The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Isis Women-Specific Technical Apparel

1998

Isis’ Niobe Down Jacket was cut short and sewn to highlight the figure     Photo: Courtesy of Poppy Gall

Vermonters Poppy Gall and Caroline Cooke spent their lift rides at Stowe complaining about their outerwear. It was too long, too baggy, and made for men. Over après ski beers one day, they decided to do something about it. They sketched the first Isis garments on the back of a napkin. Isis’ Split P shell pants had a front-to-back zipper hidden in the crotch seam so a woman could relieve herself in cold weather without removing her climbing harness. It complemented base layer bottoms with the same feature. But the features weren’t just functional; they were also cosmetic. Isis jackets and pants were cut to flatter a female shape: contoured waists, shorter rises, and longer legs were standard.

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