Twenty years ago, Elan created the W Studio, a creative concept specializing in designing and developing skis and other products especially for women, thereby pioneering another new trend and once again proving its visionary and innovative spirit.
“Don’t think about women adapting to the world. Think about the world adapting to women,” said Bozoma Saint John, American businesswoman and former Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix. Her words of wisdom are an extension of those uttered by the legendary Coco Chanel, who believed that it is in fact women who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. All this is true. Female nature is a balance of warmth and determination, graciousness and confidence, wisdom and emotion. Women have something men don’t have and often can’t understand. Despite often being denied important roles throughout history, facts say otherwise. Women have always had an enormous influence on decisive events, precisely because of their combination of emotional intelligence and wisdom. Thanks to the many brave, intelligent, and charismatic women who were able to stand up for their rights and equality, women in the modern world run governments, lead large companies, are world-class doctors, researchers, designers, architects, etc. Thankfully, it has become clear to all of us that they are indispensable, and above all, essential for social balance. And rightly so, because the world also needs the feminine principle to move in the right direction in a balanced way. Women shape trends and they possess just the right amounts of casualness, seriousness, and responsibility. They are aware of their qualities and their essence, and finally, they know how to have fun. This latter category is not the most important, but it is far from being unimportant. After all, legendary American designer Charles Eames said that fun should be taken seriously, and skiing certainly falls within this context. Not just to make one’s way down a snowy slope, but as a holistic experience, as a way of creating unforgettable moments in good company, as a source of good energy that has profound beneficial effects on other aspects of life.
This is exactly what a few brilliant minds thought about in Begunje na Gorenjskem at the turn of the millennium. More than thirty years had passed since Elan started the so-called carving revolution which revolutionized skiing around the world. Skis with a pronounced sidecut have become the standard in both competition and recreation. New versions of skis made their way to market and thanks to various new technologies, they’ve gotten better and better. And then, Eureka! Another of the series of great ideas emerged in 2003, Skis for women. It was not a market niche. It was not a fashion fad. It was a need. It was a logical continuation that could have occurred much earlier. In fact, it is not at all surprising that this idea was born in Begunje at a time when virtually no one in the entire sports industry was working on products especially for women. But it was fundamentally about much more than just skis. The aim of creating a dedicated product range was to encourage and empower women to pursue skiing and sport in general with all their confidence and passion. Elan firmly believes that there is a great skier in every woman. The belief is founded in an honest, authentic approach based on a wealth of knowledge, experience, tradition, creativity, passion, determination, respect and, finally, the alpine environment from which the Elan brand originates.
In the case of Elan skis for women, the approach far surpassed simply coloring the skis in softer tones and giving them more feminine names. Elan’s engineers took a much broader and strategic approach to developing skis for women. They wanted to create skis that embodied the feminine principle in every way. They knew that ski design had historically been a male domain, and they also knew that only women could create true women's skis - from the first step to the last, from conception to execution, from sketch to physical production. The skis simply had to be touched by a woman's hand at every stage of development. The result of this equality focused thinking was the creation of W Studio. The design studio is made up of women skiers from different winds and worlds, from racers to recreational skiers, from weekend enthusiasts to fanatical addicts, from hobbyists to extremists. The story began at a simple meeting table where women from different backgrounds and beliefs started looking for their common denominator in skiing. Their annual meetings went on to change the course of skiing history. That is where the story of women's skis began - a story with a simple beginning, but a much broader meaning and a clear vision. After all these years, the story has not wavered. It remains consistent and represents a way of life and a lifestyle.