NYC-based Offhours makes elevated “inactive wear,” a graduation from loungewear yet a step down from more formal attire. Arguing that loungewear lacks excitement and allure, founders Rebecca Zhou and David McGillivray set out to reimagine the category and cater to the growing demand for clothing that’s comfortable and practical. “While being active is an important part of a healthy, happy life,” the two explain, “the other side of the coin is underrepresented: rest and self-care. So we’re big advocates for switching off—whatever that looks like for you.”
For multi-hyphenate media company Gossamer, switching off includes cannabis. But founders Verena von Pfetten and David Weiner grew to appreciate the Homecoat while sharing office space with Offhours in 2017.
Four years later, the two likeminded brands reunite for a special “Dogwalker” edition of the Homecoat—a one-size-fits-all piece in two gentle shades of green. We spoke with both camps about how the collaboration came to be, cannabis, coziness and what “wearing an edible” feels like.
You liken the Dogwalker Homecoat to “wearing an edible,” which is brilliant. Was that the design brief for this collaboration?
Verena von Pfetten: The best part of this collaboration was how much natural alignment there already was between the brands. Weed gives people a better experience—deeper sleep, louder laughs, a healthier life, a more relaxing Sunday. Gossamer’s mission is to do the same: to offer our community the best possible experience, whatever that may be. So in many ways, the Offhours Homecoat is the epitome of the Gossamer lifestyle: a super-cozy, thoughtfully designed robe that is the best-in-class version of what it is. From a design perspective, we didn’t change much about the form—Offhours nailed that. We focused instead on the colors and the overall world-building around the collaboration, through the models we used, the creative, and the campaign as a whole. Just the idea of wearing your Homecoat on a lazy weekend, throwing it on to run to the corner store to grab all your favorite stoner snacks and reading material (aka Gossamer), and giving yourself the best possible experience, even if it’s melting into your couch.
Tell us a little about the history between Offhours and Gossamer.
David McGillivray: Gossamer actually had a front row seat to a lot of the Homecoat’s development as we shared an office with them. My co-founder Rebecca had a great little office space in Chinatown (NYC), and over time invited various creatives to share the workspace, and Gossamer ended up being one of them. We’ve always loved what Verena and David are building with Gossamer, and they’ve always been such great supporters of the brand, that there came a point where a collaboration just felt like a natural fit. Working with them has been such a dream, they’re not just smart and talented but also have been amazing partners throughout the collaboration, and I think that energy really comes through in the final product. I’m sure it’s one of the reasons the Dogwalker Homecoat is one of our most requested styles.
Was the Homecoat created as a response to the pandemic?
DM: We actually started developing the Homecoat around 2016 as somewhat of a response to the feverish “activewear” trend at the time (and launched the brand in 2018). What we felt for ourselves—and more broadly —was an increasing shift towards investing in our home life, and really enjoying the time we spent there. In our circles we saw fewer people in their 20s and 30s buying homes. Rising prices meant owning property in places like NYC was increasingly out of reach. Yet we still wanted to feel ownership of our spaces, and for them to feel distinctly ours; places we can craft and calibrate to our taste and mood.
When five pounds of super-soft fabric envelopes you, it puts you in a different state
Thinking about what we wear at home was an interesting angle for us to approach this from, we liked how immediate and intimate loungewear was, and the idea that we could impact people’s home life through it. What we created in response, the Homecoat, is more “experience” than robe. When five pounds of super-soft fabric envelopes you, it puts you in a different state, and it’s exactly that feeling of “switching off” that we wanted to facilitate. Of course, with people staying home for large swaths lately, it’s been less of a transition we’re providing and instead more of an all-round comfort device as more people both live and work from home.
Can we expect other cozy items from Offhours in the future?
DM: To be honest, we have a laundry list of products we’d like to make, but for now we’re pretty focused on the Homecoat. People are so obsessed with it we’re reluctant to get too distracted by other products right now. We feel there’s still so much more we can do with the Homecoat, so many more ways we can distort and transform it—we’ve got some great new collaborations and fun new styles in the pipeline.
Gossamer is gorgeous and insightful. When you started the publication was there always a plan to extend in to product?
VVP: Offering our own products, whether through collaboration or wholly owned pieces, was always something we were excited about. From the beginning, we felt that so much in cannabis focused on cannabis itself. We were much more interested in what we like to describe as “the before, during and after” of smoking weed—the items and accessories, the setting, the experience after the fact, whether it’s going to an art gallery, on a hike or just settling in to watch a movie. The idea of being able to offer products that filled those needs felt much broader and more creatively inspiring than just another weed product. In many ways, the magazine was our first product—a physical object, thoughtfully made and immersive.
How does Gossamer strike a balance between content and commerce?
VVP: It’s a natural fit for us and not something we have to think too much about. It all comes back to our mission: to offer our community the best possible experience, the same way cannabis does. We’re not interested in re-inventing the wheel. We only want to make a product if we feel like there’s something truly of value we can add, otherwise we’re more than happy to just point our readers to what already exists. And I think that level of trust and understanding comes through in everything we do. We’re not trying to just sell you our stuff. Consumers are smart and know what’s best for them. Most consumers don’t exist in a one-brand world—and neither does Gossamer. That’s why collaborations like this one make so much sense for us. Offhours makes the best robes, hands down. So why not work with them, bring their products into our world, and our world into theirs?
Can you explain the reason behind the “Dogwalker” name?
David Weiner: “Dogwalker” is an old term for a mini or half-joint that one could theoretically smoke in a short period of time, such as a quick walk with your dog. The idea of it—a complementary and reasonable smoke break that’s part of a routine or daily life moment but not necessarily the main focus of it—has long been a guiding principle for us as a company. It was too perfect that the Homecoat itself is also the perfect garment for an easy transition from indoors to outdoors and back again. And while we find the Dogwalker is indeed the exact right thing to wear on dog walks, it’s equally great for a quick smoke—wherever that may be.
The Offhours + Gossamer Dogwalker is available in a limited edition for $345.
Images courtesy of Cait Oppermann