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Klaus Obermeyer Convinced a Pillow-Maker to Make Down Coats

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The other day we had lunch with Klaus Obermeyer, the founder of the Obermeyer skiwear empire, at local Austrian restaurant Wienerstrube. Born in 1919, Obermeyer moved to Aspen from Bavaria in 1947. He founded his company before the Korean War and sought out a pillow and duvet-manufacturer in Munich, Germany, to make one of the first down coats on the mainstream market.

Obermeyer's been an avid skier since he was three years old—"My father used to buy crates of oranges from Italy," he says. "My first skis were made from the crates' wooden planks—I'd tie the tips to my knees with a rope. I got my first real skis at age five and it was such a luxury to have skis with a tip." Today, at 90 years old, Obermeyer still skis every day—he has, in fact, a reputation for being a speed demon, once clocking in at 86 mph downhill.

"I used to try to ski my age," he says, "but when you get past 100, it gets tough."
· Obermeyer [Official Site]