For its A/W 2017 campaign, American outerwear specialist Woolrich returned to the snowy plains of Alaska, where, in 1972, the brand created the Arctic Parka for freezing pipeline workers. It was the Ramar Cloth fabrication of this now-signature silhouette which inspired the brand’s debut footwear line, one equally suitable for trekking in its home state of Alaska or carousing around the city.
‘The project came from combining the typical traits of hi-tech outdoor shoes with a contemporary, urban design,’ explains Andrea Canè, global creative director of Woolrich. Produced in Italy, the men’s and women’s styles, which launch this weekend, range from city-centric Derby shoes to more expedition-worthy mountain and hiking boots. They are united by two intrepid sole designs created by outdoor footwear experts Vibram. One is based on the signature ‘Carrarmato’ mountain sole, first seen stomping on icy outcrops in 1937. ‘They guarantee maximum quality in all conditions and on any terrain, with optimal comfort and lightness,’ Canè adds.
The gap between outdoor and urban wear has been narrowing season after season. Just this year, The North Face collaborated with Japanese labels Junya Watanabe and Sacai, and American skatewear supremo Supreme, while mountaineering silhouettes dominate the pavements of shopping districts in Tokyo. It’s no surprise then, that Woolrich has heralded its Hiker Boot as its footwear favourite of the season. ‘It offers a fusion between a genuine walking boot, and a sole that, even with its high-tech features can also work in the city, thanks to special Vibram Megagrip Technology.’ We’ll take two pairs.