Mountain Air 

As shipment boxes arrive at Mountain Air Clothing, the excitement never loses its sparkle factor within the small circle of staff.  Revealing the contents is the sunshine and beauty that brings new meaning to the words ‘Mountain Air’literally and figuratively. Slicing those boxes open never gets old. How could it? Every item in the clothing lines truly embodies a unique array of choices. You could be thinking that isn’t possible. It’s understandable if it sounds a bit over the top. 

Come on…really

 It’s just a clothing Store!!  

Yes.

A clothing store.

A clothing store where one can visually seefeel fabrics of the finest quality in order to know why I speak with such glowing words.

The designers that connect each corner of Mountain Air are selected by owner Karen Jacobs. The inspirational soul that created a space of awe known as Mountain Air Clothing.

As you enter the store, you see each piece neatly folded, or clothing making a maniquin look way too good to be made of plastic. Other pieces are hung in rows of lovely visual clothing bliss. 

As your eyes take in the array of clothing, hats, scarves and footwear, you cannot help but fall in love with it all. 

Karen Jacobs brings a contagious enthusiasm to her staff.  Each person she meets cannot miss the passion she has.

It is evident in this Haven of Beautiful Clothing Zen.

Mountain Air has shared breathtaking clothing for the summer, along with sweaters, jackets and hats for cooler weather or simply to look and feel fantastic. 

No one wants to say goodbye to summer. Our summers in Canada are short & we want them to last forever. Of course we can’t. We must bid summer farewell.

Why not step into fall fresh & fill it with inspiration? Embrace fall. Allow Mountain Air to breathe life into the way you express yourself.

Start off fall with denim of the finest quality & fit.

If you have owned a pair of AG Denim, you already understand that they feel so beyond incredible you wonder what took so long for you to discover them.

One of Mountain Air’s latest editions to the AG Denim line is the AG cigarette stilt in faded indigo with subtle touches of destruction. Supima-blend stretch denim transforms into a sleek fit and an amazingly comfortable feel. Classic five-pocket construction with contrast stitching, zip fly, and button closure.

Starting off with the perfect pair of denim makes fall a little more exciting. Pair with a beautiful fitting top & sweater…slip on a fabulous pair of boots that were made for walking. 

You will be on your way to the new season with a chic, stylish look that will release your inner glow. 

The Faces of Mountain Air: Beth

A part of what makes Mountiain Air Clothing special is the people behind the counter and out on the floor. Get to know the staff who are always ready to chat fashion, offer advice, and help you find your perfect fit.

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Beth test drives some new Mjus in a popular Jasper photo spot across from the store

Beth L. has been working at Mountain Air since December 2013

Q: Describe your personal style?

Beth: I would say my personal style is pretty sporadic. I kind of dress how I feel on that particular day.

 My style inspirations would be Nicole Richie, Keith Richards and Sarah Jessica Parker. I like the idea of mixing price points in fashion as well as outfits with a bit of a bohemian flare. Layering jewellery and clothing is always fun and a good way to make a outfit funky and unique.

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Q: What is your favourite part about your job? 

Beth: I like meeting people and playing dress up with them! The best is when someone comes in and is totally open to trying on anything and everything. That’s when we find the best outfits and they leave feeling confident and happy!

Q: What’s your superpower while at work? 

Beth: I would say my super power is recognizing returning customers and remembering what they bought the last time they were in! It helps when suggesting new pieces.

Q: What is your favourite activity outside of work:

Beth: There are so many things to enjoy in Jasper on my free time! I love to eat at all our local cafes and restaurants as well as walking the trails with my dog, paddle boarding and bike riding.

Jacket: Surkana
Jacket: Surkana

Q: If you could give one tip to customers, what would it be?

Beth: Dress for the body you have not the one you want. It’s the only one you’ve got so you might as well love it!

Q: Favourite item in your personal wardrobe?

Beth: This is tough. It’s a tie between my black leather jacket, my Burberry scarf and my new Mjus boots (I love color and style they’re a bit rock ‘n’ roll!).

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Q: What item do you think everyone should have in their wardrobe?

Beth: You definitely need a good leather jacket! One you can layer with a casual outfit or wear to go out. It makes an outfit a bit more edgy and fun.

Q: Favourite brand or item at Mountain Air?

Beth: My favourite brand at Mountain Air right now would be Aunts & Uncles. It’s a leather handbag line from Germany. I appreciate that you can see the quality and effort that is put into each piece. As well as, due to the fact they are genuine leather and vegetable dyed they age and wear in perfectly.

Q: Any favourite moments or stories from work?

Beth: One of my favourite moments while working at Mountain Air was probably our last staff Christmas party. We spent the night and next day at JPL enjoying the food the view the spa and just really got to bond as co workers! I also got to bring my pup Nyxy out for the sleepover at the Fairmont, I think it’s safe to say she’s accustomed to the finer things in life.

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Q: If you could go on a shopping trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Beth: I would go to London, Paris, Milan or New York. Any of these cities during Fashion Week would be insanely exciting and at the top of my list. It’s so interesting to go to these places and see what they are wearing now because a lot of the trends still won’t hit us for another couple years.

Get to Know the Faces of Mountain Air: Karen Jacobs – Owner

A part of what makes independent boutiques like Mountain Air special are the faces behind the counter and behind the scenes. We’d like to give you a chance to get to know the people behind the store, who choose and stand by the brands we carry, and are always ready to chat fashion and give fit advice to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Karen poses for a photo at a her birthday bash

You may have heard about or been in to check out our Boss’ Birthday Bash summer sale. This month for her birthday we’d like to give you a chance to get to know Karen, the owner and manager of Mountain Air.

As both owner and manager of the store, Karen goes to buying shows, researches brands and selects lines and items to appear in the store. An average day for her consists of coming in early, checking orders, responding to emails for the store and leading and directing staff and merchandizing in the store.

 My staff have it dialed. I don’t have to be in the floor very much, as much as I do like being out there and bossing people around.

Q: How long have you been working at Mountain Air? How did you start working here and/or what drew you to the job in the first place?
Karen: I came here in 1995 to spend a summer with my two sisters as we hadn’t been together in the same place since high school. I was in Edmonton and my older sister Jill was working at this fab store called Mountain Air and she told her boss that I was looking for a job and the rest is history. In fact we all worked for him that summer!

In 2010, after years of working at Mountain Air, Karen decided to take over ownership of the store when the previous owner decided to sell it along with its sister stores at the JPL, in Banff and Whistler. The stores are no longer affiliated, but the new owners keep in close touch.

Q: What made you decide to buy the store in 2010?
Karen: Doug was wanting to retire from retail and I had worked my way up the ranks and felt I knew this business in and out so it was a natural progression. I had two really great teachers/mentors in Doug McPhee and Jackie Ermet, and I’m, sure they can tell you that I always felt like I was the boss even though I wasn’t!

Q: How has the business changed since you first started out in retail?
Karen: [As a retailer] you used to buy in capsules, so everything merchandized perfectly together by colour and style, but now we buy individual items not a collection.
Also, People buy in different ways and are more conscious of fabric content, cost, and origin.

Karen: But everything always comes back! Anything that was once popular will eventually be remade into something more current, something more fabulous, adapted for today’s trends. Shoulder pads, for example.

Q: What’s your vision for the store in the next few years?
Karen: When I bought the store it was the clearing house for the other stores [Open Country Banff and Whistler]. So it’s taken a while to find Mountain Air’s identity without the other stores to trade with. We’re on the path to our truest self, our soul self. 😉

Q: And what do you think that identity is?

Karen: A store for ages 25 plus. Not super junior but not really your grandma’s sweater store either. We’re finding a niche for everyone [regarding price and style].

Every season we try something new to see how it sits and if there’s a response, you order it again and go with what your customer is asking for.

Q: What part of being a business owner in Jasper do you find the most challenging? And the most rewarding part?
Karen: In Jasper the seasonality is tough sometimes, going from so high [in the summer] to so low [in the winter]. People think we’re a lot like Banff, but we’re not. We’re a destination, not a crossroads. It’s not West Edmonton Mall. But I have fabulous staff with great longevity, and I get to meet amazing people from all over and help them have a great experience in Jasper.

I do like bossing people around, and getting in new staff, and when the store looks really good. [It’s rewarding] when we manage to connect with someone and sell them something they love. They have to love it.

Q: What do you look for when bringing a new brand or line into the store?
Karen: Nowadays you have to look at what’s popular but also fabric content, where its made, and of course price-point.
For example with new brand La Fee Maraboutee, it performed well elsewhere [at Open Country], but also it has a really luxurious fabric content and is all made in Italy
Another new brand, Toad and Co is Ethically made and sustainable and has lots of great features.

Q: Describe your personal style or fashion and trends that you like?
Karen: I’m pretty conservative. I like the basics, skinny jeans with a mid rise. I do like my nice wool sweaters and cardigans though. Luxury basics.

Q: What’s your favourite activity outside of work?
Karen: Hanging with my kids and doing the things they like to do. We go biking, to the beach or skiing in the winter. We read books together.

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Q: If you could give one tip to customers, what would it be?
Karen: Dress for the body that you have now, don’t try to dress for when you lose that ten pounds. Your clothes should fit and look fabulous on your body now.

Q: What item do you think everyone should have in their wardrobe?
Karen: You should probably have one good pair of jeans because everyone will be checking out your butt. I really love my AG Jeans. They don’t stretch out. I pick them up off the floor and wear them every day. 🙂

Q: If you could go on a shopping trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Karen: New York.

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Get to Know the Faces of Mountain Air: Molly

A part of what makes Mountiain Air Clothing special is the people behind the counter and out on the floor. Get to know the staff who are always ready to chat fashion, offer advice, and help you find your perfect fit.

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Molly at the Other Paw Cafe in Jasper. Jacket: Mackage, Shirt: Peppercorn, Necklace: Beads by by Gosh

Molly H. has been working at Mountain Air for almost five years, and has lived in Jasper off and on for around eight.

Q: Describe your personal style/fashion and trends that you like?

Molly: I like what I like, whether it’s a trend or not. I like to look at the new trends, not to see what’s “in” but just to see new things and see if there’s perhaps something I haven’t seen before.

On Style:

Style is a result of environment and budget.  My style basically depends on where I am and what I’m doing (the environment). I like to have pieces from all styles. However, my closet consists entirely of black and extremely summery things (neon, pastel). And shoes. Many shoes.

Whoever says “the most important thing is to be comfortable”….. I say no, (because you can’t tell me the 3 inch heels are really all that more comfortable than the 4 inch heels.) If that was true, we’d all be wearing sweatpants.

Q: What is your favourite part about your job?

Molly: My boss! She’s definitely the best boss and team leader I’ve ever had.   Otherwise, the locals and people who come in and make this place feel like family. The people who make you feel like you’re not “at work”

Q: Favourite activity outside of work:

Molly: Comedy. Writing bits for stand up. Writing funny rants that I definitely can’t practice Processed with VSCOcamat work.

Q: If you could give one tip to customers  what would it be? 

Molly: Unless you have endless amounts of cash lying around, just don’t buy things you know you won’t wear, even if you really really hope to be able to. Just don’t.

Q: What’s your superpower at work?

Molly: I really don’t know.

Hillary says: She’s an amazing salesgirl without ever making anyone feel uncomfortable. She’s relaxed and never pressures people when she makes suggestions. It’s like having an honest, helpful friend shop with you.

Beth says: She has the voice of reason when things get difficult, and she always stays calm and helps people have a great experience no matter what.

Q: What’s your favourite item in your personal wardrobe?

Molly: Mackage. I have a leather jacket and a winter coat from them.

(The winter jacket is below, the leather jacket above)

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Jacket: Mackage, Sunglasses: Kuma Papyrus

 

Q: What item do you think everyone should have in their wardrobe?

Molly: Clothes that fit great, a pair of good jeans that fit and you love.

Q: Favourite brand or item at Mountain Air?

Molly: Mackage. (see below)

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Jacket by Mackage, Sunglasses Kuma Papyrus style

Q: Any favourite moments or stories from work?

Molly: There’s were a couple of “feel good” stories that we’ve had with people who were very shy or not appearing to be into it [trying things on], and by the end of their time here they would be prancing out of the change room to show us. Those people who turn into repeat customers because they see that we just like to have fun and try on clothes.

Q: If you could go on a shopping trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

Molly: Somewhere fun, with a bit of a cultural influence but still in tune to fashion around the world. Like South Africa.

Molly will be leaving us this May to travel and work abroad, starting in Norway. We wish her all the best and will miss her immensely!

Stay tuned to get to know the rest of the team or come in and meet them!

Beads by Gosh

1424539684999 Beads by Gosh is a unique line of jewelry made by Susie Wilgosh, a longtime local of Jasper. Her designs are sold exclusively in Jasper at Mountain Air and Open Country stores. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind and incorporates a wide range of materials from authentic semi-precious stones and crystals to lighter, more affordable synthetics. Susie Wilgosh of Beads by Gosh comes from a family of artists and craftspeople. Her father was a woodworker and her mother was one of the first art teachers in Hinton. She and her siblings, one brother a cartoonist, the other skilled at wildlife paintings, have all inherited a strong creative instinct. Susie has been making beads for over a decade since 2003 when she and her daughter entered into a local craft fair and she was encourage to pursue bead-making as more than just a hobby. Her designs are inspired from a wide variety of sources. Susie says she keeps an eye on newscasters to see what they’re wearing, reads magazines,  and loves to try new designs and materials. Sometimes the staff at Mountain Air will make requests based on a trend or what colours of clothing we have in stock. For materials, Susie brings in beads from all over. Authentic Swarovski crystals will come in from Austria, but she also keeps an eye out for new stones and beads as close to home as Edmonton and as far afield as Jamaica. In her 9 by 11 foot beading room filled to the brim with supplies, Susie crimps, cuts, and shapes her pieces. While Susie has been asked to sell her work elsewhere and online, she finds it easier to just sell in the two local stores. “If something goes wrong I can fix it, at least for locals,” she says. Mountain Air is always receiving new pieces from Susie and trading out old stock, resulting in an ever-changing collection of jewelry. While Susie often uses semi-precious stones and exotic material like lava beads and freshwater pearls from Vietnam, many of her earrings, bracelets, and necklaces are designed to be more affordable and start at only $5 for bracelets and earrings to $20 for one-of-a-kind necklaces. Browse some of her designs below or come in to see the latest from Beads by Gosh.

Browse more Beads by Gosh at Mountain Air

What’s your travel fashion IQ?

Winter travel is all about breaking up our long Canadian winter with a getaway somewhere warm, but even if Canadian Spring is still a long ways off the start of the spring season elsewhere in the world marks the beginning of the travel season. Many travellers use the spring to cash in some of those vacation days for April in Paris, Easter in Rome or a trip to NYC. Unlike vacations, travel is about finding new experiences and getting to know someplace new. Whether you’re a marathon museum visitor, wine taster, or amateur photographer, we’ve got some tips and products to help you enjoy your adventures while staying stylish.

Pro-tip #1: Sensible shoes

Wear shoes you know you’re going to be able to walk a lot in, even if you don’t expect to do a lot of walking. Remember, you CAN pack more than more pair of shoes, so don’t feel like you have to find one shoe that does EVERYTHING. Even if a tall black boot that’s warm but also good for hiking but also a sandal but also a high heel DOES exist, it will probably cost an arm and a leg. Sensible doesn’t have to be the opposite of stylish. Pick something simple and remember that the best look is the blister-free look.

For a good walking shoe, we like Josef Seibel’s Caspian shoe. It comes in a few fun colours as well as basic grey and black and has a removable cushioning insole, so if you wear orthotics (don’t even think about leaving them behind if you do) you can pop them in. the cushy insoles will help reduce fatigue while walking.

Remember, break your shoes in before you leave, or put band-aids on your heels before you get blisters and spare yourself some pain. Allow yourself time to rest between big walking days just like you would if you’d been hiking. Have yourself a cuppa. Smell the roses.

Pro-tip #2: Coordinate

You don’t have to choose one single colour to wear while you’re travelling, no matter how light you want to pack. Instead decide what item in your ensemble is the base–the item you plan all your other accessories around and probably wear more than one day a week, usually your jeans or trousers. So long as your tops match your base, it doesn’t matter if they match one-another. Jeans and neutral bottoms are great because they go with just about everything and so you don’t have to pack the same outfit seven times over. A black cardigan (like this one from Yest) goes  with everything and can be layered under a jacket for comfort and warmth. Comfort goes a long ways, especially if you plan on driving or a train or plane on your adventure.

We like to choose a base colour to coordinate everything with, like choosing black or brown as our neutral and avoiding everything that doesn’t go well with it.

Pack a Tide-to-go pen or a spot remover and save yourself a trip to the laundromat after your first Currywurst experience lands some ketchup on your jeans.

Pro-tip #3: Skip the ironing

Ditch the wrinkles–or embrace them! You’re not going to want to spend a lot of time doing laundry or ironing dress shirts, so opt for something that’s going to wear well all day long. While your travel lifestyle probably won’t be too far off from what you normally get up to at home, you might be driving, riding, and walking more than usual under conditions you can’t control. All that adds up to increased pressure on your clothes.

Something soft and stretchy like our pre-creased David Cline collection are great for travel because they won’t show wear and are supremely comfortable. Since these pieces are supposed to be wrinkled you don’t have to worry about balling them up in your suitcase (though you should know you ought to roll your clothes) and wearing them all day and night. And why not, with such lush spring colours! From collared shirts to long-sleeved tees, David Cline is our travel favourite.

David Cline

Pro-tip #4: Bring a scarf

You already knew that a scarf would be the perfect accessory to tie your outfit together and keep you warm. Scarves are one of the best accessories to have while travelling. When it gets too hot, just tie them to your purse, and you can even use your scarf as a blanket when huddling aboard an over-air conditioned train or plane or when that cool breeze starts coming off the Adriatic sea. Bring one. Buy one as a souvenir. You won’t regret it, especially when you master 25 Ways to Wear A Scarf (and invent one or two of your own).

Pro-tip #5: Don’t be afraid to bring your leather jacket

One of my biggest personal travel-regrets is forgetting to pack a stylish jacket for going out at night. You already packed a nice outfit and put on your dressy shoes, but there’s only so fancy you can get when the only jacket you packed is the super-sensible rain jacket that you’ve been hiking around in all week (preferably in slate-grey like mine for added dullness). A leather jacket or a blazer may not be practical for everyday wear on your travels, but you owe yourself the opportunity go look your best on a classy night out. You’re going to want ONE photo of you that isn’t in that rain jacket. Trust me.

This LaMarque blazer-style leather jacket is one of our faves. The goring in the sleeves even makes it comfortable enough to wear all day.

Pro-tip #6: Leave room for a souvenir

Often while you’re travelling you won’t want to do a lot of shopping, but every now and then you need to take a break from sightseeing to do a bit of shopping. Rather than a canvas bag or a hoodie with the name of whatever city you’re in on it, consider buying something unique from the region you’re in. If shopping is your goal, do some research before your trip and get to know the manufacturing techniques, materials, or brands that are the specialty of your destination. Make sure the items you pick up are authentic, too. It’s easy to buy the first authentic-looking item in the tourist districts, but ask some locals for tips about what’s cool or where to find the real deal. You wouldn’t want to come back from Italy with shoes made in China.

At Mountain Air, we try to stock as many Made in Canada brands as possible, like Canada Goose, Lisette, Parkhurst, Mackage, Lili & Cohoe, Oleanna Zylak, Ambler, and our souvenir line are all designed and manufactured in Canada. Not only does it give visitors a piece of Canada to take home with them, but it helps the economy!

Whether you’re a vacationer or a die-hard adventure-traveller, experience is the best teacher. Do you have any travel tips to share? Tell us in the comments!

Need help putting together some items our outfits for an upcoming trip? Come into the store! We’re getting new spring fashions in every day now, snow be damned!

Mountain Air fashion as seen on TV

When it’s cold and gloomy out, nothing beats staying in and watching a little TV. What could be a better, easier way to sit back and relax and stock up on fashion inspiration? Not only can we confidently say now that peplums are very, very in, but we’ve spotted some specific Mountain Air styles on the small screen!

Love Heals necklace as seen on the hit TV show Bones, season 1 episode 2.

love heals bones

love heals bones

Emily Deschanel is wearing not one, but two Love Heals necklaces in this early Bones episode. A simple pendant on a shorter quartz or labradorite chain helps fill in the gap in the long pearl chain, which she has decorated with three medium-sized pendants. Build this necklace with the Be Creative line by Love Heals, as it’s soon to be discontinued. In the mean time, we’ll keep an eye out for Emily in their stunning new designs.

Lavand cardigan as seen on the CW’s Arrow, season 1 episode 15.

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The CW is one of the most fashionable networks out there, and Arrow’s Emily Bett Rickards  as the character Felicity certainly looks smart wearing a red version of this layered lavand cardigan. Mountain Air’s own Molly agrees that this classy little staple works great with a pencil skirt, and you don’t have to be an IT whiz working with a superhero to look fabulous in it.

 

 

 

 

 

Press sweater in Orphan Black, season 1 episode 8

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Orphan Black is one of the hottest things to come out of Canada in a long time, so it’s

great to see homegrown fashion alongside the heaps of homegrown talent in this hit drama about clones. Evelyn Brochu as the character Delphine wears this cozy Canadian-designed Press sweater. Her red skirt does wonders to bring out the shades in the cardigan. Our version has more of a purple and less of red undertones because each sweater is unique–just like the clones. The sweater is also reversible back to front, so you can wear the V in the front like Delphine or the back like our mannequin.

Seen something of ours on TV? Let us know! Better yet, channel your inner starlet and come on in and try some of these pieces (and many more new arrivals in store). In the mean time, we’ve got some more TV to catch up on…

by Hillary

Ivko’s vibrant cure for late winter blues

In many parts of the world spring is on the way, and while calendar spring (not to mention Canadian spring) is still a ways off, spring fashions are starting to crop up in Mountain Air.  The best way to feel like spring is on the way is by injecting a little bit of colour into your wardrobe, and what better way to do that than with the bold, exotic patterns and tailored designs of the Ivko Woman line.

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Ivko comes from scenic Serbia, with its long traditional of enriched textiles. The line itself was founded in 1986 when Serbia was still a part of Yugoslavia, and many Eastern European states were opening up to the idea of private entrepreneurship at the end of the Cold War. Since then Ivko has grown from one woman’s experiment into a thriving family business that combines trendy with folksy and high-fashion. While Eastern Europe has grown to be a hotbed for high quality manufacturing in the past ten or twenty years, Ivko’s line is unique because not only are the vivid sweaters made in Serbia, but they express a certain Serbian-ness in the designs. Folksy and bold, Ivko strives to create something for the modern woman that is made from the highest quality merino wools, but also references its origin culture.

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Photo Petar Milošević, Wikimedia Commons

The embroidery and flower motifs seen in this image of a parade in Guča, Serbia, can also be found in Ivko’s designs, adapted for the modern woman.

These luxury sweaters and coats, knitted using merino wool, mohair, and sometimes silk-lined, will keep you cozy even throughout the rest of our dismally long winter. Remember that the days are growing long, and even if the flowers won’t be out for many months still, stash your monochrome early-winter-sweaters and opt for something cozy and daring by Ivko Woman.

Here are some of the wintry styles we have in store.

by Hillary