- Buyer's Guide
Filson NYC Flagship Visit
Not all stores are created equal. In fact, many brands today use a blueprint that gets rolled out across all locations. This has benefits, people recognize the styling and they know where to find X and Y. However, here at Carryology, we love to celebrate brands for their unique identities. You may have noticed from our collaborations, we like to lean into a brand, their designs, and their heritage.
Heritage. A buzzword that is used in marketing far too often. Only a few brands really have true heritage. Filson is one such brand.
Based out of Seattle, WA, Filson and their products have deep, gnarled roots in the frontiers of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. They are famously known for the hard-wearing bridle leather and tin cloth waxed cotton that they use on both their bags and apparel. Creators of inspired collaborations with USFS, Smokey the Bear, and Popeye, it is not uncommon to hear stories of their heirloom-worthy bags and the life they have lived in some of the harshest places in North America. Filson, and their products, are the very definition of Americana.
So, by proxy, one would hope that their brick and mortar stores echo that history. Taylor and I were recently in New York City for some secret design collab meetings with a brand located in Manhattan (wink wink nudge nudge) and excitedly took the chance to take a tour of Filson and their impressive NYC Flagship.
As you walk down Broadway and look through the tall glass windows, it’s hard not to be excited. There are glimpses of the Pacific Northwest everywhere you look.
We were met by store managers Kevin and Mike, both Carryology fans who immediately spotted Taylor’s Khonsu boots! They were gracious hosts and shared stories of the artists and craftsmen on display in their store. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking – but it’s safe to say a visit to Filson is like being transported to simpler times in the Pacific Northwest.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the structure inside. A Douglas Fir barn from Oregon circa the 1890s is the skeleton of this imposing store. Even more incredibly, the barn was disassembled and shipped to Canada, to be processed by Spearhead, which designed the trellis. It was put back together in New York over a two-week process and a 3D imaging system was used to overcome building obstacles. Filson is believed to be the first store of its kind to have such a large trellis built solely out of reclaimed barn wood. While large, you can see the inspiration from hunting and logging cabins of days gone past.
The store is not only adorned with high-quality products, more on that momentarily, but also thoughtful and impressive artworks. The moment you enter the store, there is a beautiful 14ft tall wolf sculpture, carved with a chainsaw by Washington artist Jeffrey Samudosky. It took him eight months to carve, and it is captivating to look at. The detail is mesmerizing, particularly each wolf with its individual expression. There is a flock of hand-carved geese as you ascend the staircase – and many other beautiful Northwest-inspired carvings and artworks.
Hanging from the ceiling are two canoes custom-made for the store from Canadian experts Abitibi & Co – in bright colors filled with all the outdoor goods you could imagine. Giant sawmill blades, buck saws, and Paul Bunyan axes adorn the walls – you could be put to work at any moment!
As far as goods are concerned, the whole store is an outdoorsman’s playground. Full of deluxe waxed cotton jackets, flannel shirts for every season, and leather belts. That’s even before we talk about their impressive collaborations – Smokey Bear, Stanley Flasks, White’s Boots, and many more!
Their selection of bags obviously caught our attention, and if you’ve never held a Filson Tin Cloth bag, they are special. You can imagine the adventures that it’ll take you on. Kevin showed two of his special Filson Restoration Department pieces – their character honored by the craftsmanship of the restoration specialists.
They even have custom leather embossing tools on-site, as you can see from our custom Carryology coasters!
The whole store is complemented by a curated collection of vintage books, signs, photos, and furniture. All hand-picked by Filson’s buying team to give this store an authentic feel.
We loved our visit to Filson NYC, and you can expect to as well when you end up there. Just don’t expect it to be a short trip!