Japanese outdoor gear company Snow Peak’s clothing tends toward the understated: simple, structured shapes married to muted colors. But each year they throw a poppy pattern into the mix, and this year’s “Camp Field Print” design is perhaps the best yet, bringing together a self-referential concept with craftsmen who typically make prints for kimonos.
“Snow Peak’s heritage is deeply rooted around the idea of collaborating with local craftsmen to make blissful camping gear,” Lisa Yamai, Snow Peak apparel designer, writes. The screen-printers Yamai worked with for the Camp Field print are very local, based in Niigata prefecture, as is Snow Peak. “We took a field trip to the workshop to see how they worked. The workshop we worked with is one that usually makes prints for Yuzen kimonos, meaning the workers are very skilled. We were blown away by their accuracy, attention to detail, and pursuit of perfection.”
After returning from the site visit, Yamai worked with her friend Toyoki Adachi to brainstorm ideas for the print itself, landing on a design that recalls mid-century outdoor advertising with a post-modern twist: many current products that Snow Peak sells, like a lightweight, packable camp chair, are incorporated into the design. It’s catalog as composition, which manages to sneak past gauche, give a wink at twee, and settle in as a comfortably cute contrast to Snow Peak’s other, more current pieces.
The Camp Field print is available as a jacket, vest, or shirt from Snow Peak’s 2015 Fall/Winter Collection—priced, like a lot of Snow Peak gear, at a point you’ll think twice before getting it dirty outdoors.JJ