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Kuhl Clothing

The predecessor to Kühl®, Alfwear, began in 1983 with the Alf hat, a Peruvian inspired hat design that many ski bums began to wear in the middle of the 1980’s. Updated and advanced by the use of polar fleece, John "Alf" Engwall used his skills to design the pattern for the hat that would become the choice for serious skiers of deep powder in the Rocky Mountains of North America.  Alf Engwall, Conrad Anker (the now legendary mountaineer), and brothers Jay and Kevin Boyle set out to introduce this effective hat design to the skiing and mountaineering world. The four co-founders consisted of three skiers and an accomplished and focused rock climber  all of whom aspired to the summit of actualization both in business and in the attempt to build a lifestyle that involved outdoor sport.  

After a tragic car accident resulted in the death of Alf Engwall, the three remaining partners built the business for several years before setting out on their individual passions.  The Alfwear partnership dissolved in the late summer of 1989.  The fledgling company had lost its two biggest accounts.  Conrad Anker received an offer to become a sponsored professional climber.  Jay Boyle moved to Arizona and attended graduate school at Thunderbird in Phoenix.  At the time the partnership dissolved, Alfwear consisted of eight or nine plastic bags full of the original Alf Hat.   

Conrad Anker reached the goal of becoming a world-class rock climber and mountaineer, traveling the world ascending the major summits, and famously finding the body of Mallory on Everest.  His accomplishments speak well of setting and realizing difficult dreams.  

Jay Boyle began to study Tai Chi, earned his MBA and moved to Shanghai, China.  He speaks Chinese and is involved in production overseas for Kühl®.  His company, EXPAT-CFO, does business consultancy for companies seeking to do business in China.

Kevin Boyle set out to transform Alfwear into something more than just a hat company.  With his passion for skiing, living in the mountains, and his artistic background, Kevin Boyle began to design garments made from performance fabrics for the outdoor lifestyle he lived in the skiing world.  Kevin Boyle turned Alfwear into today’s outdoor lifestyle clothing company known as Kühl®.

In 1990 Kühl® introduced the Jacquard jacket, our signature Euro-styled Polartec® fleece top that featured the first, the original, innovative built-in thumb-loop cuff system, and lightweight underarm gussets for comfort, achieving an optimal climate control. This top gained cult status in the outdoor community and went on to win editors choice for the first Malden Mills Apex Award.  To this day, Kühl ® has remained one of the few organically grown, independent outdoor brands. Kühl® is independently owned and financed and generates its own ideas from living the lifestyle people who buy Kühl® products aspire to live. Kühl® currently designs and manufactures the top selling pants and shirts found in outdoor retailers of national renown.