In a time of self-indulgence rural alpine life is a sanctuary where traditions and folklore are still alive. To our minds the mountain people with their plain way of life form in truth the real hi(gh) society.
"Hi" - meaning as much as hello, howdy, hi there, stands for the uncomplicated, warm attitude of the people up on the high ranges. Beyond the 1.200m line titles, hierarchies, names and prestige are relatively unimportant. The mountain is a place where everyone is equal. When we say "Hi" we also want to call attention to the community and environment of the mountain farmers, lodge owners, the shepherds and lumbermen. A community exists where man and animals live together; old and young people rely on each other, and help together in their everyday life. The basis of it is a warm and satisfying togetherness … and that is exactly our vision of "Society".
When their day's work is done and peacefulness spreads itself out over the hills the most valuable time of day starts for the people living in the remote alpine cabins. It's the time when they settle down on the typical wooden benches in the front yards of their houses, lean their backs on the wooden planks of the house, cozily heated up from the day's sun and enjoy the freedom and quiet surrounding them. Even if their hands and faces are marked by the severe mountain weather, the gratitude and satisfaction Is reflected in their eyes.
These people are our mountain heroes. It's their achievement that the high regions were cultivated in harmony with nature over centuries. If you bother to ask one of these people why they live up there, you'll always hear the same answer: "Here I'm free".
It's said of mountain folk that they are particular - and that also applies to their clothes. Flowered aprons are worn over checkered shirts, home-knit socks and sweaters are thrown over anything you've got on, and when it turns cold you might want to add a scarf to the outfit. And even if this combination looks far out and crazy - we are happy to pick up the inspiration of "mountain hippie style" and turn it into a great combination of tradition and modern fashion.
We based the colors on the expedition garments of the 60s when color was definitely much more reduced than today, we would even say "drained". In the same way that the mountain farmers have kept their authenticity we returned to our graphic roots for the artwork - we actually worked with pencil and paper. We painfully sketched forest images, line by line, and created the typical maloja stars. And we included a combination of traditional alpine motives and the typical 60s style graphics like dot print, color collages and mixed prints.
Fabric-wise we reverted to natural and time-proven weather protectors and developed jackets and parkas made of waxed cotton that can be re-waxed whenever needed.
Some of the items were designed in accordance with Leonardo da Vinci's famous golden ratio principle that to this day is the epitome of beauty, aestheticism and harmony.
The accessories were also designed with an eye to detail. The maloja icon was punched into leather and climbing ropes were used as decals and laces. If a mountain dweller loses a button he replaces it with the next best one that's handy, and in no time you've got a chance collection on your shirt front. We selected the nicest buttons we could find at the flea market and put them all together.
The HiSociety fabrics are in full bloom - in the truest sense of the word - and mixing patterns is a must. And, trust us, it works! In any event, the climbers among our fans will definitely be visible against the slate colored rocks. And if you take a closer look at the print-mix on our men's T-shirts you'll be able to make out the characteristic features of the Swiss Eiger Northface. And we'll prove to you that flower print head and neck scarves are not only stylish in the barn, they look great in the city, too.
By way of creating our own social aid project we abandoned our desks for a week and traded them in for time spent in the community of the Hi Society. We milked cows, repaired fences, mowed meadows, felled trees, brought in the hay, collected herbs and made cheese. We now know how much work, love, and devotion are invested in maintaining the mountain homes and making the food products. In the farmhouse where we stayed a stitched banner hung in the doorfram to the main room; it read "Honor the farming community". And we do just that, for instance by pruchasing regionally produced milk at a fair (that is higher) price, because we want to.
Going into the mountains is the same as coming home…