Taking a cue from the old-is-new fashion trend, REI’s Wallace Lake collection brings a 1929 hike to life eight decades later.
Tuesday, REI nodded to its co-founders with the launch of the Wallace Lake collection. It’s full of vintage-looking fuzzy sweaters, causal flannels, puffer vests, even striped blankets. In some way, every piece hearkens back to that memorable day at a lake called Wallace.
The story goes something like this: REI’s co-founders tried this thing called backpacking. It’s 1929. So you can imagine what’s on their backs, not to mention in their packs. With no true intent, they hike into pristine Wallace Lake in Washington state.
That seemingly innocent outdoor experience helps inspire a fledgling co-op. And that glimmer of an idea grows into the iconic brand we know as Recreational Equipment, Inc. — REI.
REI Wallace Lake Collection: From Another Time, for Today
Now, anyone can go back in time by purchasing a simple piece from the Wallace Lake collection. In fact, its designers and collection curators did just that. They walked the same trail, leafed through old fashion catalogs, and studied outdoor iconography to pull together this heritage kit.
What shows up in the Wallace Lake collection is a clever mix of 1930s patterns and symbols from the Wallace Lake Trail — the walk in the woods that started it all.
We’re especially drawn to the Quilted Down Jacket in “army cot green” and the Sherpa Shirt Jac in a color called “quiet shade.” And those classic outdoor motifs show up boldly in the Wallace Lake Iconic Sweater and more subtly in the collection’s Merino Wool Crew Socks.
The lifestyle collection draws on REI’s heritage in the Pacific Northwest. It conjures up fall in the mountains, a crisp day on an alpine lake, and lingering campfire conversations.
The REI Co-op Brand Wallace Lake collection comprises 36 pieces, with more items to be added in future seasons. All the pieces are made tough enough for a day outside yet stylish enough for an Old Fashioned at the local lodge. There are T-shirts, sweatshirts, beanies, bandanas, pullovers, zip-ups, and more.