Canada Goose jackets invade trendy city streets

Patched jackets from Canada Goose have conquered urban cool centers from New York to temperate Milan, Italy. The Canada Goose company is the biggest fashion success story to come out of Canada since Lululemon commandeered the yoga pant market.

Photo illustration by Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff

Boston is a city of overachievers, one where you can’t toss a commemorative Red Sox World Series Championship baseball without hitting a marathon runner, Harvard graduate, or scientist fresh back from an Antarctic expedition.

This winter, however, an army of down parkas with fur-trimmed hoods and an official-looking Arctic sleeve patch proliferated on the city's sidewalks. Was Boston being overrun by penguin researchers? Not quite. The omnipresent patched jackets are from Canada Goose, a nearly 60-year-old outerwear company that has just recently become the hottest thing in winter fashion. And the trend has been quick to conquer urban cool centers from New York to temperate Milan, Italy.

Model Kate Upton wore a white Canada Goose jacket (and not much else) on the 2013 cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue. Since then, the coats, which run between $600 and $1,000 a pop, have become a common sight at celebrity-heavy events such as the Sundance Film Festival (the brand is an official sponsor).

It’s the biggest fashion success story to come out of Canada since Lululemon commandeered the yoga pant market. In 2001, Canada Goose made about $3 million in annual sales; for 2015, the company’s chief executive officer, Dani Reiss, expects sales to top $300 million. In January, the company, which still manufactures in Canada, bought a second factory in Toronto to keep up with demand. (They’ve also become a target for animal rights activists, thanks to the down used in the jackets and the wild coyote fur trim.)

The Canada Goose appeal comes in part from local authenticity. The company once supplied outerwear companies as well as Canadian police and park rangers before it began selling under its own name. With celebrity endorsement and a string of increasingly harsh winters in the Lower 48 it seems utilitarian winter gear is having a fashion moment – at least until the snow melts. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to