Junya Watanabe‘s latest The North Face backpack jacket collaboration was pretty good and his similar joint effort with Mystery Ranch was no less appealing, but they were merely the beginning for the COMME des GARÇONS designer. Alongside a new Karrimor collab, Watanabe has revealed his latest endeavor: in-house backpack-infused outerwear.
Often generalized as mere workwear, Watanabe’s menswear collections are admittedly far more utilitarian than his dramatic womenswear presentations but retain appeal in their skewed approach to menswear tropes. By toying with the conventional cuts of chore coats, blazers and denim jeans, Watanabe creates dramatic new styles that push the boundaries of traditional menswear — sometimes overtly, other times subtly.
These offerings are often demarcated by slews of collaborations that range from historic apparel brands to publishers of magazines — these backpack jackets have become emblematic of this approach since they first emerged in 2018. First cooked up as partnerships with outdoor labels like Karrimor and The North Face, Watanabe has now begun working them into his in-line selection, as evidenced by his latest drop.
A militaristic liner jacket and fishtail parka are both new for Spring/Summer 2021, realized in olive and earth tones and finished with a plethora of snaps, buttons and pockets. On the rear, each item sports additional storage and straps, with the liner sporting more conventional rucksack-style pockets and the coat featuring straps that allow the wearer to wear the garment like a bag. These new in-house styles are accompanied by a new collaboration with Karrimor, juxtaposing a red and black Cordura shell against the mountaineering pack that’s set into its rear.
All three of these backpack jackets are available on Dover Street Market’s web store and physical locations for prices ranging from $1,640 USD to $1,940 USD.
Watanabe’s collaborative streak isn’t slowing, as the Japanese creative only just introduced his take on the BB480.