We know you already know about Filson. You probably carry one of their indestructible bags everyday to work, or copped one of their rugged flannel shirts back during the Great Heritage Brand Boom at the turn of the decade. But getting those items probably took some digging — scooping ’em up from a local menswear boutique or maybe even scoring big at a vintage store. Thankfully, those days of searching high and low are now behind us: Filson will be opening their very first Canadian flagship in Vancouver later this month, with a Toronto location soon to follow.
Alex Carleton, Filson’s creative director, says the brand owes its longevity and popularity to a combination of timelessness and a freedom to do whatever feels right. “While we’re a heritage brand, we’re a culture that’s incredibly innovative, and we’re very much driven by entrepreneurial thinking,” Carleton explains. “Unlike a lot of traditional plans, we’re not held hostage by tradition. We use it and leverage it for our product architecture and it provides really great guardrail around our identity, but within that we are incredibly explorative. There’s permission to make mistakes and try new things.”
That philosophy is also what’s brought them to Canada in 2017: there’s no specific reason for the move up north, aside from it feeling like the right thing to do. “We love Canadians,” Carleton says with a laugh. “Canada has always been really interesting to us. Historically it’s very much in the fibre of who we are, the North with a capital N. We’re really excited to expand the conversation in what we feel is our own backyard.” And that expansion means there will be even more Filson right at our fingertips, ready to stand the test of the Canadian elements, and the test of time.