The Saga of RedFox and its Founder: From Aspiring Alpinist to Global Gear Innovator

In the 1980s, the world of mountaineering belonged to a tight-knit yet highly passionate community. Among its members were Vladislav Moroz and Alexander Glushkovsky, who met at a university and recognized kindred spirits in each other. Both were captivated by the majestic landscapes of the world’s peaks and keenly understood what their fellow mountaineers needed.

To address these needs and simultaneously promote the exhilarating sport, they founded their own innovative outdoor gear brand — RedFox. Initially mistaken by many as Norwegian, the company evolved over time into a globally recognized brand with Russian origins, becoming a symbol of quality in its segment. With a team of over 1000 professionals and several factories, the RedFox brand now spans more than 100 retail points across four continents.

From Young Mountaineer to Entrepreneurial Trailblazer

Vlad Moroz’s journey is marked by numerous triumphs, including multiple victories in the USSR Mountaineering Championships and conquests of peaks like Korzhenevsky, Lenin, Misses Tau, Free Korea, Ama Dablam, Everest, and others. To reach such, quite literally, heights seems to be an extraordinary task even today in the presence of a wide choice of quality equipment. And in the 1980s, it seemed almost impossible. Nevertheless, in 1987 Moroz achieved the title of Master of Sports of the USSR, becoming the country’s youngest climber with such an honor at that time.

An ordinary sewing machine played a pivotal role in Moroz’s journey, leading him to establish RedFox. Back then, Moroz’s compatriots primarily used outdated and heavy cotton suits and canvas backpacks that provided poor protection against rainfall. Inspired by advanced American gear showcased in glossy magazines, Moroz began crafting high-quality equipment, from backpacks with hip belts and efficient suspension systems to warm down jackets, tents, and sleeping bags. This passion spread to friends and like-minded individuals and finally evolved into the creation of RedFox, one of the first companies in the post-Soviet space.

From the USA to Asia: RedFox’s Victories Abroad

RedFox’s ambitions quickly expanded beyond Russian borders. In the 1990s, the brand became the first in Russia’s outdoor segment to participate in American trade shows. Later, this experience and connections established abroad would lead to the opening of offline stores in Colorado.

By the end of the 1990s, RedFox had made a mark in Nepal. Moroz and his partners offered high-quality gear to local stores. Their offerings were capable of withstanding the most challenging conditions faced by conquerors of eight-thousanders. This strategic move attracted enthusiasts from around the world. International expeditions regularly visited the country, drawing attention to RedFox’s products and spreading the word around.

By 2007, RedFox was a notable participant in European trade shows, forming new partnerships and strengthening its market position. The company’s booths stood shoulder to shoulder with industry giants like Columbia and The North Face at events such as ISPO Munich. These exhibitions generated direct orders and paved the way for a store in Switzerland. RedFox also collaborated with prestigious ski schools in Germany and Austria. Years later, even the pandemic did not hinder the brand’s development, as Moroz wisely directed RedFox into the digital sphere.

Reviews from professional mountaineers solidified RedFox’s standing, confirming its high status, as well as Moroz’s goodwill in the mountaineering community. By the 2010s, he had become not only a prominent figure in mountaineering but also a well-known entrepreneur with an impeccable reputation. At trade shows, he shared his in-depth expertise as a speaker. He served as both the ideologist and ambassador of RedFox.

Personalization for Conquering Mountains

In mountaineering, the role of gear is pivotal. RedFox has always distinguished itself by prioritizing flexibility. Instead of flooding the market with standardized product lines, the brand concentrated on personalized equipment, creating an atmosphere of exclusivity. RedFox collaborated on outfitting numerous expeditions, including those to formidable peaks like K2 and Everest. Gear modifications based on mountaineers’ orders ensured a bespoke product and kept the RedFox’s offerings relevant.

In an era when brands outsourced production to Southeast Asian facilities, RedFox defied the norm, opting for in-house manufacturing. This strategic decision granted the company unprecedented control over quality. Moreover, RedFox successfully leveraged Vlad’s extensive experience. Moroz, having conquered some of the world’s most challenging peaks from the North Pole to Kyrgyzstan, became an invaluable source of knowledge for the deeply committed team.

Collaborating with global leaders in membranes, insulation, and functional fabrics has also empowered RedFox to enhance the quality of its equipment and led to substantial success.

The RedFox name resonated within professional circles in regions where mountaineering was a longstanding tradition. Notably, in 2009 and 2016, RedFox earned the prestigious Polartec© APEX Design award, a testament to its exceptional creativity and innovation in product design.

Partners on All Peaks

A crucial aspect of RedFox’s strategy involved drawing in international specialists, each with a wealth of experience. This diverse team included an American designer and mountaineer deeply rooted in the industry, a seasoned German specialist with expertise in outdoor gear, and an acclaimed Italian designer who brought a Rolls Royce-like blend of functionality and luxury to the brand.

RedFox continued to enhance its professional standing by actively participating in sporting events and sponsoring distinguished athletes. Figures like Friedrich Kühne, the German slackliner and world record holder in highlining, and Glenn Singleman, an Australian doctor, wingsuit pilot, and skydiver, lent significant credibility and influence to the brand.

The feedback provided invaluable insights into the quality and performance of RedFox. Mountains helped Moroz establish strong friendships and productive partnerships, such as with an English investor at Everest Base Camp. The latter tested the reliability of RedFox gear by purchasing a down suit for his Elbrus ascent.

Recognizing the pivotal role of shared adventures in forging connections and promoting the brand, Moroz spearheaded innovative initiatives. This includes the Elbrus Race — an international skyrunning competition held on the highest mountain in Europe. The event attracts over 500 athletes and captures the attention of more than 1000 global spectators, with participants hailing from the USA, EU countries, Ukraine, Japan, Indonesia, the UAE, and others. Another undertaking is the Red Fox Adventure Race, a premier multisport competition that also draws more than 500 professionals from around the world.

Moroz and RedFox even embarked on a formidable endeavor — the 14 Eight-thousanders Program — a bold initiative to conquer all 14 peaks of the world’s highest mountains.

New Heights Awaiting

Guided by the visionary Moroz, the story of RedFox has transformed into a saga of foresight and resilience. Amidst sanctions and geopolitical turbulence, unwavering motivation, flexibility, expertise, experience, and an acute understanding of the target audience have consistently propelled RedFox to remarkable heights. The brand’s narrative continues as it strives to conquer new peaks and etch its name into the history of outdoor gear. It is a constant source of inspiration for climbers, adventurers and innovators around the world.