We recently teamed up with our friends and local retail partners at Armitage & McMillan to create a collaborative Fall Lookbook. Our goal was to create a collection of images highlighting our favorite bags from our Fall Collection -- along with some key pieces from their stellar menswear offerings -- while reflecting the casual mountain lifestyle that makes Denver (and Colorado) unique.
A few years ago, when we were still running Winter Session out of our apartment in Chicago, we opened a box from our zipper supplier and were surprised to find a mess of old brass Talon zippers. They weren’t what we had ordered (we thought we were getting a new batch of our standard YKKs), but they were beautiful. The cotton zipper tape was faded from what once might have been a deep teal, and the brass teeth and zipper pulls were in great condition. Though we couldn't use them on our standard products, we considered ourselves in luck and put them away for a rainy day -- or, it turns out, a particularly sunny one.
Fast forward three years and three states over, and here we were sitting in our shop with our friend David Shuck, managing editor of the denim-focused blog Heddels. The zippers were still stashed away under one of our work tables, and outside our shop windows the sun was shining brilliantly (as it does more often than not on Colorado's front range). David was telling us all about the project he wanted to do with us. It was a collaboration to kick off the new Heddels CO-OP product series: limited runs of exclusive products designed in tandem with likeminded brands.
Over the past couple of years we’ve received more than a handful of requests for knife rolls, but we knew that a product this specific could not be designed alone. We needed to collaborate with an expert in the world of culinary tools -- so when Denver-based chef Jeff Osaka (of Osaka Ramen, the upcoming Sushi-Rama, and the late Twelve restaurant), approached us to do a collaboration, we jumped at the opportunity.
Our goal was to create an easily transportable case that united practical and professional functionality with the refined aesthetics and durable natural materials that we use in the rest of our products. After numerous design meetings and brainstorms, followed by a series of prototypes which were field tested by Chef Osaka himself, we are pleased to share the result of this collaboration: a limited-edition, chef-approved Knife Roll designed for professional chefs, outdoor cooking enthusiasts, or anyone looking to protect and transport a full set of knives and culinary accessories.
We feel lucky to be surrounded by some very inspiring people here in Denver, and our collaborations give us a chance to learn from them. Two of our favorites are Robin King and Lynn Till, the ladies behind R.L. Linden & Co. -- a line of outstanding eco-beauty products, scents, and teas. This brilliant duo has over 30 years of combined experience, and the proof is in the pudding, er, Rose Balm. Recently we had a chance to visit their studio, sip tea and chat with Lynn about wellness, their creative process, the joy of collaboration and more. We admire these ladies a whole lot!
[Entrance to the R.L. Linden headquarters]
“Where need exists, there will always be someone with the bravery andShortly after we moved to Denver, Nathan Downey and Cory Doney -- the duo behind Journeyman & Co. -- came to us with a concept for a bag and proposed a collaboration. The two advertising creatives were in the process of developing their first 'cause-crafted collection,' fusing their appreciation for beautiful craftsmanship with their desire to better the world we live in. What began as an idealistic goal evolved into a brand whose objective is to unite craftspeople while creating collections of unique products allied around a common cause. With their first military-inspired collection of goods, 10% of all proceeds are donated to IAVA (Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America), a nonprofit committed to improving the lives of new veterans.
the vision to bring resolution.” -- excerpt, Journeyman & Co. mission statement
Over the next two years we worked with Nathan and Cory to design the Field Bag: a roll-top, messenger-style bag with army-inspired materials and detailing. (One of the design references was a mid-century military map bag). Handcrafted in our Denver workshop, the Field Bag is made from durable, heavyweight, 20oz Olive waxed canvas, reinforced at the bottom with a layer of Dublin leather from Chicago's Horween Leather Company.