Canada Goose jackets at the company's flagship
store, 800 N. Michigan Ave., are never going on
— The arctic has arrived with a vengeance in Chicago.
Temperatures are hovering in the single digits. Space
heaters are working overtime. Car batteries are dying.
And the nostril hairs are freezing one by one inside of
the city’s fashionistas — look at them! They’ve
never looked warmer.
reason? Canada Goose, of course. The brand continues its
unabated climb to the summit of winter necessities. The
company says it’s grown over 2,000 percent in the last
decade, with revenues of approximately $300 million.
60-year-old "arctic luxury apparel" brand
opened its first store on a tony stretch of Michigan
Avenue this fall — one of seven global stores the
retailer has opened this year.
TV stock prognosticator Jim Cramer remains bullish on
the brand. "This company’s growing like a weed
and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon," he
said in December
who needs Bitcoin when you have a fur-lined parka with
out, I’m not quite able to afford the snug-as-a-bug
crowd. With prices that can reach up to $1,600 for a men’s
jacket, Canada Goose remains out of my price range.
for such a pricey brand, it’s seemingly ubiquitous:
from the valet at upscale restaurants to the Lincoln
Park ladies who lunch at them. From strolling teenagers
on a mall date at Water Tower Place to a pair of
60-somethings pushing grandkids with strollers, the
Canada Goose brand is both trendy and workaday
did we get here? Well, the brand started in 1957. It
outfitted scientists of Antarctica’s McMurdo Station
and Laurie Skresl, the first Canadian to summit Mount
Everest. It was, in a word, warm.
Goose started to be heavily adopted by Hollywood film
crews on location. It was featured in "The Day
After Tomorrow" and "National Treasure."
The company even has a parka named Mystique, after
Rebecca Romijn’s icy-blue character in the
"X-Men" movies — the actress asked the
company to develop a coat that could keep her warm on
Kate Upton modeled one of the company’s bomber jackets
on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in
2013. The company sponsors film fests, and its jackets
were featured in the James Bond film "Spectre"
and warmed crew members of "Game of Thrones."
from there, it wasn’t long until the trendy set
latched on to them.
asked Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss about the phenomenon,
but he bristles that Canada Goose is trendy. "We
are a function-first brand, not a fashion brand. We are
built on function — of course we want people to look
good in our products … but that’s not the first
it’s true: it’s hard to argue a 60-year-old brand
that is favored by champion Iditarod mushers is offering
some sort of here-today, gone-tomorrow gimmick.
favorite winter coats: From oversized puffers to chic
minimal looks, staying warm never looked better.
come to us because we are a real brand with real
products that have an inherent and authentic story; our
heritage, craftsmanship and product quality resonate.
They know that we’ll protect them from the cold,
especially those serious winds and winters in
Chicago," says Reiss.
the question remains: how can people afford these
jackets? On the Canada Goose website, you can’t touch
a men’s jacket — a lightweight down one at that —
for less than $400. The top-of-the line Canada Coat tops
out at more than $1,600.
clue: Maybe the people I see are wearing fakes, and
maybe I shouldn’t feel jealous. According to the
company’s media kit, it is one of the most
counterfeited brands in the world. In 2015, the company
claims it shut down more than 19,000 listings of fake
Canada Goose products.
if you’re waiting for a big after-Christmas sale at
the flagship store, you might be waiting until hell
freezes over. I asked a salesperson at the Chicago
location if I could expect a discount when the shopping
frenzy was over. "No, because we don’t do
discounts. We’re like Louis Vuitton," he quipped.
how many mushers can say they wear Louis Vuitton?