There is something about spring that never fails to conjur up feelings of nostalgia for me. Maybe it has to do with that sense of finally waking up from that long winter nap and remembering the joy of feeling that familiar freshness in the air, lapping up that special sunshine we’ve missed for so long, and the beautiful anticipation of longer, warmer days ahead.
So, that is precisely the kind of headspace I’ve been in the past couple of days, and it certainly does fit the sensibility of one of the great brands we have the pleasure of launching on Style Matters.
Back in the mid‘60s, a crazy cool new brand was born, which was initially all about practicality. It was an instant hit and quickly became a mega trend, and by the time I regularly started going to summer camp in the late‘60s, a K-Way light windbreaker—or “shell” as we used to call them, was a must-have item. Happily, the popularity of K-Ways never really went away. But recently, the brand has experienced a huge resurgence in popularity. And now, we’re excited that we’ve got a very colourful assortment of these fabulous outerwear pieces for you.
Here’s a bit of the history of the brand: Created in Paris in 1965, when innovation in fashion was particularly popping, a retailer named Leon-Claude Duhamel was doing some people-watching on a very rainy day. He saw all kinds of people running around in soaking wet clothing, awkwardly struggling with their umbrellas. Duhamel had a kind of “Eureka! moment: Why not design a waterproof creation that wasn’t really a raincoat or an umbrella, but would offer great protection and would be easy to tote around all the time? And so, a lightweight, totally waterproof and ultimately comfy little jacket was born—one that could be conveniently folded up and carried around in a wee pouch. This was modern fashion at its functional best, and the hip new product was so appealing, 250,000 K-ways were sold in the very first year of production!
I proudly strutted a bright yellow K-way at camp all summer long, and just having one made my adolescent self feel as though I’d really arrived. As the years went by, all kinds of partnerships between K-way and myriad ski teams were formed. And in 1990, the brand was purchased by the Italians, who always know exactly what great active sportswear is all about. Of course these days, with an emphasis on active lifestyle and moving through the world with comfort and ease, the K-way brand makes perfect sense for our times. And when you see the fab colours—from hot pink, bright turquoise and neon green to that vibrant yellow that was my favourite as a kid—you’ll realize how much of a style power punch a little K-way windbreaker is bound to put in your weekend wardrobe this spring.