Words by Nick Carvell
Goldwin might be a new name added to the designer list at Trunk today, but this activewear label has spent the past seventy-one years crafting some of the most durable and desirable outer layers in Japan.
In 1950, as the Japanese nation started to rebuild following their defeat in the Second World War, a family-owned knitwear factory called the Tsuzawa Knit Fabric Manufacturer was opened by Tosaku Nishida in a small rural town now known as Oyabe City. Initially gaining fame for making high-quality socks, this success led Nishida to make a radical decision and expand into woollen apparel that capitalised on the post-war population’s newfound love of leisure pursuits like skiing. In 1958, this collection was named Goldwin - a moniker that became the name of the entire company only a couple of years later as it prepared to make the kit for its nation’s ski team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.
As the century progressed, Goldwin scored lucrative contracts to produce Japanese-specific lines for big players in the sportswear sphere like Champion and The North Face (for whom they produce the highly-coveted-by-activewear-obsessives TNF Purple Label line). Whatever the project, what set Goldwin apart from its peers in the sportswear sphere both at home and abroad was its ability to fuse Japanese and European design sensibilities in a way that attracted attention and admiration from both audiences. It still does this today, and its eponymous line is the expression of this in its purest form.
"Japanese brands have a way of developing these kinds of cool, modern approaches and updates to outdoor products."
“Japanese brands have a way of developing these kinds of cool, modern approaches and updates to outdoor products,” says Trunk buyer Keita Hiraoka. “What I like about Goldwin is its understated urban design. Each product has a technical function with a modern vibe.”
The first three items Hiraoaka has chosen for Trunk - a nylon jacket and two zip-cardigans, one in teddy-soft rich brown fleece and one in olive green nylon, insulated with down - were selected as they embody Goldwin’s knack for deploying time-honed craftsmanship and quality in the field of performance Alpine gear, but in a way that makes sense for how we live our lives today. In other words, pieces that not only look good when you wear them but also have the fabrication and detailing that means they’re naturally adapted to our increasingly nomadic, multi-tasking lifestyles.
Take the navy BIH Field Jacket, for example, made from 100 per cent ripstop nylon and fitted with a roll-away hood and rain-repelling storm flaps over the zips. “The high-tech fabric it’s cut from, called Pertex Shield, is outstanding,” says Hiraoka. “It's lightweight and packable, waterproof and windproof, yet highly breathable, so it’s got the perfect properties for current autumn weather which is highly changeable from warm to chilly, sun to showers in a matter of minutes.”
The label might have taken over seventy years to make its way across the world to the Trunk shelves, but slip one on and you’ll see it’s been worth the wait.
Shop our Goldwin collection here.