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2021 marks HAVEN’s 15th year in business—it’s incredible how time flies. This year will not be quickly forgotten, as it was also the year of the pandemic. The fashion and retail landscape was already shifting at an increasing pace and the pandemic only accelerated this process, placing even more emphasis on digital infrastructure and means of communication. Like the rest of the world, we could have never predicted that something like this would happen, and it quickly created immense pressure and uncertainty on the economy, global supply chains, our team, and daily operations. We had to hit pause briefly to regroup our team and re-evaluate our values and objectives in order to plot a path for the future. Despite this uncertainty, we remain dedicated to providing high quality utilitarian products, purposefully designed to bring improvement to modern day life.
With our FW21 collection we continue to sharpen our focus on adaptability and performance. This season we made significant advancements, from material innovation, performance technologies, garment construction and patterning to improved and more transparent production processes and supply chains. When everything is in sync, this careful balance of aesthetic, function and modern ingenuity is at the core of the HAVEN DNA, and is uniquely defined by our Canadian identity and environment.
We continue to draw references from military, workwear and performance outdoor apparel this season, further refining our approach to create a unique interpretation of a modern and highly adaptable layering system. It’s common in menswear to wear a wool overcoat or military parka, layered over top of a chore coat or denim jacket with a cotton shirt underneath. In a similar fashion, a typical outdoor kit would consist of a hardshell top layer with an insulating underlayer and moisture wicking base layer. With both of these concepts in mind, we merge aesthetic, functional and material elements from each to create a unique and versatile range. This approach is exemplified by our Chamber Jacket in Loro Piana Storm System 3 layer wool that can be combined with an insulating midlayer and moisture wicking base layer. For extreme cold, down insulation remains the best defence, while Primaloft® is ideal for a wider range of temperatures. Polartec® fabrics have long been used by the military as a trusted mid and base layer garments, and this season we implement multiple levels of protection including Windbloc and 300 fleece for mid-layers and 100 fleece and MicroGrid fleece for next to skin comfort. These garments have all been purposefully designed to interact with one another, functioning extremely well both together or separately.
For the first time we work with luxury textile specialists Loro Piana. Based in Northern Italy, Loro Piana has been the crown jewel of the Italian textile industry for nearly a century. Revered for their unmatched quality, they provide the finest cashmeres and wools in the world, sourcing raw materials from specialty producers around the world. The use of fine luxury fabrics is rarely found in utilitarian garments and this unorthodox approach creates exceptional results and a product unmatched in quality and functionality. Alongside their natural fibres elements we also employ their high performance Storm System, which combines luxurious natural materials with breathable and water-resistant properties.
Facing extreme, sub-zero winter conditions in many regions of Canada, down insulation is quintessential to our identity and remains a cornerstone of our winter collections. Renowned for its lightweight warmth, this natural, time-tested insulation remains unmatched. However, a problem we faced when using down is that the supply chain often lacks transparency, leaving consumers confused and in the dark about the ethical and sustainable implications of their garment. So we began to dig deeper, and forged a partnership with a world class down supplier located in California called Allied Feather + Down. They are at the forefront of the industry and share our values that emphasize performance, quality, sustainability, innovation and sourcing transparency. This allows us to rest assured that our materials come from a responsible supplier that respects the fragile ecosystem and environment that we often take for granted.
Fall / Winter 2021 also marks the introduction of HAVEN original footwear. For this project we look to Onè Di Fonte, a small town in Northwestern Italy that is world renowned for its production of high-end performance footwear. Our objectives when starting this new endeavor was to rebuild the footwear from the inside out, using modern production techniques merging performance footwear construction in combination with luxury level materials and finishing. We’ve long been fans of the Canadian military combat boot for it’s functional design and rugged aesthetic, so we decided to use it as our starting point. We sourced Kudu suede and leather from UK based Tannery Charles F Stead and Co Ltd, a distinguished supplier of some of the most luxurious suede hides in the world. We also worked alongside Vibram® for our outsole, combining it with an Italian made midsole and heel counter to provide lightweight comfort, stability and high-traction performance often seen in technical outdoor mountaineering boots. The challenge of building our own footwear is something we’ve always wanted to undertake, and we’re excited to explore this category in future seasons.
We are very lucky to have our head office and design studio in Vancouver because it is so close to many of our Canadian manufacturing partners. Vancouver’s manufacturing is globally recognized as a leader in technical apparel and innovation in product design. This close proximity allows our design team to work hand in hand with our manufacturing partners to ensure every step of the production process is carefully handled. Initial drafting, pattern making and samples are done completely in house in our Vancouver design studio allowing us to rapidly prototype from ideation to sampling, iterating and final production.
This season we rebuilt our pattern blocks from the ground up, evolving and refining our fits, while adding technical construction details such as carefully placed gussets, articulation, and darting that is applied throughout the entire collection. This user-centric approach emphasizes ergonomics to maximize comfort and increase range of motion. These small details often go unnoticed yet make a product perform better and last longer than another. In terms of fashion it’s often a fine line, a balancing act, but it’s often these invisible yet ingenious details that can improve the way you interact with the garment in your daily life and your environment.
Our Fall / Winter 2021 collection marks a big step forward for us, as we continue to lay a strong foundation. We look to the future and remain optimistic that what has come out of this year’s global hardship has given us new insights and a new way of thinking. Thank you to our customers for the continued support. We remain committed to creating purposeful, high quality clothing that our customers can enjoy for many years to come.
Director & Photographer: Norihisa Hayashi | Cinematographer: Justin Pelletier | AC: Sean Bromley | Soundtrack: Zane Coppard
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