Unpacking The History Of Snow Peak

As the popularity of the functional outdoors lifestyle continues to rise, Snow Peak has remained a firm favourite within the team at HIP. We decided to take a deep dive into the detailed story of the mainstay Japanese brand and unpack some of the history that has kept Snow Peak as leaders for decades. To […]

snow-peak-tent-outdoors

As the popularity of the functional outdoors lifestyle continues to rise, Snow Peak has remained a firm favourite within the team at HIP. We decided to take a deep dive into the detailed story of the mainstay Japanese brand and unpack some of the history that has kept Snow Peak as leaders for decades.

To some, Snow Peak may seem like a newcomer on the scene, like they jumped on the technical clothing bandwagon, but that couldn’t be any further from the reality of how their journey began. Their product line consists of but is not limited to, camping equipment such as tents and hardware accessories, such as mugs, cutlery and camping lights, which are most recognizable for their minimalist and functional design language and innovative use of technology. In addition, they operate a thriving apparel line that covers outerwear, bottoms and tops. 

snow-peak-founder-and-climbing-tool

Founded back in 1958 by an experienced Japanese mountaineer, Yukio Yamai, who wasn’t satisfied with the quality of camping gear he had access to – this began the lengthy and generational history of Snow Peak. Yukio first started his business of making mountain gear in a small village called Sanjo City, Niigata Prefecture, and called the company Yamai Shoten. It’s no coincidence this was a year after Yvon Chouinard started Chouinard Equipment LTD. – Patagonia’s predecessor and now one of the largest outdoors brands on the planet. Yukio’s experience as a young climber, hiker and avid mountaineer bolstered his passion for Snow Peak and this still runs through the lifeblood of the label. Some of the first items designed and made were pitons and crampons made from titanium and stainless steel, as well as tailor-made climbing apparel. Like many brands, it is one born out of necessity rather than want and as a result, the level of craftsmanship is above-and-beyond that of its rivals. 

Thanks to an abundance of highly-skilled craftspeople in Yukio’s hometown of Tsubame Sanjo – an area known for its fine metalwork – he was able to design innovative equipment that simply wasn’t available in the Japanese market. The vast majority of their camping accessories are made using titanium, a metal that is notorious for being the most difficult to work with. These individuals know titanium better than anyone else on earth, from their understanding of the meticulous manufacturing process to decades of experience and intuition that detects the slightest of faults in the product. With this in mind, we begin to understand a deeper connection that Snow Peak shares with its fruit. 

snow-peak-factory

In 1980, Snow Peak entered a new chapter in its 22-year lifeline. Yukio Yamai’s son, Tohru, began to lead the brand and would go on to bring international recognition to the outdoors equipment label. With this increased status on a global level, Snow Peak reached newfound heights and would encourage people to find inspiration in nature and the outdoors. It was also during this time that Snow Peak generated a movement within Japan of ‘car camping’ which brought style and comfortable camping to the forefront of Japanese culture. This kind of innovation is something that Snow Peak has become synonymous with. 

In the lead up to the Millenium (1999), Snow Peak would make a move overseas to tackle the largest outdoors market on the planet, one dominated by a familiar namesake, Patagonia. The United States of America is a nation of camping, hiking and mountaineering enthusiasts so while this was a bold move for the Japanese brand, it was an inevitable point in their journey. They began distributing out of a garage in Gresham, Oregon, and over the course of the next two decades opened two stores, one in Portland, Oregon, and the other in Soho, New York City. While Snow Peak had already earnt a stern reputation for their ultra-lightweight titanium camping products, as well as car camping, apparel, home and lifestyle goods, there was still room for growth over the next chapter. 

snow-peak-equipment-on-table

Three-generations later, Yukio’s granddaughter, Lisa Yamai, is now president of Snow Peak Japan and was the driving force behind launching the brand’s apparel line in 2014. The initial aim of the said line was, ‘creating functional and stylish clothing which intersects both urban use and outdoor life.’ Snow Peak Apparel is best described as ‘functional outdoors clothing’ that is inherently Japanese and wildly inspired by the brands DNA. It brings together everything from workwear to traditional Japanese garments, to technical apparel and outdoor clothing. Lisa now works alongside a team of high-skilled designers to create two collections a year – Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter – both of which have their individual focuses. For example, the Spring/Summer season often features garments constructed using lightweight and breathable materials, whereas the colder seasons see a shift towards warm and insulating technologies. There are some silhouettes that have been prevalent since the beginning and continue to be mainstays in each collection, such as the Takibi Coverall Jacket and other technically-inspired pieces of outerwear, like their Poncho and Trench Coat. Lisa is passionate about made-in-Japan manufacturing and prioritizes that wherever she can. 

One part of the thriving apparel line is some of the collaborations that come with it, such as those with New Balance’s Toyko Design Studio and Danner. While still relatively new in their relationship, Snow Peak’s work with New Balance TDS offers footwear and apparel on a seasonal rotation, often drawing from fishing and technical clothing whilst exposing the brand to new audiences. For example, this seasons ‘TDS Niobium Concept 1 is an all-terrain style boot that embodies the nature-driven ethos of the Japanese label. The model is entirely function-driven with a detachable upper, weather-resistant toe box and an ABZORB midsole for comfort and durability and can be worn in the city or the great outdoors.

snow-peak-london-store

In October 2019, Snow Peak opened its European flagship store in St James Street, London. The store, nestled amongst St James’ Market, spans across three stories – one housing a tea and coffee bar, another functions as space for employees to demonstrate the applications of their product and the main floor is for retail purposes. The inside is rustic yet contemporary thanks to a combination of wooden interior and steel fixtures; tents and fire pits sit alongside technical jackets and Japanese kimonos.

Their Autumn/Winter ‘20 collection is one that seeks to blend workwear silhouettes and traditional Japanese garments with technical fabrics, modern cuts and updated construction. With each passing season, their offering expands to welcome new additions like nylon luggage pieces and patterned knitwear. As a purveyor of expertly-crafted apparel, footwear and accessories, it is no wonder Snow Peak is part of HIP’s well-curated arsenal.

Shop the latest from Snow Peak at HIP online now.

snow-peak-packable-store


YEEZY BOOST 380 ‘Calcite Glow’

adidas Originals and Kanye West join once again this Autumn for an all new iteration of the coveted YEEZY BOOST 380. The YEEZY BOOST 380 ‘Calcite Glow’ features an upper composed of a white and grey re-engineered Primeknit offset with an onyx slash and striking glow in the dark green detailing alongside milky white laces, […]

adidas Originals and Kanye West join once again this Autumn for an all new iteration of the coveted YEEZY BOOST 380. The YEEZY BOOST 380 ‘Calcite Glow’ features an upper composed of a white and grey re-engineered Primeknit offset with an onyx slash and striking glow in the dark green detailing alongside milky white laces, collar and sole. As expected, the 380 is finished off with a full-length BOOST midsole for endless added comfort.

The adidas + KANYE WEST YEEZY BOOST 380 ‘Calcite Glow’ launches at The Hip Store on 31/10/20 online via our raffle and in Leeds FCFS.

Talking WACKO MARIA x Carhartt WIP AW20 With Atsuhiko Mori

This Autumn, Tokyo based cult label WACKO MARIA has collaborated with Carhartt WIP to create an 18 piece capsule collection which focuses around iconic Carhartt WIP pieces reinterpreted by the eclectic brand. Familiar vibrant WACKO MARIA design elements feature throughout the collection – such as leopard print and embroidered black letter motifs – giving new […]

Carhartt WIP Wacko Maria Work Jacket and Shirt

This Autumn, Tokyo based cult label WACKO MARIA has collaborated with Carhartt WIP to create an 18 piece capsule collection which focuses around iconic Carhartt WIP pieces reinterpreted by the eclectic brand.

Familiar vibrant WACKO MARIA design elements feature throughout the collection – such as leopard print and embroidered black letter motifs – giving new life to classic Carhartt WIP pieces. Leopard print leads the show throughout, and has been applied to the WACKO MARIA’s signature open collar shirt, the OG Active Jacket in two tones and two reverse iterations of the OG Detroit Jacket – featuring as both a printed outer canvas and a lining. Two colorways of WACKO MARIA’s highly wearable Skate Pant also feature having been upgraded in Carhartt WIP’s robust cotton twill. The collection is rounded off with a reworking of popular go-to Carhartt WIP pieces which include the American Script T-Shirt, Chase Crewneck and Watch Hat – all with subtle embroidered and patch co-branding.

WACKO MARIA, the energetic Japanese streetwear brand, was first launched in Tokyo in 2005 by Atsuhiko Mori. The brand started as a record store with a pop-up bar with a strong affinity for live music, collecting records and good times – the brand quickly became a cult name in Japan and within the global streetwear circle. Past collaborators have included the artist Weirdo Dave, photographer and filmmaker Larry Clark, and director Jim Jarmusch – underlining a culture- led approach that directs the brand’s aesthetic. The accompanying images for this collaboration were shot in Shibuya, Tokyo by Taro Mizutani, a regular collaborator with WACKO MARIA. We caught up with founder Atsuhiko Mori, to find out more about the collaboration and the future of WACKO MARIA.

Hi Atsuhiko, firstly congratulations on reaching the 15th anniversary of WACKO MARIA, how does that feel?

Thank you. It feels like we’ve come to a point where we’ve finally built the foundations of a clothing brand. 

How have the last few months been for WACKO MARIA?

Since we weren’t able to go outside, we focused on strengthening our brand internally and started preparing for new projects.

WACKO MARIA consistently collaborates with the biggest global brands and most interesting artists, how did the project with Carhartt WIP arise?

A few years ago when I was in LA, I met Edwin Faeh’s (Carhartt WIP Founder) daughter, Vivi, at DJ Harvey’s party. Edwin also came to PARADISE TOKYO where we had the opportunity to chat. When I met him, I remember thinking “what a gentleman this man is!”

What are your earliest memories with Carhartt?

The style of 90’s rappers and the seniors around me when I was growing up wore it stylishly. 

Carhartt WIP is hugely popular in Europe, what is the relationship with the brand and workwear styling in Japan?

There were a lot of people in Japan during the 90s-2000s wearing it stylishly, and I think there’s been a continuation of this since then. 

What were your aims with the collaboration?

It was a good learning experience working and collaborating with globally esteemed brand like Carhartt WIP.  

After a long week working, you get home, have a drink – what record are you putting on?

I listen to a wide variety of genres, but I’m currently really enjoying 60s garage.

Whats next for WACKO MARIA?

We will keep continuing to strive to do the things we genuinely enjoy.

The WACKO MARIA x Carhartt WIP AW20 Collection is coming soon to HIP.

Atsuhiko Mori founder of Wacko Maria
Wacko Maria store in Tokyo
Wacko Maria store in Tokyo
Carhartt WIP Wacko Maria Work Jacket and Shirt
Carhartt WIP Wacko Maria Work Jacket and Shirt
Carhartt WIP Wacko Maria crewneck and tee


New For AW20 – Ultimate Winter Outerwear From SHU

Founded in 2012, SHU hail from Saint Petersburg, Russia and specialize in crafting rainproof and windproof outerwear to help you protect from the elements. SHU create designs with minimalistic and simple cut lines with a focus on development mixed with technology and everyday people. Versatile outerwear highlights each collection in a wide array of colours […]

SHU winter jacket shot on model HIP

Founded in 2012, SHU hail from Saint Petersburg, Russia and specialize in crafting rainproof and windproof outerwear to help you protect from the elements. SHU create designs with minimalistic and simple cut lines with a focus on development mixed with technology and everyday people. Versatile outerwear highlights each collection in a wide array of colours with technology driven options to help keep you going in the harshest months.

SHU keep things simple with versatile yet interesting colour options across all of their styles, with their Reversible Jacket’s being ideal options for those wanting to change things up from time to time with bold pink and yellow secondary inner colourways. When it comes to Winter time, everyone is on the lookout for their next go-to jacket for the season which can be tricky at the best of times – key factors many look for in a robust Winter coat is versatility, wearability and reliable technology to protect from the elements, thankfully SHU has all these bases covered. Technology and design is a key part in SHU’s offering giving confidence in providing a jacket you can rely on through the harshest of elements for years on end. SHU’s jackets are crafted using a breathable membrane fabric and doubled insulation DuPont™ Sorona® designed for cold temperatures to protect up to −20°/−25°C, more than enough for most places in the world during Winter. On top of this, SHU jackets are able to resist up to 10000mm of water column pressure with sealed pockets and zippers making sure you and your personal belongings can stay dry in even the wettest of conditions. These factors combined all make SHU a strong contender as some of the best outerwear we’ve seen this year.

New for AW20: Winter outerwear from SHU. Online now.

SHU winter jacket shot on model HIP
SHU winter jacket shot on model HIP
SHU winter jacket close up droplets HIP
SHU winter jacket shot on model HIP
SHU winter jacket shot on model HIP
SHU winter jacket close up droplets HIP
SHU winter jacket shot on model HIP
SHU winter jacket shot on model HIP

Beams Plus AW20 Collection At HIP

Beams Plus harks back to the golden era of American casual wear and brings the rugged aesthetic of that age to the modern day, thanks to modern cuts and materials crafted with a Japanese attention to detail. Beams Plus has been the go-to brand perfect for staples such as checked shirts, striped tees and banded […]

beams plus AW20 fleece cardigan editorial at Leeds library

Beams Plus harks back to the golden era of American casual wear and brings the rugged aesthetic of that age to the modern day, thanks to modern cuts and materials crafted with a Japanese attention to detail. Beams Plus has been the go-to brand perfect for staples such as checked shirts, striped tees and banded collars for years but it’s also the brand to turn to if you’re looking to inject a statement piece into your core rotation that’s sure to turn heads.

This AW20 Beams Plus return with an expansive collection that perfectly meshes the best of American menswear with Japan’s famed tailoring and craftsmanship. To showcase the collection, HIP took to Leeds Library which was founded in 1768 to showcase the timeless and sophisticated delivery in a similarly classic setting. Standout items in the collection include the Patchwork Corduroy Smock, Multi Pattern Shaggy Shirt and the Fleece Stripe Cardigan which sit amongst a deep and mature colour palette mixed within a wide variety of unique materials. 

The Beams Plus AW20 Collection at HIP is online now.

beams plus AW20 corduroy pullover and overshirt editorial at Leeds library
beams plus AW20 fleece cardigan editorial at Leeds library
beams plus AW20 travel coat and shaggy shirt editorial at Leeds library
beams plus AW20 editorial at Leeds library
beams plus AW20 zip blouson editorial at Leeds library
beams plus AW20 zip blouson editorial at Leeds library

YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 ‘Carbon’

This Autumn, adidas Originals + KANYE WEST present the all new YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 ‘Carbon’ – featuring a muted grey upper composed of multi-toned re-engineered Primeknit with accents of black, grey, and cream. The YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 ‘Carbon’ incorporates the post-dyed monofilament stripe woven into its side and rear with adidas’ innovative BOOST […]

This Autumn, adidas Originals + KANYE WEST present the all new YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 ‘Carbon’ – featuring a muted grey upper composed of multi-toned re-engineered Primeknit with accents of black, grey, and cream. The YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 ‘Carbon’ incorporates the post-dyed monofilament stripe woven into its side and rear with adidas’ innovative BOOST technology in the midsole encased in a light clear gum outsole. The YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 ‘Carbon’ features no-tie stretch laces for easy on and off wear for those looking for a relaxed fit and also comes equipped with a second set of standard laces for the classic 350 V2 fit.

The adidas + KANYE WEST YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 ‘Carbon’ launches at HIP on 03/10/20 online via our new and improved raffle with pre-authorized payment and in Leeds FCFS.