Source: Aztech Mountain
Cars

Bode Miller Collects Vintage GMC Typhoons, Is Getting Into Fashion

The former Olympic gold medal winner—and bad boy of the skiing world—is leaping into new hobbies. Just don’t expect them all to make sense.

Bode Miller is a loyal man.

Especially when it comes to cars. The World Cup- and Olympic-champion skier has owned three GMC Typhoons since 2000. He still keeps the last, a turquoise two-door, at his home in California, even though it needs some repairs.

Bode Miller has joined with Aztech Mountain clothing to produce highly functional athletic and leisure wear.
Bode Miller has joined with Aztech Mountain clothing to produce highly functional athletic and leisure wear.
Photographer: Bruno Staub

Though the car was manufactured more than two decades ago, and only a few thousand were made, Miller just can’t bring himself to call it quits.

“I was one of the first people in my area to have one,” Miller told me proudly over coffee at Spring Place studios in Tribeca last week. He was in New York to talk about his partnership in Aztech Mountain, a technical outerwear and ski brand co-founded by avid skiers (and longtime fashion insiders) David Roth and Anthony Rutger and based in New York and Aspen, Colo.

Miller had timed his arrival to dovetail with NYFW, where he caught approximately zero fashion shows (hey, he’s a busy man!) before returning to Orange County, Calif., where he lives with his wife, Morgan Beck. But back to the car: “The Typhoons were cool because they were two-doors, like a GMC Jimmy, but then they had a 4.2 [liter] turbo engine," Miller said. "And now all of these SUVs are going back to that! Really fast, performance-driven SUVs.”

1992 GMC Typhoon SUV

Miller has owned three Typhoons such as this 1992 GMC Typhoon SUV. The third and last of the line is still in California, awaiting repair.

Photographer: Car Culture, Inc./Getty Images/Car Culture

They were like little clown cars, he said: You could fit way more people inside than you might think. With the rear hatch and the back bench seat, Miller and four buddies could easily fit inside—with their golf clubs—and be gone for the whole day.

One of his three, a shiny black model from ’92, even saved his ski trainer from a moose.

Bode Miller is the most successful male American alpine ski racer of all time. He has won gold medals in both the Olympics and World Championships and was a World Cup champion in 2005 and 2008.

Miller is the most successful, male, American, alpine ski racer of all time. He has won gold medals in both the Olympics and World Championships and was a World Cup champion in 2005 and 2008.

Photographer: Bruno Staub

“He was driving it home after one of my events and hit a giant moose,” Miller said. “The moose came through the windshield, but actually the car saved him because it crushed the pillar in the side and filled the whole cab with moose hair and ticks and crap. That thing was totaled. Luckily I bought it for six grand, but totaled, it [cost] 13 because it was such a rare car. It’s impossible to find parts.”

Not that Miller would even have time to look for them. Since taking time off from his ski career last year, he has invested heavily in horse breeding, even buying a barn at a well-known thoroughbred training farm. And Beck is expecting Miller's fourth child, their second together.

Aztech Mountain Nuke Suit - in grey/white.

Aztech Mountain Nuke Suit, in gray/white. "Most of the things that I’ve done started around functionality, and then over the years I recognized that if something had a really significant impact on functionality, and it really worked, you grew to appreciate it aesthetically because it was so nice to wear," Miller says. "You associate that niceness with something you like. So if there is a direct connection to a thing you love, the two get intermixed." 

Source: Aztech Mountain

A Debut in Apparel

“Most people would say [fashion] is a crazy industry to get into, but if you see it like I do, I see it as an opportunity because I can think outside the box and I can apply all these lessons I’ve learned in different areas to this thinking,” Miller said. “It gives me an advantage.”

It’s like horse breeding, which is not known as a particularly lucrative practice to join, he added with a laugh. The idea behind the clothing in the Aztech line is that the items are each field-tested by Miller himself—he’s an avid golfer, tennis player, and boater as well—and accordingly engineered to accommodate his elite level of performance. This means that a coat, for example, is designed not just as a single article of clothing but in relation to how it will interface with gloves, a ski helmet, or boots.

Aztech Mountain Shadow Mountain Parka,

Aztech Mountain Shadow Mountain Parka. "If you have the right people involved, athletic wear like this is an enormous opportunity," Miller said. "The standard out there, but they’re not doing the best job. There is room to do a better job."

Source: Aztech Mountain

Miller said he won’t be designing the clothes himself, even though he will frequently text a design team sketches and inspiration.

“I’m constantly texting stuff,” he said, noting with a wry grin that he finished at the top of his sewing class in seventh and eighth grades. “I’ve always done that with sports equipment and clothes. It’s part of my natural curiosity: You see what’s around you, and you start to understand functionality. I’ve had the unique opportunity to do that at a high level for the last 20 years.”

It’s the interface between a jacket collar and a ski helmet—or a jacket bottom and pants—that can make all the difference, he said. “When you get in your tuck when you’re skiing and your ass crack is hanging out and you feel the wind, you realize it’s just length and design and movement patterns. And you have to know how things work together to make them so that they’re well designed to work together.”

Aztech Mountain Triangle Jacket.

The Aztech Mountain Triangle Jacket. "I’m constantly testing stuff," Miller said. "I’ve always done that with sports equipment and clothes. It’s part of my natural curiosity."

Source: Aztech Mountain

There are 16 pieces, including pants, jackets and pullovers, in the new line. Prices range from $425 to $1,850. It’s available now at Barneys, Harrods, Mr. Porter, Lane Crawford, and at Aztechmountain.com

bode-miller-clothes-bloomberg-03

"Everything we are trying to do is based on versatility," Miller said. "It’s not based on one type of look or feel or person. We want versatility. If people fall in love with a jacket or an overlayer or an under layer, it really seamlessly transitions between that and après ski or dinner or whatever."

Source: Aztech Mountain
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