Filson’s new flagship store in Seattle’s SoDo (South of Downtown) neighborhood is a stone’s throw from where UPS got their start, a few blocks from Starbucks HQ, walking distance to the Safeco Field and near where the Kingdome imploded at the turn of the century (CenturyLink Field now stands on Griffey’s hallowed ground). For a company deeply rooted in the Northwest, this is the right spot.
SoDo borders Pioneer Square, an area that is the hotbed of Seattle history. In the early years of Seattle, this was skid row — named after the logs that were slid down the hillside and skidded into town. The Pioneer Square area (aptly named) was settled in 1852, after settlers spent a brief stint on Alki Point. Shortly thereafter, in 1897, Filson got its start, outfitting prospectors heading north into the Yukon. They’ve been based in Seattle ever since, for 118 years.
The new flagship, complete with a totem pole, celebrates this heritage and highlights the continued emphasis on craftsmanship in Filson’s line. The store is 6,400 square feet of cultural legacy, rife with up-cycled local lumber and the largest selection of Filson products in the world (in addition to products exclusive to Seattle). There are large windows that look into Filson’s bag, luggage and accessories factory, and the store is the ground floor of Filson’s corporate HQ. Staff are trained in fitting new jackets and recommending rivers for hooking steelhead.
In the century-plus that Filson’s been around, they’ve remained true to the beginnings of the brand — so it’s fitting that now, they’re still not going anywhere. While some things have modernized (the “Seattle Fit” was a big, tailored step forward for the generously portioned apparel), the brand is still firmly anchored at the base of the hill, still chock-full of timber, and still selling fine goods for those that seek adventure outdoors.