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April 20 2014

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A New World Of Filson

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Filson’s fashion moment just got extended—the 115-year-old outdoor clothing company from Seattle, known among the style set for its canvas and leather totes, has tapped Richard Chai as its new creative director.

“As a young designer in New York, we get approached with so many opportunities to collaborate, and sometimes they work—and sometimes they don’t. With Filson, [initially] I just wanted to do some outerwear for my specific collection this season,” Richard Chai tells Style.com of his new partnership with the brand, announced this morning. “Then I was talking with Filson’s CEO and he asked if I would be interested in coming on as creative director—it was all very seamless.”

Chai’s first efforts with Filson, a capsule collection of six jackets and three bags, are set to debut next week at his Lincoln Center runway show. Chai, a longtime wearer of Filson, says, “The core of Filson is hunting and fishing and it’s really practical—it’s amazing when you see how the outerwear is constructed and how it functions,” says Chai. “As a designer, it’s amazing to take that look and reinterpret it to something more fashion-oriented.” Chai did that by adding some of his signature accents to their classic duffel bags and bomber jackets, refabricating them with wool and black stripe fabric. The aim, for this extended partnership, is to land this more fashion-forward Filson collection in specialty boutiques and luxe major department stores.

“Spring ’13 is what we are working on next, and it’s really about rounding it out and making something that feels more cohesive as a collection,” says Chai, who plans to filter in shirts, pants, etc. next. “It’s going to be a whole new world of Filson.”

Photo: Courtesy of Filson

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