Lowe Alpine Ltd., maker of innovative backpacks and outdoor accessories is pleased to announce that Jeff Lowe, iconic alpinist and industry pioneer, will once again join the brand, this time in an non-executive role as Honorary President. The move marks a strategic step for Lowe Alpine which seeks to reclaim its role as an industry leader in innovation and quality.
The Lowe Alpine brand was born in 1967 to the imagination of Jeff’s older brother, Greg Lowe. By 1970, the Lowe brothers including Jeff, Greg, and Mike had combined efforts and poured their energy into innovating, producing and marketing technical climbing apparel and packs. Within a decade, Lowe Alpine had become a premier brand in North America and Europe. While Lowe Alpine continued to grow into the 80’s, unmanageable export duties and manufacturing costs led the brothers to sell the brand to a company based in Kendal, UK. As of 1988, the Lowe brothers had ended all affiliation with the brand. In the years following the Lowe brothers’ departure, Lowe Alpine has experienced both global prosperity and difficult times as numerous rotating owners struggled to keep the brand operating at its high potential.
In October 2011 Equip Outdoor Technologies Ltd., parent company of technical apparel brand Rab, finalized the purchase of Lowe Alpine. Working to recapture the brands potential, Equip is investing heavily into pack and apparel design, marketing, and is growing the brands overall support structure. The Lowe Alpine brand headquarters will return to its long-time home in Kendal, UK with a US subsidiary operating in Louisville, Colorado.
“Lowe Alpine is starting anew and bringing Jeff Lowe back into the fold is a perfect start to reconnecting the brand to the innovation and inspired ideas that originally drove it,” said David Udberg, Managing Director for Lowe Alpine, “The Lowe brothers are part of the fabric of the outdoor industry. They created this legendary brand and helped shape the whole outdoor industry by putting their hearts and their souls into everything they touched. I have long awaited the opportunity to reconnect Jeff with the brand that bears his name and to recapture the heart of what the Lowe Alpine brand is. We are delighted to have him involved.”
Jeff Lowe’s contributions to the outdoor industry hardly stop at the door of Lowe Alpine. Throughout his career Jeff made notable contributions to upwards of a dozen modern outdoor brands. Never in one place for long, Lowe was also busy building a name for himself as the father of modern ice climbing, mixed climbing, and as a pioneer credited with bringing true alpine style to the great ranges of the world. Over the course of his climbing career Jeff has since been recognized with numerous awards including becoming an honorary lifetime member of both the American and British Alpine Clubs, the highest achievement awarded by both clubs.
While Jeff’s impressive 40 + year career of climbing came to an end in 2002 when he was diagnosed with an unknown neurodegenerative disease, Jeff is still excited about contributing to the outdoor industry. When asked about the role that he will be playing with Lowe Alpine, Jeff remarked: “I am especially grateful for the opportunity to take part in breathing fresh air into the lungs of my fallen avatar. With this dedicated crew I’m confident we’ll see the Lowe Alpine brand taking part in adventures big and small for many years to come.” In his new role as a non-executive Honorary President, Jeff will contribute his passion, vision, and a lifetime of experience to the brand that bears his name.
A first matter of business for the newly assembled Lowe Alpine team will be the corporate sponsorship of Jeff’s most recent project, a film called Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia, which documents the extraordinary life and climbs of this visionary icon. The hub of the film is Jeff’s legendary and yet unrepeated solo first ascent of Metanoia on the north face of the Eiger. A pre-release private screening of Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia will be presented at OR in the summer of 2012.