Behind the Brand: Oyuki – Gloves, Mittens & Winter Essentials
Oyuki’s birthplace, Niseko, is located in the south west of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. In 300BC the island was referred to as Ezo by its native inhabitants, the Ainu people, who migrated there from Russia. In winter, Ainu villages would be cut off from one another due to heavy snowfall. Lakes and rivers would freeze over and the cold temperatures made hunting impossible. The Ainu’s land was a harsh frontier, wild, frozen and mountainous. The name “Niseko” is derived from the Ainu language, and it refers to the sheer cliff faces that are present in the area. Winter in Niseko has an ancient history, which is where Oyuki finds inspiration for its cold weather essentials.
Today Niseko is an iconic powder skiing and snowboarding destination. It is known for being one of the snowiest places on the globe, receiving up to 22 meters (72 feet!) of snow per year. Oyuki means ‘big snow’ in Japanese and the kanji (Japanese characters) in our logo translate to ‘smash pow’. Our desire to ‘smash pow’ is what drives all phases of our product development including designing, testing and manufacturing. Niseko’s storied history and deep powder make it one of our favorite evoTrip adventure travel destinations.
At Oyuki, our primary design philosophy is that ‘simplicity is the key to functionality’. Our gloves, for example, have been created specifically to deliver maximum warmth without unnecessary bulk. We keep our aesthetics minimalist and, where we can, pay our respects to Japanese culture by choosing traditional prints and embellishments. All Oyuki’s products are crafted using the best materials available like GORE-TEX®, Primaloft®, merino wool and goat skin leather so skiers and boarders can be confident their equipment will withstand the harshest winter environments.
The people behind Oyuki all ski or snowboard. Each and every one of us, from our designers and marketers to our bookkeeper and accountant, all feel energized the minute flakes start to fall. Oyuki’s team of riders have been chosen based on their love of snow and the mountains, rather than competition results or magazine spreads, because we believe they will take the spirit of Oyuki with them on their winter adventures. This is the spirit we want to share with fellow riders by keeping them warm, dry, comfortable and out there on the mountain, smashing pow.