Icelandic outerwear brand 66°North has already shaped its fashion credentials over the past few months. From collaborations with Shy Girl at The Fashion Awards to the appointment of Kei Toyoshima as Creative Director, whose previous posts include Vuitton and Bottega, the evolution to speaking more to a fashion customer is indeed building momentum.
“Ever since Bjarney and I joined 66°North back in 2011, we have been interested in supporting new and emerging designers. Many of these young talents are facing similar challenges; access to capital, manufacturing capacity, and technical people. 66°North can provide all the above coupled with 100 years of experience in making performance wear that needs to keep up in the most demanding weather conditions on earth.
When we set our eyes on London for the opening of our European flagship store, we wanted to find a local talent that we firmly believed did not only have talent but also the ambition to make something spectacular. When Bergur Gudnason, a designer on our team, pointed me to Charlie Constantinou, a recent master’s graduate from CMS, I decided to meet him. After having spoken with Charlie and going through his work, I was convinced that he was the perfect talent we were looking for.
His incredible design talent is an inspiration to us and captured our imagination, so we are in no doubt the customer will also be inspired.” Helgi Oskarsson
The next stage of this evolution sees rising design talent Charlie Constantinou create a capsule collection for 66°North. Hailing from London, Constantinou graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins college MA fashion design course specialising in technical fabrics and dying processes and has since been awarded finalist for the world-renowned LVMH prize. Working closely with the 66°North design team, the collection incorporated multiple visits to Iceland to understand the origins of the garment technology that was born out of necessity. Drawing inspiration from the 66°North archive that dates back to the 1950s and the surrounding Icelandic landscapes, the collection consists of technical knitwear alongside the signature endurance outerwear staples.
“For me the basis of this collaboration was formed on the values that me and 66°North share, the need for function and practicality. The focus of my work is centred around functional wear with a greater sense of imagination, and being able to break out of the proportions 66°North usually work with played an important role in the collaboration. It has been a pleasure to work on this capsule collection with the 66°North team, and I hope it gives a taster into what is possible for the future.” - Charlie Constantinou
The campaign for the collection was a real test of product endurance. All images are set on location in numerous mesmerising Icelandic landscapes during a wind storm, and the collection is shown to its full potential. Fire-red mars-like rock peaked with snow gives this collection an other-worldly and modern perspective. Shot over a couple of days, the images capture the diversity of the pieces and the inspirational aspects the great outdoors has to offer
The collection will be sold in the London Flagship at 100 Regent Street, W1
The capsule collection includes jackets, trousers, belt bags, balaclava and gloves in muted earth tones, purples and reds.
All knit styles feature a pleated merino blend yarn with a 3-D effect when stretched. The inspiration for the diamond graphic is referenced from a heritage 66°north style produced 20 years ago and is still in the collection. It gives the pieces a beautiful two-tone appearance.
Unique fabrics perform in a particular way when the light flashes on them. The pinstripe lines get distorted. This technology also acts as a safety feature in Iceland, as the amount of daylight in winter is minimal.
Other key fetaures include the zip-off legs and signature 3-D pockets. Waistband has two metal stoppers with drawstrings for adjustment.
Three-layer fabric contrast shell jacket with taped seams features metal zippers with custom-made 66°north and CC two-way pullers on the front to give the jacket a luxurious feel. Every outerwear piece in the collection has these pullers. All trimmings, stoppers and snaps are metal, specially sourced for the collection.
The oversized belt bag features a statement oversized silver metal buckle for adjustment.