Who is the PBI BE@RBRICK? Yes, it’s a limited-edition collector’s item, where a portion of the proceeds go directly to our partners at Polar Bears International, but there’s more to this bear than meets the eye.
Get to know the newest addition to the Canada Goose family in this exclusive sit down interview.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Well, I’m the PBI BE@RBRICK. As a project, I started life around 18 months ago, when members of the Canada Goose design team first met with MEDICOM TOY in New York. I like to think, however, that my official birthday is February 27—International Polar Bear Day, of course.
For those who don’t know, what (or who!) is MEDICOM TOY?
They’re a Japan-based company who have built a cult following around their highly collectable toys (although we BE@RBRICKS really prefer to identify as streetwear icons or just very adorable works of art.) It’s become a real marker of cultural cachet for a brands to work with them to create a custom BE@RBRICK. Everyone from Chanel to Jean Michel Basquiat have used the basic “bear” form as a blank canvas to express themselves.
Can you share what your design process was like?
The way I look today is actually the result of around 50 iterations in design. Originally, the idea was for me to look a lot more like a real bear, maybe wearing one of Canada Goose’s iconic parka designs, like the Expedition or the Chilliwack. But it wasn’t conceptual enough—so it was back to the drawing board for something more contemporary. Around the same time, the design team heard that Canada Goose was supporting the making of a documentary about the scientists at Polar Bears International, and the work they’re doing to save wild polar bears and their habitat. Instantly, they knew they’d found their inspiration.
So why are you half-mirror, half polar bear?
The tagline for that documentary, Bare Existence, is “what affects them, affects us all,” based on the idea that what happens to polar bears in the Arctic is important to everyone, wherever you live in the world. My half-mirror, half-polar bear is a visual representation of that.
When you pick me up, you see yourself reflected in my mirrored surface. That can be a real awakening moment, every time you see yourself as part of this polar bear’s story. If I’m sitting on your desk, the idea is that every time you catch yourself in the mirror, you’ll be prompted to make a better choice for both of our futures.
Personal question, but are there any hidden details about you that you’d love people to know about?
Don’t miss the paw print underneath my foot! It’s black, just like a real polar bear’s.