Canada Goose has experienced an expeditious rise in popularity in the past couple of years. The 60-year-old company is no longer just an outfitter for Arctic explorers - over time, it has become a well-known luxury brand among fashionistas in some of the world’s coldest cities.
Take Chicago, for example. Apparently, Canada Goose is a big deal there at the moment, and almost everyone is sporting the popular fur-trimmed coats this winter. The company even opened a standalone store along the city's Michigan Ave., to fulfill the demands of cold and desperate Chicagoans.
The ascent of Canada Goose is undeniable, with a reported 2,000 per cent growth in the last decade and almost $300 million USD in revenue. It’s been featured in several Hollywood blockbusters such as The Day After Tomorrow and National Treasure, and Kate Upton even modelled one of the coats for a Sports Illustrated cover. But exactly how iconic has the brand become?
Chris Lamorte of the Chicago Tribune spoke to Dani Reiss, the CEO of Canada Goose, about the phenomenon. Reiss emphasized that the company is still a “function-first brand, not a fashion brand,” but also acknowledged that the brand has been embraced as a trend in recent years.
“We are built on function - of course we want people to look good in our products … but that’s not the first consideration,” he said.
Yet, for a brand so focused on function, its prices seem to lean towards the luxury side. Lamorte explains that a top-of-the-line coat can cost up to $1,600, which, compared to other function-focused brands like North Face, is a steep difference.
When Lamorte asked a sales rep at the Chicago flagship if there would be any markdowns cafter Christmas, he quipped “No because we don’t do discounts. We’re like Louis Vuitton.”
Like Louis Vuitton, he said…
That could be interpreted in two ways: 1) we're just like LV because we don't do markdowns (which is fair) or 2) we don't do markdowns because we're just like LV. For the sake of being petty, let's explore the second interpretation.
Louis Vuitton has been around for almost 16 decades and has made significant contributions to history in that time. Its founder, Louis Vuitton, weaved his distinct vision into the fabric of Parisian heritage and revolutionized the fashion industry with his timeless approach to luxury design. Canada Goose has yet to make contributions as impactful. Even the Hudson’s Bay Company has more historical significance.
Canada Goose may be the in-thing right now, but be not mistaken - it is no Louis Vuitton; at least not yet. $1,600 price tags make you expensive, but they don’t necessarily make you iconic.