French freeride skier Kevin Guri has been playing in the mountains for as long as he can remember. His home resort of Les Menuires, host of the men’s slalom in the 1992 Winter Olympics, is part of the Les Trois Vallees, one of the most renowned skiing destinations in the French Alps. It was only natural that before Guri found his love for freeskiing, he got his start as an alpine ski racer. He skied for his home ski club of Les Menuires, honing his skills and building a strong foundation in skiing prior to shifting into the freeride disciplines. With a background in alpine ski racing, Guri quickly accelerated through the ranks, eventually joining the Freeride World Tour, on which he has been competing for the past five seasons. The 30-year-old went as far as winning the Xtreme of Verbier in Switzerland in 2013.
Prior to experiencing success, Guri starkly remembers one of the scariest moments of his career. His first competition in Revelstoke Canada resulted in a hard crash. After dropping his first cliff, Guri tomahawked and tumbled down the mountain face, unable to self-arrest before reaching the second cliff and then tumbling again. One of the most important lessons that he took away from this crash was the importance of having strong eyewear that will not fail even when he loses his grip.
In walks IZIPIZI, a French eyewear brand that has gained clout across the continent of Europe as the next big thing in snow eyewear over the past couple of years. Guri’s good friend and trusted backcountry partner, fellow freeride skier Franck Bernes, made the introduction. Bernes had been rocking the Sun Glacier shades during one of their sessions. Guri, who had been attracted to their fun design, asked to give them a try. He’s been working with the brand ever since.
As an elite-level athlete, Guri needs to trust his equipment. Not only does his eyewear need to offer him clarity on and off the slopes, but it also needs to hold up in hard crashes. Since his first experience with the brand, Guri has dubbed IZIPIZI his eyewear of choice for the past two seasons.
“IZIPIZI has nothing to envy [in comparison] to other brands in the winter sports sphere because the quality is irreproachable,” explained Guri. “I’m wearing my goggles every day in the winter, and I have never noticed any fogging problems, which is a simple difference but very important to me. Every rider will at some point take a good crash in the snow and there is nothing more horrible than ending up with a fogged screen or something else. With the IZIPIZI goggles that will not happen.”
IZIPIZI, pronounced “easy peasy,” touts state of the art eyewear that not only stands up to the test of quality but is simultaneously affordable and stylish. When it comes to on-snow eye protection, IZIPIZI has eyewear made for all kinds of conditions, ranging from glacier sunglasses to specialized goggles that accommodate glasses.
Three high school friends hailing from Lyon, France, Quentin Couturier, Xavier Aguera, and Charles Brun started the company to fill a gap in the market. They didn’t see eyewear available to average guys like them that were crafted with quality and did not compromise fashion while remaining affordable. The IZIPIZI name represents everything the team stands for, a happy, easy, open-minded, fun-loving brand that’s meant for everyone.
“What makes me even more eager to represent this brand, is that it sells products at an affordable price compared to other brands in the field for a quality product,” explained Guri. “IZIPIZI has a great spirit. The brand is dynamic with the drive to always go further with product innovation and all that it is involved in.”
Function and performance are of the utmost importance to Guri. He finds value in his partnership with IZIPIZI by working closely with all levels of the company, sharing his perspective of what is needed to succeed on the mountain. From the engineers and sales representatives, all the way to founders Couturier, Aguera, and Brun, Guri has made an effort to offer up constructive feedback from the front lines so that IZIPIZI’s product is the best it can be. After developing the products and building solid trust with the brand’s team, Guri put them to the test himself and was not disappointed.
“I’ve tested all the IZIPIZI’s goggles in many conditions and the fact is, I’ve never seen them fog up, even after a big crash or if snow slipped inside them,” said Guri. “They also have a super widefield view making them extremely comfortable and I enjoy the simple, clean, design. Above all, the goggles were solid as a rock during Franck and I’s crashes, which guarantees safety in various situations.”
Not to mention, Guri feels good repping IZIPIZI on and off the slopes.
“My favorite product is definitely the SUN SNOW goggles in the color black,” he said. “A nice design, comfortable to wear, easily goes over the helmet, and of course no problems of fogging up after a good pack in the snow or air passing through the foam. I also like the SUN NAUTIC sunglasses in the summer. I like to think I look like Brad Pitt on French west coast beaches.”
IZIPIZI already has a global presence, as its products are sold in 85 countries worldwide. But as the brand looks to solidify its presence across the Atlantic in the United States, the mission remains the same. Continue onward with this collaborative relationship between athletes and developers, and continue to deliver a high-quality product that can hang with the best of their competitors when it comes to performance while remaining accessible to all.
Clarisse Blanc, IZIPIZI’s head of communications, believes in their mission whole-heartedly, especially given the response to their new SUN SNOW collection by athletes and the general public.
“People know us as a brand of glasses, but we represent much more,” explained Blanc. “IZIPIZI glasses are for anyone! All styles, all ages. This is the major advantage of our brand.”
From families skiing their local ski resort to the backcountry enthusiast having fun in their backyard to athletes competing on the Freeride World Tour, IZIPIZI is for everyone.