John Elliott is known for a lot of things, among them covetable hoodies, painstakingly distressed Japanese denim and a collaborative spirit that’s lead him to working with brands like Nike and even Yamaha. And while his outerwear offering has always been strong, it got stronger this season when Elliott partnered with the Japanese outerwear brand Descente on a warm and stylish down jacket.
If you’ve never heard of Descente, expect for that to change in the next couple of years. The company has been around in one form or another since 1930, when a Japanese menswear company called Ishimoto Shoten was founded with the intent to outfit guys for skiing. Nearly 90 years later, it offers everything from advanced skiing gear to cycling kits to the kinds of things that will keep you warm during an outdoor workout. And when Elliott stumbled upon the brand during a trip to Japan, he immediately wanted to work with them.
“In the winter of 2017 we discovered Descente while wandering through the cold in Harajuku,” Elliott told Gear Patrol. “Like all of our collaborations, this partnership came about organically and is authentic to how we started the brand — I was trying to fill a hole in my own closet and was looking for a functional jacket that could fit in a contemporary wardrobe. We loved the advanced technology of Descente, and thought we could put one of their jackets through our own lens to give it more of a fashion sensibility.”
Elliott and his design team gave Descente’s Allterrain jacket and gave it a few modern updates. They lightened up the amount of down in the jacket by 30 percent to give it a cleaner silhouette, then reinforced it with a Heat Navi lining that captures infrared light to keep you warm. There’s also a handy transparent interior pocket that’s touch capable, meaning you don’t have to fish your phone out to use it.
It all amounts to a product that’s greater than the sum of its parts, and a jacket that works just as well on the mountain as it does on the street.
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