Nobody comes to this blog for fashion tips. Let’s face it, nobody comes much at all. But now, for my small but highly select audience, here’s a new direction for snowhenge dot net!
Well, probably more of a one-off really, but I really can’t not give recognition where it’s due to the wonderful Aether Apparel of Los Angeles, USA. Around 18 months ago, I’d never heard of Aether, but Luchiana, my significant other, was trying to find a winter jacket for me that (a) I would actually like, and (b) I could realistically wear to work. She discovered Aether, and by all accounts the person she spoke to was very helpful, understood what she wanted, and recommended a “Barrier” waxed cotton jacket. I duly received this on my birthday, and it was an instant hit. It’s light, warm, without being hot, puts up with all winter weather it’s been subjected to, and looks and feels great.
We soon followed up with more orders for Aether fleeces, sweatshirts, summer shirts, even swimming shorts. Several friends have caught the bug too. The designs are classy but understated, and just feel great to wear. And, crucially for me, they are not emblazoned with huge logos. In fact you have to look very hard to see any branding at all. This is fashionable but durable outdoor clothing which I imagine builds its reputation more by word of mouth than flashy marketing. Their stuff is not cheap, but it isn’t particular expensive either, and it is excellent value for money.
Having said that, the marketing is also very nice. It’s photography-heavy, with a lot of moody outdoor shots and some very nice work, albeit quite stylised. Indeed, the first catalogue I received together with my jacket featured one spread with bits of Hasselblad V series and Fuji cameras prominently displayed. They had me hooked!
Aether’s marketing includes the Journal, which seems to mainly promote stuff from other companies that they’ve discovered and like, as indeed does their Twitter feed.
On top of this, they have a level of customer service which I have to say I’ve rarely encountered, and if then, only in the USA. I wrote an email a few weeks back asking about wear on the sleeves of my Barrier jacket. I soon received a long and helpful reply, explaining what I already should have known, i.e. how to care for a waxed jacket. Oh, and as a last point, Tamme just mentioned they’d like to send me a new jacket. This is a company that actually means what they say when they promise a lifetime guarantee.
(oh, and if you’re too young to get the reference in the title, this should explain it)