Canada Goose outerwear gets down with down
Canadian Goose is hot right now. And not just because of its high-profile campaigns on the local mountains, but because it has some mad feather-filling skills to back the hype. In other words, this Great White North outerwear company knows how to get “down”. Where some labels use impressively high down counts with little expertise or regard in the area of maximizing their plumage power, CG has down... down to a science, which is no easy feat.
In addition to the fill power, which is the measurement of how much a particular down can trap air, there are other things to consider, such as what materials work best with certain downs, how old the bird was at the time of plucking, and what kind of climate the bird lived in.
“Down is a very difficult and challenging thing,” admits Canada Goose CEO and president Dani Reiss, who blazed through town to help hatch the Goose’s latest golden egg. “It’s very misunderstood.”
So, for example, CG’s brand new series of HyBridge Lite jackets (about $450)—which you can get at Atmosphere (Park Royal Mall), Holt Renfrew (737 Dunsmuir), and Europe Bound (195 West Broadway)—boast 800-fill-power Hutterite white goose down, which means it’s very light and fluffy. But if the designers were to stuff that into a heavy fabric, it would compromise the down’s ability to trap air properly and that’s what keeps you warm. That’s why CG used an ultralight nylon soft shell for this beautiful sheeny zip-up. Weighing a meagre half pound, this super-streamlined layering piece won’t bog you down as you’re carving up fresh powder.
“There’s nothing that light out there like it,” says Reiss of the line, which was inspired by temperate climates like Vancouver’s. “And it’s a very fitted jacket—it could be worn as a base layer, a mid layer, or worn as a regular outside jacket.”
So it’s versatile, but as Vancouverites, we need to know: will it keep us dry? Well, yes and no. On the slopes, you betcha. On the streets, not so much.
“If you wipe out, you’re fine because snow isn’t really wet,” says the Toronto-based boss man. “I mean, it’s water-resistant, but if you were hanging out in the rain for a couple of hours, it might leak through a little bit.”
Stylistically, this jacket is right on trend in that fitted silhouettes are très au courant. As is ski-bunny white.
“The colour white is very, very striking and does very well,” says Reiss. “So despite the practicality of white—because it gets dirty very quickly and everyone knows that when they buy it—it does very well, even a little bit for men. But more so for women.”
As well as white, you can also get HyBridge Lite in a gorgeous red and a sleek nightclub black. It’s no wonder that Canada Goose has become the international darling of outerwear, winning fashion awards down south. So with that much success to capitalize on, is there any chance of Canada Goose expanding into a full-on streetwear line?
According to Reiss, not bloody likely.
“We believe that every product we put out has to be the best of its kind in the whole world,” says the unapologetic perfectionist. “People always say to me, ‘Why don’t you do backpacks?’ Well, if we were to make a generic backpack and just put our logo on it because we can, but it wasn’t the best backpack in the world, that would dilute our product and we would not do that.”