I'm a fan of Canada Goose. I don't have much of their clothing—a scarf and a camo poncho that's half-Rambo, half-Hedi Slimane—but because it's a Canadian heritage brand that's still actually made in Canada, it always gives me a jolt of pride when I see it—like last week when I was in New York and a cold front blew in and every third person seemed to be sporting one of their iconic parkas. I also like their CEO Dani Reiss, who may run a billion-dollar company, but who looks like he'd be just as comfortable throwing back beers at the Legion in Fort St. John.
Given the relative cost of the "standard" parkas ($1,100 or so) and the relatively few times one would need them in downtown Vancouver, I had made peace with the fact I probably wouldn't buy one any time soon. And then I saw these just dropped beauties from their Project Atigi and I fear all those best-laid plans may be heading out the window.
This is how Canada Goose describes Project Atigi: A collection features 90-bespoke pieces, created by 18 Inuit designers from 12 communities across Inuit Nunangat. In partnership with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Canada Goose commissioned this group of talented designers to each create a collection of five jackets which reflect their heritage, communities, and artisanship. The collection highlights the deep tradition of craftsmanship in the North, and each designer has shaped fabric into something functional and beautiful.
The only small rub is the cost: $2,500. By any standard, that's a lot of jack. But while they no doubt cost a lot, they're actually pretty solid value. Given that they're handmade by very serious artisans (that's Eileena Aragutainaq above, and Olivia Tagalik below) and that the entirety of the profits flows back to the ITK, it seems reasonable for something that's as much art as it is clothing. It's a far better deal than this $3,300 number from Moncler, with it's "Ethiopian-inspired" design (that I'm pretty sure wasn't designed by an Ethiopian designer or made in Ethiopia). And please don't get me started on this $1,200 parka from Moose Knuckles that, I'm not kidding, is called the Grand Métis Parka. Oh yeah—it's made in Vietnam. Contrast that by going on Canada Goose's Atigi site, where the emphasis is on the designers and their culture—there's just such a level of respect here that even a jaded hack like me is won over.
A final note: I appreciate this reads like a love letter to a very large clothing company so I feel like's it's important to be clear and transparent: I didn't get one of these jackets to try. I just think this is a cool thing that sorta makes me proud.