Our design team knows Oiselle gear best. They are involved in every part of the process of style creation - from dream and inspiration to design and creation. They are our #flystyle specialists. This winter the design team's cold weather styles are on the next level, from Wazzie Wool to the Katron Collection. Katron gives us a behind the scenes as she designed the Katron Collection jackets! Plus find out our designers gift picks this holiday season.
From Designer: Katie "Katron" Dalzell
Every Christmas, my brother, Eric, gifts me a new lightweight puffer jacket. He's an amazing mountaineer, mountain biker, skiier, fly fisher, and overall outdoor enthusiast. He's also worked as a buyer for an outdoor clothing retailer. Needless to say, Eric knows a thing or two about a great technical jacket. This year, I told Eric that I won't be needing a new jacket for Christmas. Hoping to make my brother proud, I showed him the three new styles from the Katron Collection. I pointed out that they have Primaloft synthetic insulation (the best in the industry and great for sport), custom logo hardware, they're warm and water resistant, lightweight, removable hoods (jacket + vest) and all styles have a generous supply of pockets.
The lightweight puffer is a Seattleite staple, so it made perfect sense when Sally first mentioned back in February 2013 she'd like to get into outerwear. Having been brought up in an outdoor gear obsessed family, and over a year of living on the road in a camper van, I was excited for the opportunity and challenge of designing an outerwear collection with the quality and technical properties to fit in with the best in the industry, but with designs that would stand out. Our Fall 14 concept is all about moto and bold, geometric lines, and the Katron Collection is a reflection of this. Also our graphic designer, Jason Gomez, had recently created the feather arrow graphic that has become a Oiselle icon. The stitch lines on the Katron styles emulate this, and are some of the first styles to be inspired by the Oiselle arrow.
Since outerwear would be new terrain for us, we were diligent in finding the right fabrics and an experienced outerwear factory capable of making more complex designs. We sought out fabric that was both technical and beautiful, and landed on a beautiful ripstop nylon/poly blend with a subtle grid pattern and just the right balance of matte vs shine. We worked with Primaloft to select the perfect insulation in the right weight. We found a knowledgeable and skilled factory. We designed and developed our custom snaps and logo plates through a company based in LA.
With new terrain comes setbacks and in our case, this meant resourcing fabric and factories. Delivery times kept getting pushed back, but the good thing about a longer development time is that it gives the opportunity to change things you may not have had time to update otherwise. One of my favorite details in the collection are the hidden side pockets behind the front pockets on the Katron jacket, which would not be there if we didn't have the time to evaluate, wear test, and make updates to the jacket. In the end, getting the products right is more important than the timeline.
After a year and a half of development, it felt great to get his seal of approval. Now, I'm going to pass on the love and gift all three styles from the Katron Collection this year. I know that these styles will not disappoint. With three styles to choose from, there is something for everyone. Without giving away which of my friends are getting what, here are my picks. The girl who has everything is getting the pullover, because I know she won't have anything like it. My most active friend is getting the vest, so she can layer it how she likes. And my best and most stylish friend is getting the Katron Jacket, because it's my favorite and because she will be able to pair it with the best of her wardrobe, both for active wear and lifestyle.
And because I can't just choose one, I'm also gifting the Portman Pants because they are the little black dress of running tights, but with a twist. The pintucks and moto-inspired styling make them stand out from the rest, and they are versatile enough to fit in any wardrobe.
From Designer: Sally Bergesen
My top pick would be the Moto Lesley Tights. I love these because they are the result of a "happy accident" in the design process. Typically, we create a style, review first prototypes, and then continue to update and review new samples as we get closer to production. During this process, if the factory does not already have the selected fabric, they will use substitute fabric (in other words, something similar that happens to be sitting around the factory cutting table).
In the case of a new design, the factory sent us a prototype using the thick heathered fabric currently in the Moto styles, though it was not our chosen fabric. Although we knew it was substitute fabric, we fell in love! And that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship...and two new Fall 14 bottoms. As the topper, I love them even more now that I've run in them many times (I own two pairs of the knickers and one of the tights). The compression, the fit, the way they feel dry even after a sweat fest, makes them my new go-to winter bottom!
From Designer: Kami Beckendorf
For the perfect style to complete any look, I would gift the Wazelle Long Sleeve. Not only does the seamless construction make it amazing to run in, but the simple details give it a look that can easily be dressed up for a night out or paired with jeans for a more casual setting. A must-have for any wardrobe!
From Designer: Nelle Horsley
My top pick: the Livinit Jacket! There's nothing better than receiving a cozy zip-up that feels like a big hug. I love that the collar stands up, working as a warm and non-restrictive layer around your neck. The inventive raglan seaming gives this classic fleece an exciting update, and the pockets are roomy - perfect for warming up those cold hands post-run. It's perfect as a layer under a raincoat (what I will be doing this rainy Seattle winter!), or thrown over a Lux Funnel Neck for lots of warmth. Your giftee will truly Livinit!