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Napapijri’s Archival Past Unlocks Its Future Highsnobiety

From the garden of a Florentine palazzo, we got the chance to sit with Napapijri president Silvia Onofri, who was in Tuscany for the exclusive reveal of the  Napapijri Archive Collection. The event showcased the brand’s focus on the archive as the guiding light for its FW24 collection.

In unveiling the Archive Capsule Collection, Napapijri reintroduces four iconic pieces drawn from its historical archives, transforming them into essential contemporary wardrobe staples. The revival of the Skidoo, Napapijri’s inaugural jacket, takes on a heightened form with a 90s-inspired original fit, now crafted from robust Cordura fabric and adorned with a curly wool blend for the hood. The Equipe and Yupik fleeces undergo a similar transformation, retaining their historic essence with original embroidered details, distinct color-blocking, and branding. Lastly, the Patchwork Sweater exemplifies Napapijri’s penchant for the unexpected, elevating a traditional winter aesthetic into a statement piece crafted from 100% RWS Certified Wool. 

Napapijri
Napapijri, Other

Onofri defines her vision for the brand as one that embraces the past as a vehicle for the future. The iconic Italian lifestyle brand recently came under her tutelage following her 15-year tenure at Bally. Alongside new creative director Christopher Raeburn—the British fashion designer known for his sustainable and innovative approach to fashion—they want to embrace Napapijri’s rich heritage and history. Their insights provide a glimpse into the brand’s evolution under their leadership, emphasizing the intersection of tradition, sustainability, and a unique brand identity.

To amplify the reveal of the Archive Collection, Napapijri collaborated with Italian Digital Creator Pietro Terzini. His claim "Old Stories, New Eyes” encapsulates the brand’s direction, echoing Onofri’s vision. The campaign, photographed by Valerio Nico, features sunburned, snow-bound models, embracing some of the key aspects of its heritage that the brand  plans to take forward into the future: form, function, and fun.

Napapijri
Napapijri, Other

Napapijri
Napapijri, Other

Napapijri’s commitment to revisiting its history and cultural relevance becomes physically infused with its latest collection, through new elements, materials, research, and inspirations reflecting lessons learned from its own history. "Looking at the past, but with the eye on the future, the idea is really to revisit the old Napapijri and make the new Napapijri in this transitional moment."

Looking back on her initial experience exploring the archive, Onofri emphasized its role as a treasury that had been somewhat overlooked. She details plans for reorganizing the archive space, with creative director Christopher Raeburn and the design team working within it. The brand aims to connect its past with a modern interpretation, ensuring sustainability is a key focus.

"The next step will be also to reinterpret the key archive elements that we want to bring back with this modern language. Some archive pieces are so modern and so fashionable that you’re surprised when you remember they’re 30 years old."

Napapijri
Napapijri, Other

Alongside Raeburn, whose own storied career has been underpinned by his commitment integrating sustainability without compromising style, has left a profound mark on the upcoming collection. With approximately half of the collection created using responsibly sourced materials, and with that share set to increase up to 70% for future collections, the pair highlights the importance of authenticity in sustainability efforts, considering Napapijri’s origin in a naturalistic environment.

"Sustainability is definitely an important part of our brand’s identity, because it’s very authentic and its part of our values, Raeburn noted that “our whole focus is on what we call ‘responsible design’, we do lots of remaking, reducing and recycling—everything we can do to limit our impact on the environment.”

Onofri emphasizes the brand’s dedication to investing in the design pillars and key elements that define Napapijri. The goal is to make each piece in the collection recognizable as a Napapijri piece, capturing the essence of the brand’s values and vision.

Napapijri
Napapijri, Other

Napapijri
Napapijri, Other

One integral aspect defining the essence of the brand’s DNA lies in its playful and boldly self-confident attitude. This distinctive characteristic plays a pivotal role in shaping the playful and ironic approach adopted for the new collection. Onofri provides insight into how Napapijri endeavors to strike a balance between being audacious and proudly displaying its flag and vibrant color combinations while maintaining a nuanced level of sophistication and cultural relevance.

Guided by its  most recognizable elements of Napa—like the Norwegian flag logo and the iconic anorak shape—the brand has charted its course toward revitalization. Onofri elaborates on the brand’s strategy for reinterpreting these hallmark features, intending to present them in a refined and elevated manner.

Napapijri
Napapijri, Other

Delving into the emblematic Norwegian flag, a recurrent motif in every Napapijri piece, Onofri expresses her enthusiasm for creatively engaging with this familiar element:"We aspire to exude boldness, showcasing our flag and vibrant color combinations with a touch of humor and irony. Simultaneously, we aim to infuse sophistication, positioning ourselves as a brand culturally relevant in proposing this unexpected combination."

The intention to be bold and present with distinctive brand elements, coupled with a whimsical and ironic touch, underscores Napapijri’s commitment to maintaining cultural significance while embracing a fresh and unexpected design language.

The lifeblood of this approach, Onofri explained, is the brand’s celebration of its own community, inviting individuals who choose Napapijri to feel a sense of self-confidence and embrace the brand as an expression of their identity. The brand aims to be more than just a product, fostering a connection with its consumers. "We want anyone who chooses Napapijri to feel this self-confidence in what they’re wearing, because it’s part of them.”

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