Outdoor-lifestyle, workwear, and sporting goods label Filson has officially entered the Canadian market with a storefront in Vancouver’s Gastown. And the West Coast–driven, 120-year-old brand should have no trouble fitting in.
Situated at 47 Water Street, the rustic, 2,800-square-foot store is decked out in salvaged wood and pieces by Pacific Northwest artists and photographers, such as the late Darius Kinsey. It carries Filson’s high-quality apparel for men and women, including outerwear, bags, and accessories like sunglasses, watches, and hats. Also available is an assortment of gift items and outdoor gear such as leather-and-stainless-steel flasks and heavy-duty coolers.
Many of the items use proprietary materials such as Tin Cloth, a cotton canvas covered in an oil-finish wax; Mackinaw Wool, a tough, water-resistant wool; and Rugged Twill, a woven fabric coated in a water-repellant, paraffin-based wax. They also come with a lifetime guarantee.
“Our design aesthetic is very much based on function, so it is incredibly stripped down,” Alex Carleton, Filson’s creative director, tells the Straight during a preview of the Gastown shop. “It’s basic but in a good way.”
Plaid prints adorn a good number of Filson products, offering a hint of Canadiana, while a colour palette of olive, navy, and other neutrals make them well suited for day-to-day wear. Men’s and women’s shirts start at $38, outerwear at $125, and accessories at $32.
All Filson items are designed in Seattle and produced partially in factories situated in the northwest United States.
The first Filson store, then known as C. C. Filson’s Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers, opened in Seattle in 1897. The store initially offered durable, high-quality clothing and gear that would protect prospectors of the Klondike Gold Rush from the harsh weather conditions they’d face at their destination.
Carleton says this “shared cultural history”—gold was also discovered in B.C.’s Fraser Valley in the '50s—made Vancouver a natural choice for Filson’s Canadian expansion. The Filson flagship in Seattle also sees many visitors from the city, he says. “This was a good opportunity for us to bring Filson to Vancouverites.”
Filson Gastown officially opens to the public today (April 28). A grand opening party is scheduled for May 4, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., where shoppers will be able to enjoy Postmark beer, on-site canoe carving by Coast Salish artist Luke Marston, and live music by local musicians Shelby Earl and Ben Rogers. Food by Earnest Ice Cream, Forage, Rodney’s Oyster House, and Salmon ‘n’ Bannock, will also be available.
Check out the images below for a peek at the new Filson store.