Here’s a question for you: what would happen if Tim Gunn and Bear Grylls sat down at a sewing machine?
Before your mind explodes with the absolute non-possibility of such a thing, allow me to interject. What you would have would be a great looking, highly functional, properly fitted piece of outerwear for hiking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, or pretty much anything nature’s elements could throw at you.
Exit sewing machine, stage left. Enter Aether, stage right.
Aether (e-ther) is a new line of apparel started by two Hollywood film producers Jonah Smith and Palmer West. Both film producers (Requiem for a Dream, A Scanner Darkly, Religulous) who, in their spare time, developed a brand based around the need for stylish performance gear, designed for the metropolitan weekend warrior. The inspiration? One day, while on the slopes, the two realized that the outerwear they were wearing was little different (if at all) than that of the pimple-faced pubescent punk kids on the half-pipes. And as if sharing the slopes weren’t enough.
Time for a change, and what better way than design a product of your own heart. In this case, a product focused on using technologically advanced outdoor fabrics, designed in a more sophisticated manner for the modern-day outdoor enthusiast.
Dressing your age; a novel idea, right? It’s what we condone here at Gear Patrol and Aether fits the bill.
As you might expect from a pair of Hollywood producers, detail is the name of the game with Aether. The Summit Jacket in “dark earth” (the first one I wear in the video) fit like a glove. Everything from the zippers to the stitching was genius. An iPod pocket lined for headphones, technical fabric that’s both strong and comfortable, all made for a package that makes just as much sense as it does look great (nice touch: zipperless shirt-style breast pocket for easy access).
Moving past the traditional jacket is Aether’s Space Hoodie in “monument”. This butter soft (light as the primaloft insulator it’s comprised of), highly packable, and incredibly warm jacket performs as well as it is unique. It pairs perfectly over a dress shirt with a pair of chino shorts and flip flips on a cool coastal evening. Or, as I discovered when it was commandeered by my significant other – a versatile jacket during a European backpacking excursion. The Space Hoodie does not disappoint.
Admittedly, Aether’s products are not cheap. The Summit Jacket at a hefty $849 and Space Hoodie rings in at $300. Yes, it’s higher than your run-of-the-mill performance wear, but again I note that Aether is not run-of-the-mill. As a matter of fact, it’s anything but. The modern tailored cut and confident looks are worthy of your extra cash and I don’t say that lightly, as I’m most definitely budget conscious, but purchased these purely based on my time testing them out. Just allow me to leave you with a few words of advice when it comes to Aether: don’t let anyone borrow this gear — there’s a good chance you may never see it again.
The Spring 2009 line is only available on Aether’s website, but their Fall line will be in select stores. Keep on the look out.