When a creative colour artist turns her mountain scapes into fabric, the entire skiwear industry is disrupted.
Wife of Crazy Canuck Olympian Dave Irwin, Lynne Harrison has been running an eclectic art studio and creative clothing shop in her home town of Canmore since May 2015. Starting with paintings, prints and postcards, she morphed her mountain motif into printed bike, running and watersports clothing first and then, this season, moved into the Alchemy of Ride range of ski jackets, pants, vests, one-piece Nordic outfits, and wickable under layers for men and women. “It is about sharing colour and fun and happiness,” says Harrison. “Alchemy is the ancient process of turning base metal into gold and The Ride is a metaphor for life.”
As well as Silver Tree Studio in Canmore’s gentrified Main Street, her whimsical work is available at stores in Lake Louise, Banff, Whistler and Scottsdale, Arizona. She has sales reps in BC and AB expanding her Canadian reach, and a new rep based from Boulder, CO serving the US market. From Jan 8, her ski brand goes online.
Always focused on helping others beleaguered by mental health issues (due to her husband’s brain injury and rehabilitation), Harrison donates a portion of her profits to her own Mental-Aid Foundation, to the Kelty Patrick Dennehey Foundation in Whistler, and Banff’s Mental Illness Stigma Support Group (MISS). As an integral part of the Canmore art scene, the artful alchemist shares her talents and insight, offering artists and art enthusiasts to paint with her at her studio shop.
Ambitions include expanding into China where the ski market is burgeoning, challenging the black-and-beige bias in the Alps, clothing the Canadian Winter Olympic team and designing “a jenny” for the Americas Cup.
The charismatic Canmore couple can be spotted in Harrison’s hectic hues at Sunshine Village, Banff where other skiers stop them to comment, ask where they got their riotous rainbow ski suits and take their photos. Instagram is also starting to notice! Irwin, who helps out at the store, is a model for the men’s line, sporting the skiwear at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Company where he is a daily regular and rocking the bike and running range in summer.
Appetite whetted? Find out more by contacting Louise Hudson at: [email protected]”