The Story’s in the Clothing: The Heritage Collection
When you boil down to the essentials of the collection, it reflects who we are as a brand.
A Challenge for the Helly Hansen Designers
“When you boil down to the essentials of the collection, it reflects who we are as a brand. Where are we coming from, who are we today, and where are we going? That’s what I challenged the designers to reflect upon as they set out to create The Heritage Collection.”
Tor Jenssen, Category Managing Director of Urban and Rainwear, and the Helly Hansen design team had quite the challenge when it came to capturing the essence of Helly Hansen. When you’re dealing with a 142-year-old company, how do you choose what story to tell? How do you break down such a long history into a few items? What made us into what we are today? And most importantly, where are we going?
To answer these questions, we looked at the most landmark technologies that have shaped the Helly Hansen brand made us a favorite of professionals world over.
A Legacy of Technological Innovations
Helly Hansen started when Captain Helly Juell Hansen set out to keep ocean workers warm in the harsh Nordic Climate. By impregnating cloth with linseed oil, he began a legacy of pioneering in outdoor clothing technologies.
What followed has been nearly a century and a half of exploring the best way to help professionals stay and feel alive. When we examine this history, four technologies stand out as being the most monumental in our evolution as a brand: Helox, Lifa®, ProPile®, and Helly Tech®.
These technologies are at the heart of every year’s Heritage Collections. Styles may change, but performance is central to everything that we do.
From Trusted by Professionals to a Lifestyle Brand?
There have been moments throughout Helly Hansen’s history when the fashion world has taken an interest in our functional gear. In the 50’s, Helox rainwear was a favorite with city fashionistas from Paris to New York. In the 90’s, Helly Hansen’s oversize down jackets were a favorite amongst trendsetters in street style.
These forays into the fashion world seem like a tangent in the lifecycle of a technical outdoor brand. But, according to Jenssen, “When you create technical and functional garments, every now and then it gets picked up as a lifestyle line. In order for that to work, it must come from an authentic brand and it has to have a purpose.” Sometimes, you’ll find our brand outside of where you’d expect it to be. “This reflects the authenticity of Helly Hansen. The lifestyle segment requires professional gear in its own way. Historically, Helly Hansen lent itself, its credibility to a product . . . so people thought it was cool.” That’s what makes great lifestyle gear.
The HERITAGE Collection
The Heritage Collection is primarily a lifestyle collection, yet most importantly, it features items from each of Helly Hansen’s pivotal technologies. After all, what makes Helly Hansen Helly Hansen is an authenticity . . . a genuine desire to make clothing that professionals can trust. After 142 years of doing just that, we’re taking a quick breath to explore the 142 Year Heritage Collection, and think about what comes next.