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Canada’s Moose Knuckles Livens Up the Winter Fashion Market


Italy has shoes, Switzerland has watches, Canada has… parkas?

For the past decade, the U.S.A.’s neighbor to the north has steadily increased its stature as a quality maker of warm winter jackets. The land of hockey and The Rockies has fast become known for the quality of its down, the warmth of its fur, and the unique style of its winter street fashion.

It’s one reason why Canadian designer Will Poho took on a unique project in 2006 while studying at NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology. His thesis involved developing a high-end winter product — warm winter sportswear inspired by Canada’s heritage.

“Canada is a cold place,” says Poho. “We’ve been working outside in natural resources for more than 100 years. That fact alone lends us credibility.”

Poho’s thesis morphed into a full-time career and a savvy start-up upon graduation. Poho developed Moose Knuckles, maker of cozy, wind- and water-proof garments garnished with luxe fur and filled with goose down that’s among Canada’s finest.

Moose Knuckles is focused on a global customer keen on investing in  what Poho — now the company’s designer and creative director — calls a “warm superior coat” that’s been updated for a savvy urban market. The company’s aim, Poho says, is to appeal to all demographics—men, women, and kids—with parkas “that will keep them warm, that are high quality, and that also enjoy a high status–parkas bought in a country that’s considered the best coat maker in the world.”

KJUS freeride FRXClick for quick shop view

A bonus is Will Poho’s irreverence and natural sense of humor. Moose Knuckles is known for its ballsy, no-holds-barred approach to design and branding. The name and logo alone are plays on Canada’s quintessential animal—the moose—and its footprints (some have another interpretation).

Plus, Moose Knuckles’ website is a fun and funky approach to marketing, including a page of ‘Moose Sightings’ in which celebs are caught paparazzi-style sporting Moose Knuckles parkas. Declares the website: “Moose Knuckles is born of Canadian heritage, personality, sports, and leisure from our nation’s obsession with ice hockey, to our reputation as the class clown of the global schoolhouse.”

Adds Poho: “I want to make people laugh. And yes, when they see our logo and visit our website, Americans especially get a chuckle.”

Where will Moose Knuckles go next? With Poho, one never knows. He says the company will jump into the skiwear market in 2015. No word yet on what his ski styles will look like, but one thing is certain: Moose Knuckles’ ski jackets and pants will not be boring.