The Glass Wardrobe Files – we interview Yoshinori Hara of Arc’Teryx Storage

CREDITED as one of the first outdoors brands to gain visibility in streetwear, Arc’teryx is the Canadian technical apparel brand that has managed to transcend both industries to craft its own platform of expertise, one enjoyed by both mountain hikers and hype beasts.

Since 2019, Arc’teryx has been juggling both markets, transgressing both outdoor apparel and luxury fashion boundaries by simply homing in on the importance of functionality. It is an impressive marketing strategy that remains a point of curiosity for anyone aware of the brand. One fan in particular, Yoshinori Hara from Tokyo, has undertaken a personal mission to build an archive of Arc’teryx, a mission that has intensified accordingly to the popularity of the brand.

Despite starting his collection of 90s and early noughties Arc’teryx in 2017, two years before the sudden wave of interest in the brand, Hara explains that a core understanding of the brand’s founding and history is required to identify and source reliable archive items. Because as more join the hunt for vintage Arc’teryx, more fakes are cropping up.

It is unsurprising, therefore, that his humble collection of 50 pieces is not for sale. “I created the page because I thought it was essential for people with knowledge to communicate it to future generations.”, Hara tells Glass.

How did you start your collection? What was the inspiration behind it?

I used to collect 90s-early 00s UK designer technical wear, Stone Island for example, before I started collecting Arc’teryx in 2017. At the time, there were people in the UK wearing Arc’teryx, but very few of them were wearing vintage Arc’teryx, so I decided to collect it.

Why did you choose to collect Arc’teryx?

The image that I had of Arc’teryx was innovative, with a stoic policy on utility, which initially drew me to it. Plus, it is expensive, which is a very important requirement for many wearing it on the street, it signifies prestige.

What is the process for hunting out Arc’teryx items?

First, we collect product information by purchasing internet information and old catalogs. Information is especially important for vintage, and for technical wear. I revised this until I could seek out and define things of value all over the world.

Why is your collection of Arc’teryx not for sale?

I only buy the clothes I want to wear. I love this brand regardless of the trend. Ultimately, I spend a lot of time collecting it, and that’s why I don’t sell it.

Which items tend to become your most treasured and why?

Undoubtedly the ‘99s too blue color alpha SV jacket. This is the first generation of the flagship model alpha jacket. This colour is famous for being worn by legendary skater Harold Hunter.

What do you account for the rise of gorpcore in popular culture?

Around 2017-18, the word gorpcore was first introduced, and it was still a relatively underground culture. But I think that after the pandemic, many people yearned to leave the city, camping and pursuing outdoor activities at any chance they had. The desire for technical pieces was a natural consequence.

As a brand that places performance as a priority over hype, which product drops/styles at Arc’teryx tend to become the most highly sought after?

Firstly, I think the gore-tex shell jacket is the most highly sought after because of its light and functional properties. Next, I think any items with the logo on them, such as bags, hats, and so on, because it is a symbol of status. All of them are high specs and can be used in urban areas making them holy grail pieces.

What are your thoughts on collaborations between technical brands and luxury fashion houses? I understand that Arc’teryx initially tried to distance themselves from streetwear and luxury brands as much as possible but has since collaborated with Palace, and even Jil Sander?

I think the reason Arc’teryx first attracted attention in the UK was because it was a brand that kept a distance from fashion. It’s the same reason why I fell in love with it. I don’t think the collaborations Arc’teryx has pursued are necessarily bad, but the reason that me and many others fell in love with the brand feels less important. I believe it’s important to have a stance like Patagonia, a brand that doesn’t change policies and doesn’t rely on collaborating at all.

Do you collect System A as well as Arc’teryx? Why?

I am a vintage hunter, but I also need to know the latest items. System A, Veilance, Leaf are all releases I keep an eye on in order to see the progress from the past to the present.

What has been the greatest take away from building your page?

There is not much information about vintage Arc’teryx online. I created the page because I thought it was essential for people with knowledge to communicate it to future generations.

What do you see for the future of the resale market?

This is not limited to Arc’teryx, but I think vintage prices will not lower if anything, they will rise. Now that the public is aware of the scarcity and value of vintage, the resale industry is only going to grow greater.

What opportunities has your curation afforded you? What have been the high points?

I live in Japan; I rented my shell jacket to Masaki Suda who wore it on famous music program. I feel that I was part of the recognition of vintage Arc’teryx in the mainstream media.

Wardrobe files Glass Man issue 51 Arc'teryx‘98 Arc’teryx Alpha SV jacket. The first generation of a jacket that is now a flagship models in stores

Wardrobe files Glass Man issue 51 Arc'teryx‘02 Arc’teryx Fission AR. This is the first generation of the Fission series. The Gore-Tex shell and primaloft insulation make it comfortable even in the middle of winter.

Wardrobe files Glass Man issue 51 Arc'teryx‘00 Arc’teryx Gamma AR. One of a kind. There is no other fleece in this colour.

3. ‘00 Arc’teryx Gamma AR. One of a kind. There is no other fleece in this colour. ‘00 Arc’teryx Kappa SP jacket. I think it is a very cool colour that reflects the noughties era. Kappa is my favourite jacket, and its length is short, so it’s easy to wear on the street.

Wardrobe files Glass Man issue 51 Arc'teryx‘99 Arc’teryx Alpha SV jacket. The first generation of a jacket that is now a flagship models in stores. The blue version is one of the most famous Arc’teryx jackets because it was worn by legendary skater Harold Hunter during his lifetime.

Wardrobe files Glass Man issue 51 Arc'teryx‘03 Arc’teryx Fission Belay jacket. One of the few vintage puffer Arc’teryx jackets. The most voluminous Gore-Tex puffer jacket that exists in the archive.

Wardrobe files Glass Man issue 51 Arc'teryx Arc’teryx Lizard eats lizard T-shirt. Iconic graphics.

Wardrobe files Glass Man issue 51 Arc'teryx‘98s Arc’teryx Beta LT jacket. This is a jacket from 1998 – a time that marked Arc’teryx’s first venture into apparel. This stone colour is one of my favourites.

by Lily Rimmer