by Stephen Garner

Woolrich took over Florence’s La Dogana for two days during Pitti Uomo to transform the venue into an enchanted winter paradise.

Guests were first welcomed into the heritage area, dominated by the company’s signature buffalo check pattern, where wall installations display vintage products and video installations highlight Woolrich’s history as the “Original Outdoor Clothing Company”.

A hallway leads visitors into the Woolrich Forest, featuring falling snow and bare trees, echoing the wintry landscapes of Pennsylvania, where the brand was founded 190 years ago. Mirrored walls create an infinity effect, offering an outdoor experience enhanced by the sounds of nature. Among the snow-covered trees, three mirrored cabins stand out. Each cabin houses the new Arctic Parka capsule displayed according to their respective concepts: Luxe, Tech, and Eco.

The Luxe Arctic Parka has a practical yet polished aesthetic. Crafted from charcoal wool tweed from Italian luxury wool experts Ing. Loro Piana & C., this design reveals multiple pockets to carry a wide range of necessities, as well as a detachable hood. The women’s version comes in grey tweed and blue wool featuring a detachable fur-trimmed hood.

The Tech Arctic Parka is constructed from Gore-Tex – it’s breathable, waterproof and wind-resistant. Graphene, a multi-purpose material that is stronger than steel, antibacterial, anti-static, super light and regulates body temperature – is incorporated into the insulation and lining.  This style also boasts hidden details such as a detachable zipper vest and branded backpack straps for ease of carrying.

The Eco Arctic Parka is constructed from the highly functional Byrd Cloth. Originally created for Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s US Antarctic Expedition in 1939, this eco version is made from 100 percent organic cotton and due to its particular construction – is both water and wind-resistant. The lining is made from 100 percent recycled polyester, insulation is provided by recycled down and the buttons are made from beetroot. It also features an inside pocket designed to carry reusable water bottles.

Finally, the Infinity Parka installation was displayed in a secret room and could only be observed from above. Mirrored walls create the illusion of an uninterrupted, perfectly symmetrical sea of multicolored Arctic Parkas.

“With the ‘Ultimate Woolrich Experience’ at Pitti, we are refocusing our product and brand strategy on outerwear – the category that built this brand and made it great, and which will continue to drive our future growth,” said Stefano Saccone, CEO of Woolrich. “Delivering bold, purposeful and innovative products, along with impactful and engaging consumer experiences, is where we will direct our creativity, energy, and resources.”

“For Pitti 97 we will continue to offer an experience connected with our timeless brand values and product performance,” added Andrea Cané, creative director of Woolrich. “This installation is part of our outdoor-to-outerwear journey and is the perfect opportunity to present our exclusive, three concept outerwear collection – the Arctic Parka capsule. A contemporary interpretation of what luxury, technology, and eco mean today for Woolrich. We are also celebrating our 190th anniversary in 2020 and we are proud to have been creating ‘Garments with a Purpose since 1830’.”