2019 - 2020 Far West Skier's Guide - 46

Barbara Alley
Simon:
Brought Fashion
to the Forefront
of Skiing

From her beginnings in North Carolina,
Barbara was a determined, fearless little redhead. She entered a university a year early
and graduated from the University of North
Carolina Williams College with a focus on
clothing and textiles.
She then went to New York to establish
her place in the world, where she earned a
certificate from Parsons School of Design in
1958.
Always adventurous, she had a number
of summer jobs from the photo shop at Mammoth Cave National Park, through restaurant
work in Jackson Hole, where she climbed the
Grand Teton in 1957. Then armed with climbing knowledge, she went to Zermatt and
climbed the Matterhorn in 1958.
But, it was back to New York and earning a living. She worked in the garment industry and was a staffer at Vogue Magazine. She
learned to ski and joined the Swiss Ski Club,
skiing every weekend in Vermont, and making
ten parachute jumps with them.
Her ski instructor experience at Hunter
Mountain led to a TV job as a hostess at the
New York World's Fair and two nationwide
marketing tours. She was still doing commercials. She had become a sought after personality after years of scrambling for jobs.
Karl Plattner took her into his entourage
of weekend ski instructors at Hunter Mountain for six years. She did more than teach
snowplows. She was Karl's go-to gal for every
ski promotion. Barbara demonstrated a snowplow on a tiny ramp at Macy's in New York.
And, she gave ski tips, filling in for Olympian,
Betsy Snite!
As a result of her posted publicity photo
at Hunter, her life changed forever and went
into overdrive. In 1968, she met Jerry Simon.
He hired Barbara to work the ski shows that
fall in a booth that showed large fashion
slides. That turned into the first of a career
full of fashion shows. They married Christmas Day, 1970 on the top of Jackson Hole
Mountain Resort, the first couple to marry
there.
People don't stop and watch slides, so
Jerry got exhibiting ski shops to supply spon-

TOP: Steve Coxen, FWSA Past President and Awards Chair, presents Barbara Alley Simon with
a bouquet of flowers from BEWI, as she accepts the Snowsports Builder Award. Presenting her
award were long time friends, John Watson and Jane Wyckoff, FWSA Past Presidents. photo /
Eric Van Pelt LOWER: This 2008 FWSA COnvention picture shows Barbara with John Watson,
Harry Leonard, Claudia Watson and Jerry Simon. Harry Leonard and Jerry Simon were
well known as the team that popularized ski shows. Currently four of these people shown are
recipients of the prestigious FWSA Snowsports Builders Award. photo provided by John Watson

sor-dressed employees to model and gave Barbara a microphone, and that is how a fashion
show and her career were born. For 20 years,
between 1968 and 1995, Barbara sold, produced and narrated fashion shows for the ski
shows and the SIA.
Later during this era she was the talk
show host on several TV shows. In 1990, Barbara had four jobs at once: TV tour, ski
shows, Snow Country magazine, and the big
SIA fashion show. She was the fashion editor
for Skiing magazine from 1974-1980, and
Fashion Editor for Snow Country magazine for
five years, where the Skiwear Design Awards
originated.
By 2010, she started work on a museum
design exhibit, involving countless hours of
viewing old photos, catalogs, sorting and cataloging. She arrived at over 50 outfits for display, accessorized them and prepared descriptive material for the Alf Engen Museum in
Park City.
The official opening of the Barbara Alley
Collection at the Alf Engen Museum was in
November, 2014. It has since grown to 70

whole and half ski outfits, all accessorized, including extra accessories, a scarf collection,
sunglasses, skis and poles, gloves, boots and
more. All told there are about 350 items in the
museum, including vintage men's ski outfits,
as well. Two accessorized special jackets have
been given to the National Ski and Snowboard
Hall of Fame Museum in Ishpeming, Michigan,
where the National Ski Association was
founded in 1904.
Barbara received the BEWI Award in
1991 for Outstanding Contributions to the
Sport of Skiing and she was the first to receive
the new Women in Industry Award from the
US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2018.
The awesome talent, imagination and
tireless energy she brought for over 50 years
to ski fashion, has made an indelible impact
on the style and design of our ski apparel. She
enhanced our awareness of ski fashion and
brought it to the forefront of snowsports.
FWSA honored Barbara Alley Simon with
a richly deserved title of 2019 FWSA Snowsports Builder.

46 Far West Skier's Guide 2O19 - 2O2O / Visit the Digital Edition at www.fwsa.org.


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2019 - 2020 Far West Skier's Guide

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2019 - 2020 Far West Skier's Guide

Index
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2019 - 2020 Far West Skier's Guide - Index
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