Filson, the US outdoor wear company founded 125 years ago, exhibited at the January 2022 edition of Pitti Uomo after having signed a new distribution and licensing agreement for all EMEA countries with W.P. Work In Progress, the Italian company founded by entrepreneur Cristina Calori specialized in scouting and growing historic and authentic international brands including Baracuta, B.D.Baggies and Avon Celli, that W.P. owns, along with Barbour and Blundstone, that W.P. distributes in Italy.
Filson was founded in The US in 1897 with the aim to offer durable products such as apparel and accessories to be worn outdoors.
For fall/winter 2022, it offers a selection of pieces from its archives and re-presented to its new clientele while keeping faith to its roots. Among them there are the iconic pieces such as the Mackinaw Cruiser, reinterpreted in a series of new plaid patterns, the new Mackinaw Wool World Jacket, the Chilkoot Expedition Parka and a selection of bags including briefcases, duffle bags and suitcases.
Alex Carleton, chief creative officer, Filson, explained to The SPIN OFF, how the brand is faithful to its roots but also aims to evolve to increase its presence in the EMEA countries.
Tell us about you and your role at Filson.
I have been working for Filson since 2014 and since then I manage product design. My role is to oversee design, product, merchandising and creative in terms of brand management.
As a historic brand that was founded 125 years ago, it’s safe to say that we are inherently a heritage brand. Our top products today are some of the top products that we patented in the early part of the 20th century, so in 1914 we patented our Cruiser Jacket that today is one of our top-selling jackets.
Is it exactly then same style or was it somehow updated?
No, it was not updated. It is exactly as our truly historical and heritage piece, as we always reference history.
Is the brand focused on any sustainable approaches?
The beauty of our product is that we are very much based using natural materials like cotton and wool. Though we are also focused on an increasingly more eco-friendly approach as we are moving away from synthetics and even in our technical and performance products we are starting to develop and explore more and use natural fibers for their inherent performing qualities.
We also offer waxed outer jackets, and they are also in keeping with our attitude as they are treated with waxes made from soy, or other natural sources as we don’t use synthetics.
What do you see for the future of this brand?
I think the beauty of Filson in a world where there is so much trend, is very much based on the principles of continuity. I believe that the DNA of the brand is very much part of its future, so that while we will continue to bring innovation into the line, it’s a lot of the core materials, the wool products and our classic products that can sustain the business for another 100 years.
Filson is a sort of secret brand that offers a lot of opportunities for new customers to discover the brand and interpret the products in different markets. What makes this collaboration with WP so exciting is that we get to present the product to a new customer base and a new audience that can interpret the products in their own way within their own environment and in their own scenarios.