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While the summer sun blazes on, Instagram’s favorite skiwear brand is making waves with some exciting news. Best Moment, renowned for its stylish all-in-one snowsuits and vibrant matching ski sets, has secured a minority investment from the power couple, Nick and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. This venture marks the Jonas couple’s inaugural foray into the fashion industry and represents Best Moment’s first external funding beyond a limited family and friends round.
In an interview by phone, Nick Jonas expressed their enthusiasm for Best Moment, stating, “It is a brand that we’ve really come to love over the past couple of years, initially just as consumers, as fans of the brand. We were introduced to it by some friends and just fell in love with the story and how bold the aesthetic was.”
Best Moment has come a long way since its inception in 1984 in Chamonix, France. Originally conceived by professional skier and extreme-sports filmmaker Thierry Donard, it began as a technical sports line primarily worn by thrill-seekers involved in his freeride ski and surf documentaries. However, under the ownership of former hedge fund manager Jane Gottschalk and her financier husband Max Gottschalk since 2012, it has transformed into the hottest ski brand on social media, favored by celebrities like Chiara Ferragni, Nicky Hilton, and the Duchess of Cambridge. It is also stocked at prestigious retailers such as Net-a-Porter, Saks, and Selfridges.
With the backing of the Jonas couple, the brand’s owners are now looking to expand into new markets and diversify their product offerings, including a stronger presence in men’s fashion and a venture into surf and swimwear. Additionally, they plan to explore physical retail opportunities, capitalizing on the pandemic-fueled surge in outdoor technical fashion, a market projected to reach $38.2 billion by 2024, according to research firm Euromonitor.
Under the leadership of its first CEO, Negin Yeganegy, who was appointed in May 2020, Best Moment aims to attract further investments to fuel its growth. The brand is considering tapping into financial markets through an IPO or securing a deal with a strategic investor later this year.
Best Moment may be an emerging player in an increasingly competitive space, with luxury giants like Chloé and Chanel entering the skiwear market in recent seasons, alongside established specialist labels like Moncler and Arc’teryx. Nevertheless, the brand’s new investors see significant potential to capture the next generation of fashion-conscious skiers. Priced starting at £460 for a ski jacket and £225 for a wool jumper, Best Moment occupies a sweet spot that is exclusive yet more affordable than Fendi or Moncler. Its core customer base is aged 25 to 35, with the United States being its largest market, a region that has been driving growth for luxury brands since the pandemic. The endorsement of stars like Jonas and Chopra is expected to provide a marketing boost, introducing the brand to new customers in both established and emerging markets.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas commented on the brand’s appeal to today’s young consumers, saying, “We see a really big opportunity here, especially because you’ve seen in such a short period Best Moment has become one of the most desirable skiwear brands on the market. Young people today, in fact, you’re looking for function and fashion, and that’s the biggest part of Best Moment.”
The Rebirth: New Ownership, New Look
Jane and Max Gottschalk first crossed paths with Best Moment’s founder, Thierry Donard, in 2007 through mutual friends, bonding over their shared love of skiing. After a heli-skiing trip together, the couple decided to help Donard with a business plan for his label while also investing some capital in the business. Over the years, the couple took the risk of acquiring the brand outright, hoping to revitalize its somewhat outdated image to drive commercial success.
Under Jane Gottschalk’s creative leadership, the brand underwent a complete transformation, reimagining its products, distribution, and marketing strategies to cater to a younger, fashion-conscious skiing demographic seeking both style and technical functionality. Jane drew inspiration from the success story of luxury cycling brand Rapha, which had built a $75 million business by fostering a highly engaged community within the sport by 2016.
Jane said, “I just thought, how genius that they could do that. And they can create this online community. There was [cool] ski stuff if you knew where to go, but it wasn’t readily available online, it definitely wasn’t on Web-a-Porter or Matches, or at Harrods and Selfridges.”
She reimagined Best Moment’s look, modernizing its iconic logo and signature elements like the chevron pattern and polar bear motifs, all while embracing its retro roots. The brand drew inspiration from the on-piste styles of professional skiers like Jean-Claude Killy and fashion icons like Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn. Unique silhouettes and bold prints set the brand apart from traditional players in the market, and an emphasis on fit allowed customers to choose between low-waisted, slim salopettes or high-waisted, flared and cargo styles.
Instead of relying on specialist ski retailers, Jane sought out high-end fashion stockists such as Lane Crawford, Net-a-Porter, and Matchesfashion, targeting fashion-conscious consumers already accustomed to investing in their wardrobes. Despite having limited marketing budgets, the brand prioritized social media, leveraging its use of vibrant colors and distinctive silhouettes to capture attention on Instagram.
“Best Moment moved the ski category away from functional clothing and made stylish skiwear more accessible,” remarked Libby Page, Senior Market Editor at Net-a-Porter. She noted that Best Moment was the first ski performance brand the retailer stocked and remains one of its top-performing ski brands today. “The brand’s accessible price point plus their colorful, eye-catching pieces attract a younger customer.”
Jane also introduced a surf collection that combined technical fabrics with playful, elevated designs, envisioning it as a summer complement to the brand’s core ski business. She believed in the importance of maintaining a strong brand identity, saying, “You have to keep bringing everyone back to who you are, the story of what you are. We’re a technical sportswear brand — and we look a bit fun.”
The Next Chapter: A Fresh Market Opportunity
Jane Gottschalk was seeking a strategic partner to help scale the business back in 2020, but negotiations fell through due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Best Moment claims to have weathered the storm well, with sales remaining flat year-on-year in 2020 and 2021 despite the closure of major European ski resorts.
Under CEO Negin Yeganegy, formerly Yoox Net-a-Porter’s Group Director of E-commerce, the brand shifted its focus to expanding its US business, where ski resorts remained open. In Europe, the company pivoted towards promoting its cropped puffer jackets and vibrant merino knits as urban essentials. This year, the brand finally achieved profitability.
With the world reopening, Best Moment is now embarking on an ambitious expansion plan. Expanding in the Middle East and Asia, particularly in China following the Beijing Winter Olympics, is a priority, along with growing its men’s and surf and swimwear businesses. While physical retail is on the horizon, it’s viewed more as a tool to fuel e-commerce growth rather than a primary focus. Direct sales on the brand’s website already account for half of the business.
The brand is actively pursuing a deal by year-end to support its business ambitions, whether through an IPO or a partnership with a strategic investor. Jane Gottschalk mentioned, “There are a few options on the table,” but declined to provide further details.
For now, the backing of new partners Nick and Priyanka Chopra Jonas may provide fresh momentum and help kickstart post-pandemic growth. The couple is widely perceived as youthful, attractive, and intelligent, boasting a massive online following with 111 million Instagram followers.
Best Moment has not disclosed the terms of the deal with the Jonas couple, but the future appears promising for this innovative skiwear brand as it aims to capture the hearts of the next generation of fashion-conscious winter sports enthusiasts.