Haute Outdoors? Columbia Hires New York Fashion Designer

His name is Jeffrey Kalinsky, and if you’re into fashion and high-end clothing you may have heard of him or his namesake Jeffrey New York boutiques, found in Atlanta and the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Today, in an unlikely partnership, Columbia Sportswear Company announced a design collaboration with Mr. Kalinsky to “deliver an exquisite line of ultra-premium outerwear and footwear” this fall for prices up to $495.

Apparently, Kalinsky was the initiator of the project. Press materials on the partnership say Kalinsky contacted Columbia with an idea to “marry the design aesthetic of Jeffrey with the quality and technical construction of Columbia.” Kalinsky is quoted, “I love a good puffy jacket and I’m obsessed with premium fleece — it has many of the qualities of cashmere.”

Columbia partners with Jeffrey Kalinsky.jpg

Sketch of Jeffrey Kalinsky/Columbia Sportswear vest

The Columbia/Kalinsky line will include five men’s products (sorry ladies), including four outerwear pieces and one boot, that will be sold at the Jeffrey New York stores as well as at five Nordstrom locations around the country beginning in mid-September.

Columbia calls itself a “global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment.” Readers, what do you think? Is teaming with a fashion designer a keen business move, or will Columbia’s haute product line serve as a distraction for a brand that has admitted it is looking to earn back street cred with a hardcore outdoors crowd? —Stephen Regenold

Related Content:

> “Columbia calls ‘B.S.’ on Outdoors Industry”

> “Stingrays and Pixie Dust: Columbia Sportswear 2012 Product Peek”

Posted by Jordan - 07/07/2011 12:53 PM

Wow. Very interesting. Can’t wait to see what comes out of this.

Posted by Erik - 07/07/2011 12:59 PM

I’m glad they will make something fashion oriented. I live in Seattle and bad weather doesn’t keep you from going out it just keeps you from looking good.

Posted by Alex - 07/07/2011 03:28 PM

This is vile. Worse than their $1,200 heated parka from the linked article. If they’re trying to turn it around and compete with Westcomb or something, hiring some d-bag NY design lame isn’t the way to do it.

I like old Columbia stuff for bumming around – they’re stuff is fine for casual wear and they should stick with it. They own Mountain Hardwear which has a decent rep – they should just focus on upping and expanding that as their higher end line, not getting Columbia proper into gag fashion design.
They’re doing everything wrong – makes me wanna pitch my old Columbia cotton logo tees, lest anyone think I support this new swill.

Posted by John - 07/08/2011 11:22 AM

There are always people with more money than brains and apparently Columbia wants to milk the cash cow. It’s a sad day.

Posted by Kelly - 07/08/2011 12:03 PM

While I’m not going to go so far as to say it’s vile, it seems like they’re not quite getting their priorities right. It seems like a renewed focus on credible, well made products, using great fabrics and great construction (and not gimmicky technologies) would push the needle for them much more than this collab with Jeffrey. Eddie Bauer’s rebirth with First Ascent seems to get it right IMO.

Posted by John - 01/03/2012 05:55 PM

They are a public company and many public companies have different brands under the same umbrella and all have to show a profit at the end of the day. If you remove yourself and limit your disdain, you will hopefully understand it makes sense. I agree Mountain Hardware should be their premier mountain brand that is technical without gimmicky bells and whistles, Columbia should be mass market their fleece etc. with bells and whistles and Jeffrey or whatever they choose to do with that collaboration should be another stand alone brand. Currently Columbia sells in Nordstrom and I shop there, I am not buying Columbia, I am buying either something like fashion oriented like Jeffrey and then would buy something like Mountain Hardwear for active use. Personally I am a Patagonia consumer…..

Add Comment

  1. Add link by using "LinkText":http://google.com