PlacesZari SadriComment

Designed by Tradition with Alpine Modern

PlacesZari SadriComment
Designed by Tradition with Alpine Modern

Founder Lou Joseph and Director of Marketing Zari Sadri packed up our skis and headed west for a week to host two Designed by Tradition Speaker Series Events in Colorado. 

Our first stop: Boulder, Colorado for a design-driven panel discussion with photographers, typography designers, product designers, and the folks behind Alpine Modern Magazine

We took over the beautiful, warm Alpine Modern Cafe space for a few hours while folks sipped on coffee and tea and eventually dove into the discussion. 

Lon McGowan of Alpine Modern and Lou introduced the panel, which included Kyle Frost (The Outbound), Garrett King (Photographer), Johnny Black (Castiron Design), Jennifer Bertram (Fjallraven), Joshua Perez (Photographer), and Kyle Bardouche (Alpine Modern). 

We discussed our core beliefs and values: creativity, innovation, tradition, and quality across a range of mediums and pursuits. We spoke to what creativity means in our lives, and how tradition influences our design. We spoke to how creative communities like instagram have resulted in friendships and human connection.


Getting to know the stories behind the photograph, whether it was a ridiculous 25 mile day hike, or you got up early to catch the sunrise, it’s really the story behind the photograph that makes it special.
— Kyle Frost
I’ve met some of my best friends through instagram. Kyle and I met today for the first time, but we’ve been talking on instagram for a long time and following each others work.
— Joshua Perez

Since Alps & Meters is so firmly rooted in tradition, from the design of our garments, to the way they're constructed, we were curious to hear from the panelists how they balance modern and traditional elements in their work.

For Alps & Meters, our Forged Performance product creation philosophy is a system of checks & balances to make sure that with every new piece, we're marrying classic garment construction techniques with natural materials, and contemporary technologies. 

"Tradition is fluid. Tradition sort of evolves over time, it doesn't stay the same each and every generation or year. New traditions can be created, or old traditions can be adapted. I think that's what's exciting about bringing tradition into brands is knowing which pieces to carry on with and which pieces to leave." Johnny Black

Alpine Modern Founder Lon McGowan in his Boulder shop.

Alpine Modern Founder Lon McGowan in his Boulder shop.

Finding warmth is important, because it feels nostalgic and traditional. But finding that and marrying that nostalgia with modern design is where things really start to come together, and it becomes warm modern, or what we call Alpine Modern. Finding that balance between the two is key. We use tradition as our warmth.
— Lon McGowan

We loved Lon's answer to a question from the crowd about the criticism millennials can often face regarding their perceived propensity to value image over function. 

"All cultures progress from function first, to figuring out how to make things beautiful. Beauty has a value. I think that as cultures progress, that our ability and our focus to make things beautiful, just in and of itself, is a sign of progress for a culture. I see that happening in America where it's happened in other countries already. Sweden is an example. They've already built their infrastructure, and once you've built something, what do you do next? You make it beautiful. That's our goal with Alpine Modern."

We'd like to thank the Boulder based Alpine Modern Magazine & Cafe teams for showing us such incredible hospitality during our trip. Also, a special thanks is owed to our panelists for an intriguing evening of conversation. Stay tuned for more Designed by Tradition events on the East Coast this spring!