In late 2012, Sports Illustrated got in touch with the company to outfit a crew going to Antarctica to shoot the 2013 swimsuit issue. The supermodel Kate Upton ended up wearing one of the coats, a white Chilliwack bomber jacket, on the cover of the magazine, her face haloed in coyote fur. In 2013, Canada Goose’s U.S. sales increased 25 percent; last year, they rose an additional 30 percent. Reiss expects sales to grow by half in 2015.
Ask someone why they bought a Canada Goose jacket, canada goose parkaand they’ll probably say it’s because it’s warm and well-made. As Reiss points out, there are plenty of parkas that are a lot more expensive but won’t last nearly as long. That’s certainly true: The wrist cuffs are thick and snug, the outer fabric is tough, and the proprietary down filling retains heat like a pizza oven. Having a large, bright logo advertising how much the wearer paid for the coat doesn’t hurt, either. As with all popular brands, Canada Goose has inspired imitators and Chinese counterfeiters, and it’s gone to court to protect its trademark. Company executives have claimed that the fakes use German shepherd fur rather than coyote (antifur campaigners, no fans of Canada Goose, would see that as a distinction without much of a difference) and warned that microbes in the cut-rate insulation of the knockoffs make them health hazards.
To the uninitiated, the Canada Goose logo can be a little confusing.canada goose parka womens The words “Canada Goose Arctic Program” are written around the edge of it, as if it were not a mere clothing label, but the insignia of a polar research consortium or an elite team of ski commandos. There isn’t any such program. David Reiss made up the name in the early 1980s when he created the logo, which is almost identical to the official patch of the USAP. Comparing the two symbols, it’s hard not to see Canada Goose’s jealously guarded logo as its own kind of knockoff.
Status-conscious urbanites have been aping adventurers since the Middle Ages. According to Lourdes Font, an art historian at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the first example of designer sportswear was the surcoat. Knights on the Crusades wore special long tunics over their armor to keep it from overheating in the Middle Eastern sun, and when they got back to Europe, it became a fashion craze.buy canada goose jacket The trenchcoat has a similar story: Originally designed for British officers to wear in the soggy trenches of the Great War, it caught on with civilians who wanted its aura of martial mettle and rank. The waxed-cotton jacket and the boat shoe, the polo shirt and the Patagonia fleece don’t have military associations, but they conjure up an image of rustic, moneyed leisure devoted to active pursuits. While it’s probably little comfort to the cubicle jockeys who wear them, modern business suits were born out of 19th century riding costumes.
What these clothes connote, Font says, is freedom. “Freedom from work, from school, from obligations, being free to be out there in nature having adventures, even though that’s not the reality. And that’s part of the appeal of these coats.” Canada Goose’s official corporate mission is “To free people from the cold, no matter where they live, and empower them to experience more from life.”
Canada Goose parkas aren’t Barbour jackets; they don’t bring to mind the country squire. They’re workwear—or, in the case of the company’s newer models, they at least resemble workwear. But the labor they evoke is very different from what most of the people now buying the coats actually do. It’s the sartorial equivalent of reality cable shows like Deadliest Catch or Ice Road Truckers, where viewers live vicariously through crab fishermen and truck drivers braving the Arctic, doing work that’s physical and dangerous and somehow, we think, more real. Office-bound Walter Mittys in Canada Goose can imagine themselves prospecting, patrolling remote borders, tracking polar bears, or venturing out into the Antarctic cold to fix the neutrino sensor and unlock the ultimate questions of existence.
Not everyone who buys a Canada Goose parka has these fantasies, canada goose jacket sale online of course. Popularity has its own momentum. This year the attraction of Canada Goose has surely grown beyond its provenance and become largely about the brute fact that everyone is wearing it. That dynamic is a powerful one, at least for a little while. A few brands with similar associations—Land Rover is the best example—manage to survive the transition to status symbol while retaining an aura of authenticity. The danger, though, is that the more Canada Goose parkas one sees on the subway or on the coat rack at the dentist’s office, the more prosaic they seem.
Haugen, the Antarctic engineer, returns his government-issue big red every February so someone else can use it. And he doesn’t need his own; by the time he’s home in Madison, Wis., it’s almost spring. Even at the South Pole, he says, he doesn’t wear the parka that much. When he’s working outside he’s moving around, lifting, turning, and pulling, and even in -20F weather, big red is too hot. He prefers layers. “Long underwear next to your skin, a fleece, and a down vest, then maybe another very lightweight down jacket, and then over the top of that a shell,” he says. “The same thing as when you go to a Packer game at Lambeau Field in December.”