A Brand that Celebrates Lifestyle, Culture, Travel and the Experiences that Define the More Memorable Moments in Life through Design
Cordova is known for designing tailored ski and après ski apparel for women, but what most people don’t know is that the luxury brand started as a love story. The concept was born in 2014 when director and founder Jane Seim and co-founder Cody Seim got married on the slopes of Sun Valley, Idaho. The couple both viewed the mountains as a place that sparked freedom, adventure and creativity. Jane fueled that spark of creativity and soon began experimenting with her own ski ensembles, catching the eye of fellow skiers on their trip.
Jane spent the next year studying the history of ski fashion, collecting modern fabric and trims with “nostalgic undertones,” and traveling to industry fashion shows throughout Europe and North America. The dream soon became a reality. Jane, Cody and a small, but powerful team of women launched their first collection in December 2016.
The name, Cordova, was inspired by family and is a tribute to the remarkable women in Jane’s life. Her mother and oldest sister Erika were born on a mountain (Mount Eccles) overlooking the town of Cordova, Alaska.
Jane went through a series of growth transitions that prepared her for starting an upscale brand.
“I worked in a couple of different sectors before I started Cordova. First in the nonprofit sector and then in consulting,” she says. “Those experiences were invaluable because they gave me a broad understanding of business, but I’ve always been a ‘creative.’ I studied installation art in college and have my BFA in photography.”
Jane confessed that it took her several years to pursue a career as a creative.
“I had to build up the confidence to break away, but there has always been a spark of entrepreneurship running through my veins,” she says. “I worked for about two years before I left my job to pursue Cordova full time in 2016.”
Cordova’s winter 2017/18 collection is getting ready to launch, and the team remains just as inspired as the first collection.
“It is the experience of bringing a daydream to life. There is something exhilarating about creating something tangible that may have only previously existed in your mind,” the founder explains. “As a team, a great deal of time is dedicated to reimagining each piece, selecting the right materials and so much more. Every detail is taken into consideration.”
Jane makes it clear that Cordova is her healthy obsession and she is constantly looking for new inspiration, collecting and cataloging images over time.
“When we kick off a new collection, a great deal of research goes into setting the tone for the season,” she says. “We look at modern directional trends, but I also draw a lot of inspiration from late ’60s and early ’70s. There is a great deal of collaboration that takes place during the design process. I’ve been very fortunate to work with a small collective of immensely talented women who also happen to be some of my closest friends. Designer Jordan Hawley was my first hire and worked with me throughout our first and second collection. Designer Georgeana Ortiz joined the team in 2017 and played an important role in our second collection as well.”
Jane’s passion extends far beyond the clothing, and she describes her greatest motivation as “a sense of purpose.”
“The ability to wake up every day and create something devoid of monotony—I live for the full experience. My older sister, Erika, who passed away in 1998, wrote in a journal entry before she died, that ‘the end is the means.’ In a way, I try to live with that sentiment in mind.”
For more information on Cordova, visit Cordova.co.