A new breathable membrane and stealthy design make the latest from Canada Goose stand out. GearJunkie got a first look at the company’s 2018 line.
Insulated, Arctic-influenced winter wear is the hallmark of Canada Goose. This includes a parka once dubbed the warmest on Earth. Today, the company has expanded, including three-season lines with sweaters, rainwear, and breathable shells.
We got a look at the company’s current line on Galiano Island, British Columbia. There, dark Pacific waters and misty forests made an apt proving ground for rainwear and classic-style shells. Pieces like the Riverhead (above) for men and the women’s Trinity Jacket kept us comfortable, dry, and stylish at the island’s Bodega Ridge Resort.
Indeed, it’s a nexus of fashion and form that Canada has become known for. Its jackets perform with top-end materials and new technology. But they’re also among the nicest-looking outerwear in the industry.
You pay for the hybrid theme, with many jackets commanding $500 or more. But we understand the upside of an expensive one-time purchase of something that lasts. After years of wearing Canada Goose’s cold-weather apparel, we’ve seen it last in terms of durability and style, standing the aesthetic test of time. (A lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship also gives peace of mind.)
As for the spring 2018 line, the company didn’t reinvent the wheel. But many of the jackets and apparel pieces continue the fashion/function tradition. And there is at least one new notable tech upgrade: the Strati-Dry 3L membrane (more on this below). Overall, it’s a sharp, heritage-inspired collection that broadens the brand’s reach into new seasons and different climate zones.
We caught up with the brand after our trip to Galiano Island, where visitors hike forest trails and beach sand, some (like us) foraging for mushrooms and other cooked-on-site food.
Spencer Orr, senior vice president of merchandising and product strategy, sat down for a quick Q&A on Canada Goose’s latest and the future of the company, once pegged only as a stalwart of the cold.
Interview: Canada Goose’s Spencer Orr
GearJunkie: Why is Canada Goose focusing on spring/fall jackets and apparel?
Orr: We are dedicated to being a multiseason brand and to meet our customers’ needs and protect them in various temperatures, climates, and elements. We have been given permission by our consumer to bring our proficiency [in jacket design] into new categories and lighter styles.
Explain the new technology in the spring 2018 line.
Our Strati-Dry 3L fabric is a key component of our rainwear. It makes the category functional with its three-layer fabric design that combines protection against inclement weather with a luxurious, tactile finish. It is soft to the touch and flexible enough to stretch in four directions for ease of mobility. Each rainwear piece is seam-sealed, waterproof, windproof, and breathable.
Another upgrade is the thermal mapping on pieces like the Pemberton Sweater. This builds on the design we first developed for down-filled garments to ensure down was placed near the right parts of the body. With the new knitwear, thermal mapping is a combination of knits that increase airflow and breathability to the places on the body that act as a thermostat and are prone to overheating.
How is Strati-Dry 3L different from Gore-Tex, Neoshell, eVent, etc.?
It is a polyurethane membrane that has stretch. In addition to the stretchiness, it’s lighter, easier to pack, and is better equipped to handle impacts. Also, the breathability of our jackets is quite high because of the stretch. It means you’re not moving inside of a static jacket. From just reaching out, driving, or a high-endurance activity, there is no restriction of movement.
Were there challenges when designing with the technical fabric?
The biggest challenge is ensuring that we get the durability without compromising on the design. It is crucial to understand why the particular fabric was chosen and what the principles and properties we want to get out of the fabric are. This is especially important when you’re dealing with stretch. You want to make sure the seams are in the right place, the pockets make sense, the trims are appropriate, and that the construction method works best in order for the jacket to move throughout any circumstance.
With Strati-Dry 3L specifically, we weren’t set on it being light because that could restrict the design. We needed to ensure that the pockets wouldn’t droop and that there was a structure to the style. For example, finding that balance point between a cargo pocket and welded pocket.
Which piece is your personal favorite?
Of spring 2018, our rainwear category is definitely my favorite, specifically the men’s Harbour Jacket. It was made with the urban adventurer in mind, incorporating a convertible back hem that can unsnap to extend the jacket’s length. There’s a ton of military-inspired pockets so the wearer can carry everything on their person. Breathable mesh vents are under the arms and on each side so your body can stay cool and breathe through the dreary weather.
What is overlooked about Canada Goose?
We are a product-first company, and we begin from a place of function first in all product creation. The design process starts by discerning what a product must do functionally (i.e., how it must work) and clearly identifying the necessary performance attributes of the particular garment to be created. Simply, every product must “work.” It is only then that the focus of the design process can shift to creating a beautiful product that meets the aesthetic needs of the Canada Goose customer while maintaining the authenticity of the brand.
Will the company be putting more resources into spring/fall products in coming years?
Absolutely! We have a six-decade reputation for product that’s of the highest quality, allowing us to transfer those benefits to “beyond winter” collections. The demand for us to be a multiseason brand continues to grow. Each product we debut will always tie back to our heritage and put our DNA at the forefront.
Our research has shown that because our consumers trust us to make the warmest jackets in the world, they also trust us to take that expertise into other categories. People want products that are designed with intent and perform properly from brands that have an authentic and true heritage, which I believe is Canada Goose.