Rhuigi Villaseñor doesn’t have a lot of experience with the kind of deep-freeze conditions that Canada Goose was initially designed to withstand. “It can only be so cold in California,” says the designer of L.A.-based label Rhude. So when the iconic outerwear brand teamed up with the NBA to create a lineup of pieces for players and fans for All-Star Weekend—the initial offering of a multiyear partnership—and tapped Rhude as the first collaborator, Villaseñor lent a personal perspective to the whole affair.
“I brought this naivety and innocence to the table when designing,” he says, focusing on creating pieces that can work as well in his home state as they can in truly frigid conditions. That meant an emphasis on layerability and comfort, plus a little bit of playing around in Canada Goose’s archives. Villaseñor wanted to focus on key pieces from the brand, so he decided on a four-part lineup: the Freestyle Vest and Portage Jacket (initially designed as a women’s style and now made unisex) for balmier days and layering, and the Chilliwack Bomber and Macmillan Parka for cold snaps.
The entire collection, of course, imbues those pieces with Rhude’s design language—branding hits, washed-down fabrics, pops of yellow—plus the iconic NBA logo. It debuts today, before going on sale to the public on Friday, March 5, at select Canada Goose stores and the brand’s website. Before that launch and the All-Star Game that follows it on Sunday, I caught up with Villaseñor to talk about how it all came together.
Why did you choose the styles—the vest and trench, as well as the parka and bomber—that you did?
It was important to me that the collection included various styles for multiple different uses. I dove into Canada Goose’s archives and wanted that to be the vocal lens of the collection. They’re all classic Canada Goose pieces. The Freestyle Vest and Portage Jacket can be worn year-round—they’re the essential pieces you need for layering, transitional weather, changing seasons. The Chilliwack Bomber and Macmillan Parka are cold weather companions, both built for city living.
The reoccurring theme for this entire collection has been breaking barriers and redefining the new norm that is born from each style’s oversized silhouette. The modern woman or man has no limitations. They buy from high-to low; they wear womenswear to menswear. It’s the full look that is the most important thing now, not whether it’s female or male-specific. With this collaboration, I think one of the things I wanted to reinforce was encouraging a guy to wear a women’s jacket because to me, that’s good. It’s a sign of the times now.
How did you bring your own vision to this collaboration?
Living on the West Coast, I only know what I’m surrounded by, and it can only be so cold in California. So, in some ways, I brought this naivety and innocence to the table when designing. To me, it was about using textiles and creating products that felt lightweight enough for comfortable 70-degree California weather but can still go into the deep, deep winters.
I also knew that I wanted to make the Canada Goose emblem stand out. I love the product, and I must share that love of this product and its heritage with the kids who love my brand. From the beginning of the design process, I wanted it to be understood that this is a Canada Goose product—a product that has heritage and quality and can withstand through years of usage. I wanted it to look like a vintage piece. Ultimately, it was important to me that people recognize that it was Canada Goose first with subtle Rhude details.
We added that “Rhude spice” to reimagine and reintroduce these styles to the consumer. The “Rhude spice” is adding a couple brand details that we’ve developed over time—harsh triangular lines, bold branding, the yellow details, the vintage look. That’s how the Vintage Washed Camo Arctic Tech came to be. Arctic Tech is an iconic Canada Goose fabric, so with this collection, we gave it a distressed look that nods to Rhude’s signature design. These styles are vintage washed to wear with you, while still providing that trusted durability, versatility, and functionality.
How do you think NBA style is evolving, and how do you think this will influence the way regular people dress moving forward?
The NBA has come to represent so much more than a sports league. They are cultural vanguards, influential and dynamic—both on and off the court.
The NBA style is bold, bright and expressive. They start trends and break style “rules.” The players have inspired optimism and creativity through style. That will mean so much more in the near future, especially in a post-COVID world. People are going to use their clothes more than ever to communicate and express themselves.
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Source : Esquire