The new season at Filson
The most attractive people are busy living their lives. Trend-setters are rarely members of the world of trends. They're the people who do what they do because it's what they need to do. Everyone sees them. People often mistake their brilliance and their intention for their looks. This is how everyone wound up wearing jeans and white t-shirts. This is why Che Guevara and Bob Marley are best known as logos.
A professional can look past the outside and see the reason these people are the way they are. The people who have a conscience and can suss out that line usually wind up carrying the torch.
It's similar for companies, except that the most successful ones live longer than people.
And now, the world of trends is bending toward Filson because people are beginning to recognize the difference between consumption and legacy. The best quote I ever read in a Filson catalog was something along the lines of "You may have noticed that vests are in style right now. We never stopped making them. Here they are." I think that perfectly captures Filson's spot in the marketplace.
The reason I'm writing this post is that I just met with my Filson representative, Jordan, at the 1st Ave factory in Seattle. We talked about the new products coming out for the upcoming season. Some of the changes are significant, and I was very pleasantly surprised at their acumen. They're expanding their selection into a new market, without watering down their mission.
It would be madness to expect Filson to ignore their own popularity, and to ignore the fact that sales of their new line of "Seattle fit" products has flown off shelves. They've been working to identify what it is that has shone this light on them, and I think they figured it out. It's that their stuff is storied, and tough, and if it ever fails you, or if you destroy it, they'll repair it or give you a new one.
They're adapting their focus on utility for an audience whose utility is as much style as it is ruggedness. If I spend 40 hours a week smashing metal, I wear a tin cruiser. If I spend 40 hours a week in meetings about international trade, I wear a dark gray suit with a simple tie. If I spend 8 hours a week smashing metal, and 50 in meetings about metalwork, then the coat I wear to both places is the Westlake. Recognizing what true utility means to you, and seeking it out is what professionals do.
So, get ready. Starting in June I'll be posting some new products when Filson releases them to the public. I will, of course, keep selling the Tin Cloth gear, but I will also recognize that customers have bought three times more soy wax short cruisers from me than tin cruisers.
I'll also be adding some shirts, a few new jackets, a pair of pants, and some new bags that will be made in their new Idaho factory.