I knew that I wanted to become a designer at an early age in my teens. Although I was young I always felt like I knew where I wanted to go, and could best express my ideas through drawing and design.
After graduating from Fashion Design at Bunka College, I worked at CDG under Junya Watanabe, starting in sample making and pattern making. At CDG, I came to a realization that people are inclined to dress in an ultimate utilitarian purpose (ie. jeans were invented for mining, t-shirts came out of the military). At that time CDG was just starting to partner with utilitarian brands like The North Face and Levis, and I wanted to be part of the next thing after t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, which I grew up in. This led me to New York where I spent ten years before moving to Vancouver.
It’s a synergetic result of modern-day-uniform and advanced design solution which has been derived from Arc’teryx engineering. Ultimately our goal is to provide personal freedom, without being constrained by environments and circumstances.
Veilance was founded in 2009 with the purpose of introducing all of Arc’teryx’s expertise in highly technical outdoor gear to a new audience. So Veilance only exists through the history of Arc’teryx. Now, it is a true accumulation of knowledge and shared resources between our teams. While each end result takes a different form, everything is purpose built for targeted end uses between Arc’teryx and Veilance.
Being based in Vancouver is a major advantage for Arc’teryx, because our proximity between mountains and city allows us to test products more easily in real world situations. Our design floor is a constant source of inspiration because there’s such a diverse range of backgrounds working to solve tangible problems. I’ll see something that the outdoor team is working on and have a revelation how it could be applied to the Veilance context.
We are exploring a design solution that inspires a minimalist lifestyle – how do you do more with less? That may be a big difference between us and more traditional fashion industry. Arc’teryx operates more like a design company in the sense that the intent needs to be clear from the very first stage. We also launched a re-commerce platform this year called Re-System that allows consumers to trade in pieces they’re no longer wearing. This in one of the initiatives toward more circular design.
As much as I like my older Veilance pieces such as Galvanic Coat and Actuator Jacket, I enjoy more experimental wear test samples made out of leading edge advanced materials. So my favourite piece is coming soon!
The lockdown from the pandemic accelerated the casualization trend (tees and sweats) as well as mental and physical well-being (athleticwear). It also encouraged people to be closer to nature (outdoor). I think these trends will not go away even after the pandemic is over. As a company, we have an advantage to address the shifts that are happening today and the future.
Performance = comfort. Once people experience it, there’s no way back. Ten years ago, it was us, ACRONYM, and Stone Island who were the core of the performance wear space. In ten years, there are more brands who have entered this space, or traditional houses who’ve leveraged collaborations with sport brands to produce something more technical. Ultimately I think it’s a natural evolution and it makes sense – if you have one article of clothing, and then another that looks equally as good but performs better, which would you choose? People are naturally adopting more functional wear because now you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable, but to focus on what you are passionate about doing in life.
My main inspirations come from the Arc’teryx design floor where magic happens. It’s exciting to think about applications of new and improved technologies to design better experiences.
"Ultimately our goal is to provide personal freedom, without being constrained by environments and circumstances."
- Taka Kasuga. 2020