Winter Essentials

Photographer Nicola Turner
January 12, 2012

Four designers talk about the standout pieces from their winter collections.

Skip Yowell co-founded JanSport 44 years ago. A new line of special bags commemorate him and the places he’s called home:

The leather backpack is named after Mukilteo, a place near Seattle where I lived for 30 years. I’d drive by the Boeing assembly site where they first built 747s on my way to work. Our packs are like big planes, beautiful and useful. We make prototypes and use them, then make adjustments. Recently, I moved to western Kansas. Our farm is 11 miles away from pavement, but I also travel thousands of miles, all over the world. The Mukilteo is for commuters with iPods and magazines, but you could take it on a ski trip.

Tim Coppens learned to marry function and fashion while designing for Ralph Lauren’s athletic line RLX. This Vulture Windbreaker, from Coppens’ eponymous debut collection, is practical and stylish:

Working at RLX with athletic materials [taught me] attention to detail. I’m not making athletic clothes, I just have an athletic touch. The hood has construction like those three-layer shells you wear over fleece. I based the cut on a World War II Japanese trooper’s coat, with slanted pockets and double pleating. The print is a picture of a vulture’s wings. It’s graphic-looking at first glance, but look at the way it’s built. It’s got a rich finish.

Sara Torrie is the Montreal-based designer behind Sartoria, a line of handmade undergarments. Currently in its third season, Torrie talks about Sartoria’s quintessential winter item, the vintage-cut cashmere undie:

The cashmere underwear is by far our most popular item. I rode my bike around a lot during Montreal winters and needed undergarments to keep me warm. Canada is really cold! They’re very soft, fuzzy even. They’re breathable and don’t feel itchy. It’s warmth on a subtle level, not like snow pants. You feel like you’re taking care of yourself in the winter. Lots of men buy them for their ladies. For a while I thought I only had female buyers, until the website launched—men just prefer to buy them online.

The Hill-Side is a Brooklyn based purveyor of locally-made, beautifully designed scarves and ties. Designer Emil Corsillo chats about his latest creation, a wool scarf in pink and grey:

About two and a half years ago we launched our first collection. My brother and I started it based on old fabric and everything was selvage. Every material could actually be used in authentic workwear. The first wool scarves we made were from this really classic striped blanket fabric. With this new version, the colors are just gorgeous. It’s feminine [but] it’s funny because, in a way, this fabric is the most masculine fabric—it’s like the lining of an old Lee or Levi’s work coat.

Winter Essentials