The first suit


The first suit

Fabio Meraldi returns to wear “Fast & Light”.

Many years have passed since 1987, but my friendship with Valeria hasn’t changed.

We often went to the mountains together, Valeria and I, and besides the Skimo and the free climbing, we shared the passion and curiosity to do something different and innovative for our sports.

In the first ski mountaineering competitions we used a simple gym suit from an

athletic apparel manufacturing company, a standard 2-piece suit. Obviously, there were many problems: the trousers were flared so the snow penetrated inside up to the knees, and falling while skiing downhill was like taking an icy shower (scary)!

And other athletes were even worse off! Everyone made as best as they could with what they had available; some even competed with knickerbockers and woolen socks.

After experimenting with the limits of the materials we used and realizing that nothing specific existed for those types of competitions, Adriano Greco, my historical teammate, and I, decided to contact Valeria to design a racing suit that had all the characteristics we needed.

In her small atelier, Valeria had lots of fabrics in every color. We explained our needs to her and she started to work.

She, who was far-seeing, did not hesitate to give us support and thus we began to develop and design the first skimo suit. It didn’t take long to go from the idea to the realization, we didn’t have much time and the first model was ready in about one week.

The main functions of the suit had to be lightness, breathability and warmth.

With our project we completely revolutionized the way of dressing, bringing great innovation. First of all, the suit was in one piece, no longer in two pieces, then we inserted a long central zip with a double internal pocket to keep the climbing skins warm (the zip had a double slider to take care of the “physiological” aspects), as well as stovepipe pants with an elastic band on the bottom that wrapped around the boot sealing it from the snow. All this, together with many other small details, facilitated any manoeuvre during use.

Thus, the very first ski mountaineering racing suit was born. Black with yellow inserts. It was beautiful, almost unreal! It was the first step towards the evolution of technical clothing for this sport. When we showed up at the first races with our black one-piece suit, everyone looked at us as if we were aliens!

But, very soon, the curiosity and desire to imitate us were unleashed. There was no such thing in the world, and as soon as it became known that Valeria, with her brand “CRAZY IDEA”, was producing the suit, everyone started asking for it, for themselves and for their clubs.

Thus began the production and innovation not only of the suits, but also of all the other technical clothing for ski mountaineering. That was the real first step to tackle the mountains in a new way: what CRAZY today calls “fast and light”.

For many years the “CRAZY” products have dressed me, in skialp and skyrunning, as well as in my work as a mountain guide. Later, we stopped collaborating for various reasons and because we started having different goals.

Today we go back to the origins. We are going back to working side by side, driven by the same passion that moved us in those years, driven by the same desire for innovation in our sport. That day, in Valeria’s small atelier, none of us thought that ski mountaineering would become what it is today, or that that “black suit with yellow inserts” put together in a few days would become a reference point all over the world. We simply believed in our passion, and that’s exactly what we want to continue doing, together, from now on.

Thanks Vale thanks CRAZY.