The Salomon Sportstyle range includes the world-renowned XT-6, but its creation is due to a chance encounter at a Parisian store in 2015.
While Salomon has been making shoes and gear since 1947, the brand has largely been known in fashionable spheres since the introduction of their XT-6, a long-distance trail runner that brought Salomon, rather unexpectedly, from the domain of functional sportswear to functional fashion.
The original XT-6 was released in 2013, and featured the brand’s typically bright colour scheme and streamlined silhouette. It wasn’t until 2015, however, that Salomon really tapped into the fashion world. The story, as told by the brand’s global specialist, Alex van Oostrum, goes like so:
A customer walked into Paris’ The Broken Arm streetwear store looking for a pair of Salomon Snowcross boots, which utilise neon-bright colours for performance visibility. If someone goes missing in the snow, the LED-like brightness of them is illuminating. This technique is used by outdoor brands like Berghaus with coats – the brighter the colourblock, the more chance of being found if you go missing in the wilderness. However, the customer in question wasn’t interested in being outdoors – they just wanted to saturate their outfit. From then, Salomon worked with The Broken Arm for a series of ongoing collaborations.
“It was a game-changing moment, but it was all very organic,’ says van Oostrum to Courier Mag in 2021. “It was about The Broken Arm buying into not just the heritage of the brand, but the technical aspects of the shoe.”
The release catalysed the development of the Salomon Sportstyle line, which now includes various iterations of the XT-6, Quest, ACS Pro Advanced, and has included collabs with And Wander, Palace and CDG. The Sportstyle range started in 2016 when Jean-Philippe Lalonde joined from Arc’teryx Veilance.