2015 gear has you covered from head to foot
To get your Toque
Toques available at the Vail Daily, Luca Bruno Vail, The Lift Avon, Colmar Lab in Beaver Creek; or by calling 970-748-2906.
VAIL — See that hat, the one that looks like a tiny hockey jersey?
It’s called a toque and it’s one of the most interesting imports from Canada, with the possible exceptions of Roberta Bondar, the first Canadian woman in space and first neurologist in space.
And the name of the hat is pronounced “tuke.”
Steve Cook is Canadian, so he should know.
Cook runs a couple businesses and, along with Vail Daily marketing guru Mark Bricklin, is mostly responsible for the toque being among the FIS 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships merchandise.
About five about years ago, a buddy of his came up with some version of the toque, but before we can tell you that story, we have to tell you this story.
The good folks who brought us the Championships are also bringing us all kinds of 2015 gear.
You can wear it, you can stick 2015 pins in it and most if it is pretty darned awesome, like the toque.
Along with pins they have cowbells, beer steins and all kinds of other stuff.
Among the most unique is lighted gloves that people were waving around at the Opening Ceremonies and the nightly free concerts, sort of like those of us seasoned enough used to wave lighters at rock concerts — before cell phones supplanted lighters, much to our chagrin and amazement.
Erin and Bob Boselli run Boselli’s, one of the official 2015 merchandisers. Erin Boselli helped design the pins — they’re fabulous, and you should get a set.
The driver’s cap is back, similar to the insanely popular items in 1989 and 1999, the last two times we hosted the World Championships. There’s one with the 2015 logo in the front, the 1999 logo on the right and 1989 logo on the left.
Elizabeth Halvorson imported 1.2 tons of 2015 cowbells for your ringing pleasure.
Speaking of hats, that leads us back to the toque. Bricklin learned about Cook’s toque from a friend.
One of Cook’s friends is a huge soccer fan and was enjoying the World Cup tournament. The guy’s wife is Dutch and she had a teddy bear resplendent in an orange Dutch soccer uniform.
The guy took the uniform off the bear and put it on his head.
Walking around the stadium he had about 200 people ask him where he got that hat.
The guy got really excited and spoke with Cook about it.
“I had just launched another business, so I wasn’t in a position to devote much time to it,” Cook said.
He told his buddy, “I think you have something here, but I don’t like the T-shirt idea.”
His friend was undeterred and had about 5,000 T-shirt hats manufactured with a maple leaf on them. He tried to sell them on Canada Day. He sold seven.
Cook took the idea to a manufacturer in China, and then didn’t think much more about it. It sat on the shelf for four years.
They revived the idea several months ago, tweaked the toque and put a nice lining in it. They went to Hockey Canada for a license, and sold about 10,000 during the world junior hockey championships in Toronto.
Then they went to World Cup skiing, which is how they ended at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
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