Introductions through friends are often the best partnerships in our experience as they know what really makes you tick. We were first introduced to BonneGueule through our French friend Ewen in Paris as he felt there would be a connection, and we bonded over a deep respect for fabric and quality construction.
BonneGuele's customers really appreciate good design, they have built a whole community based on these values. There seems to be an innate understanding between the Scottish and the French….. together we have the most passionate customers who understand the story telling and emotion behind what we do, as well as understanding what makes great product. Vive Frecosse.
When BG approached us with the idea we liked it, one superior garment focusing on our core strengths, premium Ventile® fabric, and expertly produced in one of the best factories in the UK. And so the parka project was born.
Kestin cut his teeth on outerwear. He worked as Head of Design for Nigel Cabourn for years and it’s really the ultimate test as a designer, to make something that not only is fit for purpose, but also looks good. Performance and luxury fabrics, it’s about the balance of these two things that really excites him. When the BG team came over to Edinburgh to our studio we looked at our archive and they saw a version of our SS19 parka In a printed technical nylon, and we decided to go back to a more purist approach to develop a Ventile® parka in a soft touch waterproof fabric with a body temperature regulating liner.
The parka we jointly decided to remake and develop was based on the Torness Parka. It was originally based on vintage M51 British Army Fishtail parka, an amazing piece of outerwear that both is functional and looks the part. It was worn by the Mods in the UK in the 1960s, anything we do we like to interpret this in our own way and modernise this with premium performance fabrics such as Ventile® and custom insulated Climashield® liner.
"For me it’s about making in the UK and also using Ventile, one of the first performance fabrics that I was introduced to, so it’s a nostalgic design harking back to my roots a young designer.The first time I worked with Ventile® was when was involved in the designing of the Ltd Edition Everest Parka for Nigel Cabourn in the early 2000s. Nigel taught me about Ventile®, the history of it, it was originally used to make hose pipes in the 2nd world war, it’s 100% cotton but it’s so tightly woven it becomes waterproof. I loved the fact that it felt natural to touch, was around before Goretex or synthetic fabrics and could be used for performance properties."
Ventile® was created in 1943 to save the lives of the RAF. Pilots needed a garment that was cool and comfortable in the cockpit, but warm and impenetrable if it came into contact with water. With nothing that offered this functionality on the market, a team of dedicated scientists pioneered a radical solution at the Shirley Institute in Manchester and, after several months of testing, Ventile® was born.
The unique weatherproof qualities of the fabric ensured that it was also widely championed by outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Ventile® was used in the first summit of Everest in 1953 and by Sir Ranulph Fiennes when he crossed the Arctic.
This is a parka for life. It’s a classic in terms of design, it won’t date, the finishing it quality and will be ultra durable and warm. Every little detail has been considered to make it as useful as possible whilst still retaining a very simple design, it’s sophisticated, subtle, but distinctive.