Daiki Suzuki’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection for Woolrich Woolen Mills, his last for the label, is a celebration of a bygone era in outdoor clothing when simplicity reined king. His influence lies in pioneering outdoor brands from the 1950’s to 80’s—companies like Holubar, Sierra Designs, Early Winters, Gerry and others, many of whom have long since ceased to exist.

In particular, Daiki recalls being an avid rock climber during his high school years in the 1970’s, a decade that saw the birth of Gore-Tex, and other synthetic materials developed to answer every demand of rock climbers. Though he was aware of the advancements in technical equipment, Daiki made do with the only gear available to him: heavy cotton canvas rucksacks, woolen climbing knickers, poly-cotton poplin shirts, corduroy hats, absorbent neck towels. His clothing had buttons and buttonholes, not snaps and multiple-zippered pockets.

Looking back at his wardrobe from this time, Daiki values the rustic and rumpled feel to “Classic Mountaineering” clothes. This era in outdoor wear spawned a generation of hardy mountaineers who pushed forward, scaling new heights and conquering peaks without the benefit of high-tech fabrics and complicated equipment. For Daiki, the Woolrich Woolen Mills S/S 11 season is a way of bringing a little bit of the attitude behind “Classic Mountaineering” to the cities, reminding people of the elegance in simple, well made, low-tech clothes.

Using tropical wool, a material typically employed for summer suiting, and a light gray color palate suited for urban living, this season’s highlights include a Trail Parka, a Labrador Parka, and a Yosemite Jacket. Also look for the Anorak Shirt, and Bellavista Pants.

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