A few weeks ago, I was able to combine a sprint shopping session with a meeting in Manhattan. I was pleasantly surprised – the city was feeling rather outdoorsy. Good timing with the onset of winter and stores ramping up for the holiday onslaught. In addition to stops at Best Made Company and Uniqlo already documented, here are some more alpine and outdoor findings.
Intricate laser cut and bonded detail on Mountain Force women’s Joplin jacket. This Swiss brand is the pinnacle of technical outerwear design and engineering. Check out this season’s line at a specialty retailer such as Paragon Sports or if not familiar with the brand, spend some time on the Mountain Force web site to get an idea of the precision in design, details and manufacturing, premium materials and covetable styling.
Lots of photo-real wildlife on outerwear this season. Volcom Snowboarding women’s Astrid jacket features wolves (left) and Quiksilver men’s Forever jacket with birds (right) both offer the performance of Gore-Tex in 2-layer shell construction.
xSweaty Betty is now stateside! The British line of women’s performance sport apparel now has retail shops in Soho and Greenwich, Connecticut. I am long familiar with the brand for workout, running and yoga gear but was surprised to learn they offer ski. The ski collection is tightly edited with a precisely merchandised color palette. Base and mid layers come in unique interpretations and bold body-conscious outerwear bib and jacket styles give the impression of a one-piece suit. My feeling on Sweaty Betty ski and the rest of the line is this – it is not cheap (pricier than Lululemon) but is a fresh alternative to the competition and a welcome addition to women’s performance apparel.
xxOver the past few years, Fjällräven has become a favorite outdoor brand of mine, luring me in with their rucksacks, tight logo and heritage to realize there is so much more. The Swedish specialty outfitter, named after the arctic fox, has a long history producing functional equipment and apparel for exploring the outdoors. Fjällräven claims to be the inventor of the framed backpack and in 1960 became the first brand to manufacture and distribute this innovative equipment. As for apparel, Fjällräven is famous for their G-1000 waxed fabric that is durable and resistant to the elements.
Fjällräven’s second New York City shop is located on the corner of Greene and Grand Streets in Soho. A well-merchandised store shows off the fabulous full product range – beyond the adorable and colorful Kånken backpacks most readily associated with this brand. Fjällräven products possess function and classic looks steeped in heritage and rich color for all that is involved in an outdoor lifestyle. (Yet another example of Swedish design being responsible for some of the finest sporting product available.) For the merchandise and shopping experience, I recommend Fjällräven as a must on any NYC shopping list.
Changing gears to fashion – clean and bright Joe Fresh prominently features this shiny and white deer family for holiday. (Reminiscent of the Hermès 2010 winter ad campaign.) It is always nice to see this icon of the outdoors.