chic, stylish and keep warm and dry.
What is the inspiration behind Winternational
When Winternational was set up in 2006, the idea was to have a collection of beautiful ski wear that could be shipped to customers all over the world. Internet shopping was in its infancy and so it was quite a new idea. Since then we’ve expanded to stock more labels and offer a wider variety of price points. It’s our aim to find small brands who design and make beautiful, high quality ski wear using sustainable production techniques and have quality supply chains. We work really closely with our suppliers and consider many of them friends.
How can luxury travellers always look stylish while on the slopes?
Think about what styles suit your figure. Consider how you like to wear clothing – form fitted or more casual. Remember skiing is a sport and clothing should fit well, so forget the size and concentrate on the fit. One top tip is to manage colours from head to toe – this doesn’t mean sticking to one colour necessarily but picking a blend of colours and tones that work well.
What should a first-time skier pack? (What should you purchase, what should you rent?)
Rent your skis and boots for sure. Ideally pre-book these to take advantage of early booking discounts.
You’ll need a ski jacket and ski pants obviously (!) and a good quality ski helmet is a must.
Ski socks will help you feel more comfortable in ski boots and comfort is key for enjoying the mountains.
Thermals and base layers if you are skiing in the cooler months will make all the difference in keeping you warm and dry throughout the skiing day.
A buff or neckwarmer is a great way to keep you warm if the wind picks up. We always have these in our skiing wardrobe. You can pick these up cheaply too and they make a lot of difference.
Gloves or mittens! Cold hands make for a miserable skier so buy the best you can. If you suffer from poor circulation, mittens are the best option, and you can add in glove liners. Really feel the cold? Then splurge on some battery heated mittens or gloves. These are some of our bestsellers and make all the difference to having fun on the mountains in all kinds of weather.
Chunky boots for wandering around the town and travelling. You can use walking boots, but we suggest going for styles that look good in the snow and perform at low temperatures. Our winter boots are amazing for being both stylish and practical.
If you’re being cost conscious, you might want to consider using long sleeved gym tops as base layers. Cashmere jumpers can be useful too. Wear a cashmere jumper for après one night and then use it on the slopes the next day.
What should skiers spend their money investing in? (what is it worth spending a little extra on?)
| Don’t over pack the après ski clothing. You’ll never wear it all!
Buy the best quality ski pants, ski jacket, helmet and ski gloves/mittens. The fabrics used in quality ski wear are very different as are the manufacturing techniques. You’ll get better fit and better performance for a variety of mountain conditions, from the colder months to those warm late season days.
A ski helmet is super important, we are all aware of this. Technology is improving all the time and so is the protection offered increases year on year. Ski helmet manufacturers advise changing your ski helmet every 5 years or after any serious impact.
What is one key piece that a luxury traveller should wear in order to stand out on the slopes?
A stylish statement can be a pop of colour or an extra bit of detail. Look for ski pants that have a side stripe in faux leather or a gold accent or stars on the outer leg or ski jackets with an interesting colour contrast, zipper colour or fur or faux fur trim.
A ski helmet with a built in visor is eye catching and can be practical too.
Skinny stirrup ski pants look gorgeous on!
We sell lots of belt bags and back backs in a range of colours. These are fun and luxurious and practical all at the same time.
What is your advice for Après Ski styling?
Don’t over pack the après ski clothing. You’ll never wear it all! A couple of pairs of jeans, cashmere sweaters and a fun blouse or shirt. We sell some gorgeous silk ski thermals with diamante details. These are so versatile and you’ll want to show them off!
Take some relaxed leggings or lounging trousers for the hotel or chalet. Shrug a cashmere sweater over your shoulders and you are chic but casual.
Our sheepskin slippers help your feet relax at the end of the day when they have worked so hard inside your ski boots!
What three things do you personally never travel without.
What accessories do all skiers need?
A small but cool back pack or belt bag! Essential for the essentials and help keep your look streamlined. These are perfect for popping in other vitals like your sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, tissues and a neckwarmer/buff.
1. Belt bag - love these for upping the style stakes on the slopes but really practical on a travel day too.
2. Inuikii winter boots - cool, chic and stylish but also lined with shearling to keep your feet warm and dry.
3. A large pashmina or scarf - ideal for wrapping up in if the air con is on too high and they make an excellent pillow. Plus they can be used for après!
Luxury Travel Links: www.winternational.co.uk
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