Key points to remember:
Transformations are at the heart of Angel Chen’s Canada Goose designs, with smart structures designed to convert to both weather conditions and styling purposes.
Bold colors and visual symbols of Chinese identity are two signatures of Chen’s work, seen in previous collaborations with brands like adidas, MAC, H&M and Lipton Iced Tea.
- The designer created special embroidery exclusively for the collaboration, inspired by her trip across Canada.
This exclusive interview with Angel Chen is part of Jing Daily’s bi-weekly Collabs and Drops newsletter – your 360-degree look into the world of collaboration. Subscribe here.
The collaboration is now part of the DNA of Toronto-based puffer jacket brand Canada Goose, having already launched product lines with mainstream players like Be @ rbrick, Vetements and Opening Ceremony. However, Chinese talent Angel Chen was their very first guest designer in January 2021, and nine months later she’s back with a second Canada Goose capsule – a welcome marriage, given the brand’s growing demand on the market. Chinese market.
And the Fall 2021 collection is just as dynamic as the first. Proving that Canada Goose is seriously considering a new strategy to expand its product offering, the line consists of various coats, from the Bayan Puffer to the Cropped Snow Mantra Parka, two handbags and a few rain jackets.
One of the capsule’s shoulder bags transforms into a backpack, in the same way that the hood of the Rayla Vest unzips to create a trendy collar. Meanwhile, the Bayan Puffer and Bayan Vest are also reversible, offering two models in one. In fact, transformations seem to be at the heart of Chen’s Canada Goose designs, with clever structures designed to convert to both weather conditions and styling purposes.
Another recognizable touch of Chen is her bold color and visual symbols of Chinese identity: both are now signatures of the designer’s work following her previous collaborations with adidas, MAC, H&M and Lipton Iced Tea.
Chen was able to inject new relevance into the 64-year-old Canada Goose branding and connected it to a loyal Chinese consumer base, as well as fans of the brand in Europe (Chen is known for having studied at the esteemed Central Saint Martins of London University).
Ahead of the collaboration’s official launch on October 25, Chen spoke with Daily JingCollabs and Drops’s newsletter on her second invitation from Canada Goose and how she seamlessly incorporated the Angel Chen brand into the Canada Goose product line.
Daily Jing (JD): Did you know Canada Goose who grew up in Shenzhen?
Angel Chen (AC): I have always been aware that Canada Goose is a functional brand and that their down jackets can carry you through the winter months and the harshest climates. It is therefore a great honor to work with a heritage brand such as Canada Goose.
What made you want to work on a second collaboration with Canada Goose?
It was an exciting project for me, and I couldn’t wait to see a new chemistry between Eastern and Western cultures. The conversation with Canada Goose started in October 2019, and I was fortunate enough to visit their headquarters in early 2020, before the pandemic. Both collaborations were conceived during my trip to Canada.
The team was welcoming and supportive throughout the process. It was inspiring to discover such a beautiful operation in Toronto, to browse the archives and learn how to make a well-designed puffer jacket.
Can you tell us a bit about this latest collection?
As with last season’s collection, I changed the silhouette and made it more stylish and functional for fall 21. For example, you can transform the Convertible Snow Mantra Parka into a down jacket or a short puffer jacket. for different weather conditions, and the belt of the long windbreaker jacket shows more curves and style options for women. These are all items you can see in my own collection, but here I have married them with the iconic Canada Goose products.
How do you approach collaboration as a freelance designer?
There are three characteristics of my brand that I wanted to bring to the collaboration. When creating a collection, the first thing I keep in mind is color. I want to make sure a collection is full of color because my family is in the paint. My dad is kind of a color engineer and has been sitting in a lab and discovered color his whole life, so I want to keep this DNA in my collection. The second is a mixture of Eastern and Western cultures. I always want to bring traditional Chinese elements into a more contemporary aesthetic. The third is to create a somewhat asexual and more contemporary collection – without borders between country, age and gender.
How do you make sure your Chinese graphics are tastefully portrayed when working with a foreign brand?
Chinese embroidery has been a signature of my brand. I designed special embroidery exclusively for our collection, inspired by my trip to Canada. Through these embroideries, you can see the story of my travels in Canada and discover the incredible know-how of Canada Goose. His Snow Mantra is the ultimate expression of craftsmanship, designed to protect against the world’s most extreme elements. It takes eight and a half hours to build, a total of 247 pieces with 49 sets of needles, and it will keep you warm in -30C and below.
The figures depict a curious angel embarking on a journey to Canada and exploring nature, depicted through snow-capped mountains and people reaching peaks. Other embroidered graphics from the collection show a dragon flying from east to west, a tribute to the meeting of two cultures.
Do you think collaborating with a company as established as Canada Goose changes the public perception of your brand?
I really appreciate this opportunity to introduce the ANGEL CHEN brand to the Canada Goose community. I am able to present a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures and styles to a wider audience. Therefore, the collection becomes a means of communicating between different cultures.
In addition, these collaborations with Canada Goose have allowed the two brands to explore new possibilities and make more inroads, notably through design and craftsmanship. It is exciting that the public can see both ANGEL CHEN and Canada Goose from different angles.
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