Come Rain, Wind Or Snow
This spring, Canada Goose has partnered with five photographers to showcase the dry-anywhere capabilities of its outerwear range
Canada Goose knows a thing or two about dealing with the cold. Its down-filled parkas may be fashionable among well-heeled urbanites, who admire them for their sleek looks as much as for their impenetrable warmth, but the distinctive badge affixed to the arm of each garment hints at its true pedigree. The words “Canada Goose Arctic Program” encircle an inverted map of the Arctic Ocean, speaking to the brand’s heritage as a creator of function-first outerwear designed to meet the requirements of workers in the Canadian Arctic, an unforgiving environment where winter temperatures can drop below -50°C.
The Canadian company is no one-trick pony, though, and this spring it has set out to show that its clothes are just as adept at dealing with the wind and rain as they are with sub-zero temperatures. To that end, and inspired by the company’s decades-long history of keeping film crews protected from the elements, it asked six photographers in five cities around the world – Vancouver, London, Paris, New York and Beijing – to put a few of its weatherproof garments through their paces out in the field. Read on to discover more.
Mr Kamil Bialous
Mr Kamil Bialous is a commercial and editorial photographer whose roll call of clients includes such high-profile names as The New York Times, Lululemon, Lexus, Airbnb and Esquire. His practice is based in Vancouver, a city he describes as feeling “like it’s on the edge of the continent” on account of the surrounding waters and mountains looming to the north. He makes regular trips to the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, too, where he’s able to unwind and immerse himself in the untamed natural landscape.
The weather in British Columbia fluctuates wildly at the best of times, but never more so than in spring. “It can be a brisk 7°C one second and then the sun peeks out and it’s 20°C the next minute,” says Mr Bialous. There are all possible varieties of rain, too – “slow misty drizzle, big drops falling slowly, big drops falling sideways, pretty incredible monsoons”. This requires dressing for all eventualities.
In the opening shot, which was taken on the west coast of Vancouver Island, he’s wearing Canada Goose’s Field Poncho, which is made from the company’s water- and wind-proof Tri-Durance soft shell fabric. “The amazing thing about it is that you almost never overheat because it vents so well through the open bottom,” he says, adding that “I enjoyed being able to bring my camera under it if we hit a bout of heavy rain.”
Mr Alex Kweskin and Ms Lauren Ward
Four years ago, husband-and-wife photographers Mr Alex Kweskin and Ms Lauren Ward traded the year-round sunshine and laidback vibes of Southern California for the dramatically shifting seasons of New York when they left their home town of San Clemente behind to set up a photographic studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn. As Ward & Kweskin, they have shot editorial for clients including i-D and New York Magazine and commercial for clients such as Levi’s.
Despite their West Coast upbringing, or perhaps because of it, Mr Kweskin and Ms Ward are well aware of the importance of being prepared for the vagaries of the New York climate. “What’s most important when shooting in rain is being dry and comfortable,” says Mr Kweskin, who’s wearing Canada Goose’s Field Poncho in the top shot captured near Fort Tilden, an old military installation south of Queens that the duo visit when they want to escape from the city.
The Canada Goose photoshoot was an unusual one in the sense that they were hoping for rain. What was even more unusual, though, was that they got exactly what they were hoping for. “As we set out to shoot on the day, there was a serious downpour,” the duo recall. “We knew we wanted rain, but we were a little concerned about there being almost too much rain. But the gear held up astoundingly well.”
Ms Virginie Khateeb
French-Palestinian photographer Ms Virginie Khateeb’s contribution to Canada Goose’s spring campaign was captured in the Montmartre district of Paris, a place she has called home for the past 13 years. “My vision was to share something intimate and personal, to reveal my way of life through those places that are dear to me,” she says.
In one of the more adventurous shots, Ms Khateeb took to the rooftops in order to capture the Parisian skyline at sunset. It’s during moments like these, she says, that the right clothing can make a big difference. “The most challenging thing about shooting in inclement weather is actually being able to focus on the shoot and what’s in front of you,” she says.
This is where the dozens of small, thoughtful details packed into every Canada Goose garment come into their own – providing protection from the wind, equipping you with a wide array of pockets and generally helping to minimise distractions (crucial when you’re balancing on a rooftop trying to capture the perfect shot).
Mr Cian Oba-Smith
“The mix of cultures, people and architecture makes it a beautiful place to live,” says Mr Cian Oba-Smith of London. The photographer, who was born to Irish and Nigerian parents in east London and now lives and works in Hackney, is himself an example of the city’s great cultural diversity. When shooting for the Canada Goose spring campaign, he drew from his own experiences to create a personal snapshot of his home town. “I picked locations that I had been to before and felt like my London,” he says.
These included regular stomping grounds such as Hackney’s Broadway Market or Hampstead Heath, a scrap of rambling, hilly parkland in north London where he often stops to relax. His travels also took him past the City of London financial district, whose cluster of skyscrapers can be seen looming out of the fog in this shot, captured from across the River Thames.
London is notorious for its fickle climate, which can flit from grey, drizzly rain to blazing sunshine seemingly at a moment’s notice, which makes the Crew Trench, which Mr Oba-Smith is pictured wearing, the perfect choice. For a photographer, this doesn’t just mean having to deal with the effects that inclement weather can have on your photographs, as illustrated by the image above; it also means thinking carefully about how you dress. “The hardest thing is staying motivated when the elements are completely against you,” says Mr Oba-Smith.
Ms Luo Yang
Ms Luo Yang’s stark portraiture offers a new perspective on the modern lives of women in her native China. Born and raised in Liaoning Province, she now lives and works between the country’s capital, Beijing, and its largest city, Shanghai. It was to the former that she gravitated when asked by Canada Goose to contribute to the brand’s spring campaign. “Beijing is unique for its authenticity, sincerity and kindness,” she says. “The city has everything you could want.”
The shoot took Ms Yang and her team from the hills of Jingshan Park to the city’s ancient Hutong neighbourhoods, where narrow alleyways run between traditional courtyard residences. She describes the process as “a lot of fun. We were moving across rooftops like old-time swordsmen, with locals living beneath us.”
Beijing is perhaps the best city for photographers hoping to capture both the modern and traditional sides of China, but it is not without its own set of challenges. Its strong winds, in particular, proved an issue on the shoot. “It changed direction constantly,” says Ms Yang. “My hair was flying in all directions. My colleague had to tie his hair into a ponytail so as not to block his sight.”