Innovation is in Our DNA
Klaus Obermeyer founded this company on a simple idea. Using his skills as an engineer and his passion for skiing, to change the sport forever. "Make skiing safer and more fun," led to decades of innovation that made our winter adventures something we wouldn't live without.
One can say that Sport Obermeyer's first product was imported from Germany. Klaus's mother gave him a down comforter for the journey to the United States. Klaus saw the lack of warm ski apparel on the mountain and got to work, fashioning a down ski parka out of the comforter. It was said that you could see a trail of feathers down the mountain that followed Klaus's parka, but that didn't stop his first sale... to his friend Gary Cooper.
The ski brake is bound to be one of the first things a modern skier takes for granted during a day on or off piste. You need to make an adjustment or just stop for a frosty beverage and a breather and you step out of your skis, and the brake deploys, keeping them where they need to be. Well, the first prototype of this game-changing innovation is still sitting on Klaus's desk in our Aspen office.
Klaus traversed the mountain during a different time than we're used to. One thing that needed to be invented for safety on the mountain was a sunblock that would protect you at the altitudes found in Aspen. Klaus devised Sportan Sunscreen to protect fellow skiers from the harshest of UV rays.
If you look around these days at sunglasses and goggles on the mountain, you see countless pairs that feature the mirrored lens. It's a feature that looks great, while also helping to protect the users eyes. Klaus Obermeyer's chain of eyewear innovations led him to the mirrored lens, which was deployed on the Rallye sunglasses Obermeyer launched in the early 1960s and are being celebrated again today.
With the help of his wife, Nome Obermeyer, Klaus's brand began to celebrate the self expressive nature of skiing through fashion-forward product design. Vibrant colors, expressive, flattering silhouettes, and design innovations like the one-piece ski suit, and high design alpine sweaters all began what is a historic portfolio, that has left an indelible mark on skiing fashion.
Klaus was born December 2, 1919 and grew up in the small Bavarian village of Oberstaufen, Germany, a remote farm where he learned early on that everything can be put to use. At the age of three, he fashioned his first pair of skis out of thin, flexible chestnut slats from an orange crate. Much to his mother’s dismay, he nailed his good house shoes to these skis, and he was off. Klaus made his way to the United States in 1947 and became a ski school instructor in Aspen, Colorado. It was this job that led to the founding of Sport Obermeyer. At 103, with a beautiful family, staggering list of product innovations, and numerous industry awards bearing his name, Klaus still resides at his ranch on the Roaring Fork River. He comes to the office, swims a half mile each day, practices Akido, and has a smile and hello for everyone he meets.
These incredible memories and milestones make Klaus not just the fearless founder and president of Obermeyer, but the true heart of the company. His contagious enthusiasm and boundless optimism inspires family and friends, the employees he works with every day, and countless fans worldwide. They all say Klaus inspires them to try new things, think big, get outside, and live a well-balanced life. They strive not only to “ski like Klaus,” (a popular bumper sticker seen around Aspen) but to “be like Klaus.”