With a characteristic history that spans some of the United States of America’s most iconic eras, Filson has become a stalwart for honest, quality production that will forever carry a timelessly functional style. At over 100 years old, the label can boast an illustrious history of creation, that can all be traced back to one man; C.C. Filson himself.
Born in 1850, C.C. Filson was destined for the outdoors. From a young age it was obvious that he had inherited the pioneering spirit of his father, as he roamed the country as a railroad conductor, homesteading in the great wilderness of Nebraska. However, the 1890’s saw C.C. Filson take a different approach to life, as he settled down in Seattle- a small city in Washington State.
It was a time of excitement in America, as the great gold rush had just begun- the atmosphere in the north was palpable, as fortune hunters streamed up the country to make their riches in the baron and harsh north.
Seattle was a favourite resting point for weary travellers on the hunt for gold, and C.C. Filson planned on exploiting the position he found himself in in his new home, by opening his own store and mill. In 1897, he opened C.C. Filson’s Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers- a company that would create goods to cater for anyone stopping in Seattle on the way to the gold rush.
Although the era had bought huge excitement to the nation for its obvious allure of striking gold- it was also one of great peril. Stories began to leak down from the north of extreme cold like none of the naïve gold hunters had ever experienced. People were freezing to death at night- journals told of unimaginable temperatures that outdoorsmen began to truly fear over any other jeopardy in the search for gold. Filson used this to his advantage. Using his own mill, he crafted woolen blankets and knitted goods, then sold boots, accessories and sleeping bags that would help the gold hungry entrepreneurs when they encountered the cold climes of the north. Through feedback and innovation, Filson continued to develop his products to suit the needs of his clients, soon growing a reputation as a dependable man who became the key to survival to anyone brave enough to hunt for gold.
Of course, the gold rush soon became a distant memory for a fast advancing America. The days of scavenging for gold ended, but Filson diversified, keeping both his name and company alive. He knew that there was still a need for his products for the outdoorsmen of the country; so he began making garments to serve anybody working in the great outdoors. This diversification saw more success for Filson, as he strove to create authentic, functional pieces that were entirely reliable through their quality construction and material.
The belief that Filson put into his own creations was unheard of at the time- he guaranteed every piece of merchandise he made. If he didn’t stock a particular item a customer requested, he custom made it for them. He became a phenomenon, with his reputation for service, reliability and traditional, honest quality spreading across the world.
By the 1960’s Filson’s unmissable aura of superiority and premier American outdoor styling had gained his company orders from as far as Greenland, with outdoorsmen the world over wanting to use Filson products to help cope with the rigors of their day to day lives. The brand had travelled far and wide by this point- being stocked in some of the best out door retailers across the globe. With times changing since Filson’s first steps into creating goods for the outdoors, the brand he founded has continued to develop and adapt- in the traditional Filson way.
Now creating pieces that have been inspired by the unique story of the brands founder, Filson have added their sought after blend of quality production and class to styles that are designed for modern life, whether it is being lived in the great open or amongst the city streets. With designs that carry the outdoor inspirations that gave the label its first footing in the world, the Filson range is as diverse as ever.
From bags that carry muses from the needs of the original entrepreneurs from the American gold rush, to pieces that dictate a decorated and diverse past, Filson is now the culmination of over 100 years of experience in traditional craftsmanship.
Stylish, durable and comfortable, Filson products are as relevant now as they have ever been- spanning generations, purposes and genres, to unite everyone in a style that has defied time, trends and fads, by using honest, classic values that will remain forever timeless.
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Published by Sarah Kearney