Viewing entries tagged
outerwear

Starkweather at the Lost Labs Showcase

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Starkweather at the Lost Labs Showcase

On Friday, April 13, Starkweather, along with four other Chicago startups, presented to a room of 100+ individuals in an old warehouse building on Goose Island. The event was the culmination of three months of incubation through the first Lost Labs program. Run by Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter and founder of Lost Arts, Lost Labs is an opportunity to "[apply] ambition, to explore the potential of curiosity," for "anyone with a tenacious creative spirit." 

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As part of the first cohort, there was a loose framework for us to structure our goals and a timeline to achieve it. I found myself motivated to challenge myself and reach higher than I had initially outlined. The result for Starkweather was a full-on new business plan and pitch that has been updated to reflect all the lessons learned, all the new resources that are available, and the forecast of where the industry and consumer behavior is going in the future. 

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The capstone event gave me a platform to share those organized thoughts to a group of intelligent, curious professionals who then had an opportunity to come speak with the founder (myself), see the products, try them on, and share their feedback. I walked away inspired with new ideas, and excited to get the product into waiting customers' hands. That excitement will serve me well, as motivation and foundation to overcome the challenges to come. Truth: the hard work begins now.

Writing this on a 30º day in mid-April, I know even as I wait for the warm weather to come, that getting cold-weather product to market for fall 2018 will keep me occupied until the weather turns cold again. 

Over the next several months, I will be getting the word out, taking lots of meetings and copious notes, and building out the resources to make the Fall's launch a catalyst for Starkweather's future success. 

Thank you to Charles and Elizabeth @LostArts, and to the rest of the cohort founders.

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2018/1 Cohort Companies:

CoLab
Founded by Louis Vowell, CoLab is an online collaboration platform that connects artists and alumni from different art universities across the country. CoLab was created to alleviate post-graduation isolation, with the aim of facilitating cross-campus communication and producing collaborative artworks.

Fertile Design
Fertile Design is a biodegradable plastic, partially made of food waste, that is chemically balanced to feed the soil when it is discarded in the ground. This product, which can replace traditional plastics, is the creation of Jessica Gorse.

Fossick
For the artistically inspired, Fossick is a homewares and accessories company with an ethical and sustainable twist. Cate Breasley started the company to a range of uniquely designed, one-off pieces in vibrant colors and patterns that celebrate individuality, creativity, and hidden potential. 

Sojourn Fare
Roman Titus founded Sojourn Fare to make the mushrooms (and their medicinal and culinary potential) more prevalent in the world. The company builds farm-tech software that empowers growers to control, monitor and optimize mushroom cultivation.

Starkweather
Starkweather creates outerwear for urban environments, combining low and high-tech solutions to design products that marry technology, function and aesthetics. Lee Anderson created Starkweather to provide an alternative for people who wish to wear something other than the ubiquitous black puffy jacket all winter, while maintaining warmth and functionality.

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Research Library: Celebrating Denim

Here are some of the highlights from our August reference library theme: Denim. 

 

If you don't already follow our Instagram account, you can find us @starkweatherouterwear

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Outerwear Origin Stories : The Sleeping Bag Coat

There is history behind the phenomenon of puffy coats in cities across the US. Before the fabric technology existed, and before activewear/outdoor lifestyle began reflecting in our urban wardrobes, men and women used to dress in tailored outerwear made of natural fibers. Waxed cotton trenches or wool coats in the form of Pea Coats, Capes, Chesterfield Coats, Top Coats, Toggle Coats....But we're talking 1950s-60s. 

That all changed when fashion became more edgy and experimental, as society was also getting more openly edgy and experimental. The rules and formalities went out the window.

Fast forward to what is popular outerwear today, with streets full of Canada Goose, Moncler, North Face. These brands have all found their way down the mountain and into the city, but that road was cleared for them by a less widely known pioneer. 

The real champion of this origin story is Norma Kamali, dating back to the mid-70s. As the legend goes: 

After splitting with her husband, Mohammed (Eddie) Kamali, in the mid-1970s, she took to camping in the woods with a boyfriend. “It was cold,” she recalled, “and I was always getting up at night to go to the bathroom.” On one particularly nippy night, she threw on her sleeping bag and sprinted for the bush. “As I was running,” she said, “I was thinking, ‘I need to put sleeves in this thing.’ " - NYTimes, Ruth La Ferla May 9, 2009

It's still around today, and here's a version that we love. If you're going to wear a puffy coat, get the one that pays homage to the origin story. 

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Starkweather is young, and this is our origin story right here. Exploring the world around us and our reason for being, which only grows stronger from learning about what else is out there and who came before us.

We hope that this knowledge and value translates through to you and your Starkweather experience.

 

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Show winter some love

Why do we love winter so much? 

The crispness in the air 

The inclination to curl up with a hot drink and read a good book

The abundance of Whiskey tastings

And The outerwear

Of course, the outerwear. While we have to keep warm, it's the time to play with volume, proportions, textures, and layers. It's a bit more challenging than the milder months, and that can make it tempting to throw on something easy without having to think to much.

But the benefits of making the extra effort will show in your confidence and simply through standing out in a mass of puffy black nylon.

We'd love to help you out with that.


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Starkweather First Delivery

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Starkweather First Delivery

Since the relaunch in September, we've been looking forward to this moment.

So much has to happen for one delivery to get out smoothly and successfully. In the interim, there are many other goings-on in the business day to day that make it interesting, dynamic and challenging each day. 

With the first delivery since the relaunch in September heading out the door, there were some expected unexpected hold ups, and some unexpected unexpected hold ups that teach us how much we need to anticipate last minute adjustments. We've learned to react quickly and make the proper changes so that the pieces arrive in your hands at the top of of our high standards. 

To all of you who placed orders, we are so proud to be represented by you when you are out on the streets in your Starkweather gear. And we hope you'll come back for more, many times over!

We also appreciate your patience in the advance sale system, and hope that you'll find every time you wear your coat or liner or Crux that it was worth the wait. 

UPS drove off yesterday with 80% of those first orders. We are giddy.

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We've a new home in New York.

Piece by piece, Paris is disappearing from operations. The Vicq d'Azir studio will still be on our business cards for another spell, but the map below is evidence of our new home in Manhattan. 

Moving back to the US is a strategic choice in many ways, but mostly it brings Starkweather back to its roots. A concept that formed from a pain point that is more prevalent in American cities than the capitals of Europe, and in cities that experience a real, bone-chilling frost in the winter months, Starkweather answers that call. 

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We're focusing on the details

Horn Buttons, trims, all the little details coming together streamlining our operations and making sure we are sourcing the best of the best for the pieces we deliver to you. 

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