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.”
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