Earlier this season, we launched BRANTA—a new collection that’s both firmly rooted in our DNA and yet completely unlike anything else we’ve done. It was a project two years in the making (and many more in the dreaming), and one that offered our Design team a unique challenge: Take everything that’s already internationally renowned about Canada Goose and elevate it even further.
Leading that charge was Karuna Scheinfeld, our VP of Design. Involved in this project from the very beginning, she knows more about every last stitch in the FW19 BRANTA collection than almost anyone else.
How would you explain BRANTA to someone who’s never heard of it?
First of all, the name is the Latin name for “Goose,” so we really are harkening back to origins, or the most original. It’s the most elevated expression of the brand. We sometimes refer to it as a “collaboration with ourselves”. Normally we design and build products that complement our core aesthetic with the longevity to run season after season. But everything in BRANTA is available for one season and no longer. That allows us to be a little more experimental.
You say BRANTA is the “most elevated expression of the brand.” What do you mean by that?
We dig deep into our brand values and archives, and think about what, at this moment, feels most relevant to talk to our consumers about. It also represents the pinnacle expression of our design concept for a season. In 2019, for example, Diane Burko [the artist who created the print for BRANTA FW19, based on her works that document changes to glaciers over time] inspired the larger concept of “migration,” the movement of everything from geese to glaciers to the earth in space.
With BRANTA, you were able to explore using fabrics and technologies you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to use. How do you begin to edit when the world is your oyster like that?
That’s a zeitgeist thing. It’s somewhat intuitive and somewhat scientific. As designers, you’re always asked to look two or three years into the future, and you develop an understanding for what will happen in the future just by doing that for so long. Everybody on the team comes to the table at the beginning of the season with their ideas, and I listen and absorb and look for “red threads”. What am I hearing from my team that’s bubbling up and is really compelling? We also look at what our consumers are saying and our product strategy team helps to translate those desires into tangible objectives for us to focus our designs around. We’re constantly looking for a sense of synchronicity.
What did that look like for BRANTA FW19?
The reason we came to the concept of glacial shifts was that we were talking about migration, climate change in the Arctic, the fact that there’s more mobility in international travel than ever before, and that people, whether they like it or not, are travelling as part of their daily lives. Some people are off on grand adventures, and other people are commuting across countries for work. It’s grueling and they need product to support them. I kept hearing about movement, and this whole idea of product that takes you through these different experiences.
Is that why we saw reversibility and the 4-in-1 jackets in this collection?
We want to give people as many options as possible to feel comfortable in their environment—and to be aesthetically appropriate. We were seeing so much print and colour in the market, but we were also thinking “if I’m spending a significant amount of money on a coat, how can a daring print become a versatile addition to my wardrobe?” It was this idea that the consumer could change based on how they were feeling that day or the environment they were in. They could choose to show the story piece or keep it to themselves.
Is there anything on the BRANTA pieces you’d love to point out to our community? Something that might look effortless but that actually represents a huge achievement?
So many things! First of all, creating a reversible heavyweight garment is very hard, especially at our quality standards. Even the way we constructed the down bags was really complicated. For the 4-in-1 styles, that vertical quilting is something you could never do with normal down fill because it would all fall down to the bottom. Thin down, which is a down batting you can quilt and it will stay in place, is the reason we could do that.
What has working on BRANTA meant to you?
It’s a joy. For me, but also because of my incredible team. When BRANTA was released, we went to the store, had a glass of champagne, and we saw people trying on the pieces and buying it. That moment was so exciting because not only did this idea we had become real—but somebody took it home, and they’re going to create a whole other story with it.
Want to create your own story with BRANTA? Explore the complete FW19 collection now.