Here’s the Story Behind AETHER’s Unique New Moth Ads

We caught up with Palmer West and Jonah Smith to find out the inspiration behind their brand mantra, “You Only Get One Spin.”

aether moth

Few outdoor-minded companies do as good a job of combining aesthetics and technical prowess as AETHER. The brand, which was started in 2009 by Palmer West and Jonah Smith, was born out of the desire for a clothing collection that looked at home in the city but could withstand the outdoors — and it's easy to conclude that the two have been successful in their mission.

Today, AETHER encompasses a complete lifestyle collection offering top-quality gear for everything from skiing, to riding your motorcycle, to traveling and everything in between. The brand's latest campaign, titled "You Only Get One Spin," is one of its most unique initiatives yet. We caught up with West and Smith to discuss the meaning behind the new campaign, the history and inspiration behind AETHER and to get a sneak peek at what's ahead.

Learn More

aether moth outerwear

Q: The AETHER mantra is “You Only Get One Spin”. Where did that line come from? And why did you land on moths in your new campaign?

Palmer West: "You Only Get One Spin embodies the internal drive that guides us. We’re restless at heart. This phrase is our way of saying life is short — make it count. Our new campaign is a timely reminder of what happens when you stop striving to add excitement to your everyday life. The moth is a beautiful representation of our enemy — our antagonist —because a stagnant life is the enemy of a brand like ours.

Why the moth? Well, the last thing we wanted was to make apparel that would be hung in a closet to become moth food. We put too much blood, sweat and tears into our designs for them to suffer that fate. We don't make moth food — enough said."

Q: You say that AETHER isn’t a business, it’s a story — a story of rebellious optimism. Tell us a bit about that story.

Jonah Smith: "We started an outdoor clothing company in 2009 because frankly, we couldn't find what we were looking for: technically built outerwear that sacrificed nothing in design. We outgrew the traditional outerwear company offerings because at some point you have to choose to dress differently than you did in college. We were film producers by trade at the time and couldn’t find outerwear that was built to withstand all of Mother Nature's fury while still being acceptable as daily wear.

We are a couple of guys who grew up beating the crap out of our gear, so what we lacked in construction know-how was offset with decades of real-world experience in knowing what works and what doesn't. If we stopped to ask someone if AETHER was a good idea, we knew what the answer would be. That's why we used our own money to start AETHER. We found the smartest and most talented people we could and convinced them what we wanted to build would resonate far beyond the outdoor space. That was more than ten years ago, and people still like what we do.

aether moth x outerwear

Q: You've been described as being addicted to adventure. How does that addiction feed what AETHER is going to do next and what design choices it makes?

Palmer West: "The more we build, the more we have to test, and the more we test, the better the gear gets. The better the gear gets, the farther we can go on our adventures. Delivering on our commitment to our customers demands that we get out there and practice what we preach. So our addiction feeds AETHER, and, in return, AETHER feeds our restlessness.

Adventure is often thought to be limited to the great outdoors. While that is part of it for sure, adventure also encompasses world travel and cultural exploration — both in cosmopolitan cities and on the most remote corners of our planet. Discovering a new place is as adventurous to us as climbing a mountain. Explaining what adventure means to us helps shed light on all of the different environments we think require specific gear. We were lucky to build a brand with more than just one note — more than just one activity to support. We can follow our passions and build accordingly. Wherever technicality is required and aesthetics are lacking, AETHER is committed to bridging that divide. We have new partnerships, new collaborations and new AETHER categories to launch in the next calendar year. We may have been locked away from each other for the last 13 months, but we have been very busy. When you lock down this many restless people, something has to give!"

Learn More

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Style