A recent catalog find, this catalog from F.A. Picard of Sun Valley, Idaho, is a real treasure. I’d only heard of Picard as a mention in a 1940s wartime White Stag catalog, but there’s a great story behind the company. In the 1930s Fred Picard was making skiwear in Switzerland, but moved his company to Sun Valley in the late 30s or early 40s. There he opened a store selling his Swiss-inspired ski togs.
At the time Sun Valley was a relatively new ski resort, but it had already attracted the attention of Hollywood. Pretty soon stars were buying their ski clothes at Shop Picard, and in 1941 Picard supplied the ski clothing for a new Sonja Henie movie, Sun Valley Serenade.
Much of what Fred Picard carried in his store and catalog was exclusive to him. Illustrator Max Barsis designed textiles, like the scarf above, and illustrated books on skiing for the store. There was even a ski themed wallpaper.
The catalog covers were also designed by Barsis. They included cut-outs that let the following page show through.
The clothes are wonderfully imaginative, like this vest constructed of a scarf with edelweiss border and a Swiss map, worn over a sweater with cable knit wool sleeves.
You could also buy the scarf.
Or how about this sweater with whimsical skiers? It’s another Max Barsis design, and was made in Austria. It retailed for $30, which would be $373 in 2022 dollars.
Picard continued to pull from Swiss and Alpine motifs for his ski clothing. Many of the items were made in and imported from Switzerland, like this embroidered parka.
I don’t usually associate capes with skiing, but she does look interesting. I’ve love to see this in action.
And I especially loved these pony skin après-ski boots. They also came in chamois suede, for both men and women.
F.A. Picard also designed ski clothing for other companies. These ski pants are shown in a wartime 1940s White Stag catalog, but the same pants are in my 1949 Picard catalog. Some of the sweaters in that catalog were imported from Europe, but others were made by Garland, an American sweater and blouse company. And in the early 1940s Jantzen made Picard-designed sweaters.