Collaborations are what’s for dinner. The art of bringing two brands together for a title-worthy partnership is in demand as luxury brands and sneaker companies collaborate to death, but there’s always room for a truly thoughtful team, like Canada Goose the knows well.
“Our collaborations are partnerships,” Canada Goose chief product officer Woody Blackford tells Highsnobiety.
“We believe the perfect collaboration is achieved when two brands work together to create products that neither partner could make independently. It’s the idiom that 1 + 1 = 3. For Canada Goose, this often happens when we push the boundaries between performance and fashion.”
From its headquarters in Toronto, Canada Goose has quietly led the pack of outdoor gear into taste-creating teams, showing remarkable cunning in selecting creatives to bring into its fold and thus achieving a product remarkably original.
“Over the years, we’ve collaborated with a variety of talented designers from around the world, including October’s Very Own, Concepts, Angel Chen, juun.j, Y/Project, BAPE and many more,” Blackford continued.
“Our collaborators are global tastemakers with unique perspectives that challenge us to reinterpret our core design DNA in new ways. While you may find these projects on the catwalks of New York, Paris or Shanghai, we don’t never sacrifice performance for style.”
That’s why Canada Goose can create cutting-edge products with Glenn Martens’ Y/Project and juun.j and street-focused graphic products with Concepts and BAPE without ever missing the guidelines that unite its core fare and business. Extracurriculars: Everything Canada Goose does is anchored by utility functionality.
“Authenticity is at the heart of Canada Goose – it’s what our brand was built on,” continued Blackford. “We are a brand with strong values, linked to our relationship with the Arctic. Simply put, our products work!”
Whether you’re wearing layers of OVO down jackets or a cocoonyou can walk in any climate with the comfort of knowing that Canada Goose finishes every outerwear, every accessory, every pair of shoes, to the same exacting level of quality, no matter how rugged the design.
This pursuit of perfection, regardless of application, is a lesson in how heritage brands can forge collaborations with creative trailblazers that carry real weight.
A legacy label looking to make a splash in collaboration has to search for the right partner, but it also has to find the fine line between respecting its own pedigree and a new facade. That is why Metallica for Brioni didn’t work and why Dior x Jordan Brand did.
I mean, there are other reasons as well, like considerations for each brand’s audience, but all of which tie into the need for authenticity.
For example, Canada Goose knows that NBA players (and their fans) especially love its rugged outerwear, so it made sense to not only establish a working relationship with the league, but to launch capsule collaborations scheduled to take place with the NBA All-Star Game which takes place each year at the end of February.
In year one, Rhude – another brand beloved by NBA athletes – entered the Canada Goose family, and in year two, Salehe Bembury released a selection of remixed Canada Goose overlay pieces.
“We fused Salehe Bembury’s fingerprint design and contrasting materials with Canada Goose’s functional DNA, embodying the freedom of ’90s NBA style,” Blackford said, describing the four-piece capsule that followed. as “Bold and limitless, rooted in our heritage and juxtaposition of style without rules.”
Bold and unlimited. Two adjectives that all good collaborations should aim for.