Justin Seale (former design lead at Mission Workshop, and manager of Chrome‘s sales and product) is now the founder of travel-inspired apparel brand, ArchiTec. And it’s at New Zealand’s Lake Wakatipu that Seale sought out a farm to source the brand’s merino wool. The newest collection from the brand, aptly named the New Zealand Collection, is a release that’s inspired by the magnitude of the geography of the Otago region.
This collection (the brand’s second; their Baja-inspired range launched earlier this year) is also rooted in the capabilities of wool as a fabric, as well as Seale’s travels. After fueling the ascension of two prominent apparel brands he felt that he needed to slow down a bit—in order to focus on good design, quality materials and travel.
“I’ve always been fascinated by materials, technology, and how sourcing influences design,” Seale says. “So, with ArchiTec, the goal will be to highlight particular materials from around the world—whether that be Merino wool from New Zealand or Japanese linens or technical textiles out of Europe.”
By making a line using engaging, premium materials, Seale hopes that ArchiTec will promote less wasteful shopping habits. He is hopeful these products will last a lifetime—and he is committing to a lifetime warranty on every piece (given that the issue of damage arises as a result of a failed workmanship).
“The best design exists on your bedroom floor and not in your closet,” he says. “It’s in items that stay in constant rotation, that you actually have a responsiveness with. With expensive pieces, it sits in your closet and you wear it a couple of times a year. And there’s a place for that, but for me, as a traveler, as someone who spends five or six months out of the year on the road, I want to design items I’ll actually be able to use consistently and that revolves around textiles.”
This focus on fabrics also results in sustainable practices and transparent sourcing. “It goes back to the original concept of the brand: going back to the growers, going back to the source where these materials derive from. It’s almost farm-to-wear in a way,” he says, laughing.
This new collection features seven items: a lightweight jacket, an over-shirt, a work shirt, T-shirt, hoodie, pants and shorts. With the exception of the pants, each item highlights the New Zealand wool. Seale plans to do limited runs tied to seasons and, as his destinations change the fabrics and manufacturing change, too. He has plans to visit Japan and the Philippines later this year and Italy and Switzerland in the beginning of 2019—of course, collections using inspiration and fabrics from each place will follow.
Images courtesy of ArchiTec