Products made for the PNW
Q&A with Yesler Founder Vince Chu
Yesler is a Seattle born, American-made brand that create exceptional performance apparel by combining innovative design, technical fabrics, and quality construction with American craftsmanship. They are weeks away from the launch of their second flagship product, the ‘Technical Hoodie’, and we had the opportunity to sit down with Yesler’s founder, Vince Chu, to talk about the brand, product and what makes Yesler so great.
1. Yesler is clearly a very Seattle name, what gives the brand & product so much Seattle heart?
- We love Seattle and everything it represents – from the great outdoors of the PNW to it’s rebellious and grungy vibe. Our mission has been to make the best performing athletic wear for the Pacific Northwest community. Taking in all the elements of the city’s bustling metropolis and outdoor community, and creating products that can function no matter where the day takes you. And with everything is hand cut and sewn right here in Seattle, the city’s heart beats throughout every stitch.
2. So what exactly is a ‘Technical Hoodie’?
- It’s form meets function. It’s the blend of real world versatility and technical materials. It’s the one jacket that looks and feels good for hikes in the Cascades or just spelunking around Ballard. By definition a hoodie is pretty much a go-to piece in a wardrobe so it has to look good and be comfortable, but we’re breathing new life into the piece: it’s being built with the best materials by the best craftsman. By combining great fit with great fabric, we’re giving you something stylish that shields you from the elements while still being breathable for your active lifestyle.
3. So you say it’s versatile, what makes it so versatile and different than other brands that might claim the same thing?
- Our Technical Hoodie is about creating a comfortable piece that actually performs well during activity, poor weather, or just everyday usage. When you step outside we want you to have that one perfect hoodie that fits how you want, looks great and protects against poor weather. You look at a lot of what popular brands are doing, and you still end up with a run-of-mill pieces that are just good enough for “to and from” but don’t perform, or something that’s still too close to a jacket that’s just not realistic for everyday wear: Everything in the current market is either too causal or too high-tech to function in multiple settings.
4. Tell me why Polartec was your fabric of choice to make this product?
- Having the right fabric partner is extremely important to us; we knew it was critical to find a collaborative partner that strives for similar goals. Polartec has always been doing tremendous stuff in the space (especially with Neoshell). We’re not the only ones who think that: all the top brands like Patagonia and Arc Teryx use Polartec materials. So when we told them what we were designing, they came back to us with Polartec Powershield Pro. Let me tell you: it’s simply amazing. It’s a lightweight, weather-resistant soft shell that provides breathability, stretch and comfort from the inside out. And the Technical Hoodie comes with a price point people can blink at, while many large brands using Polartec fabrics, they all come with a hefty price tag, and now you can get this high-performing jacket while keeping cash in your pockets.
5. Why manufacture Yesler in America?
- This is a twofold answer. One, making Yesler here in America (and specifically Seattle) has been our mission from the get-go, we love sports here but it’s unsettling to think that we hardly making much of our own gear anymore, less than 2% is American-made and we want to change that. Two, it’s the way we can best assure quality. We want to outfit you with the best and now we can promise we are doing just that.