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Moose Knuckles: 'We're for the cool kids'

Canadian brand Moose Knuckles is the brash, luxurious new kid whipping up a storm in the premium outerwear market.

Moose Knuckles autumn 17

Moose Knuckles autumn 17

Moose Knuckles autumn 17

“I describe the Moose Knuckles tribe as a counterculture: artists, musicians, party animals. When you have that logo on the shoulder you’re part of the tribe,” says Steph Hoff, creative director of Canadian outerwear brand Moose Knuckles, boldly. “We’re for the cool kids, the movers and shakers, the disruptors around the world.”

Moose Knuckles is quite unlike other premium outerwear brands. Since it was founded in Toronto in 2007, it has carved out a niche with its combination of technical quality and tailored fit, along with the brazen humour in its advertising – its name and logo are innuendo-laden. It focuses on a young, relatively wealthy – retail prices start at £155 for a shirt – and fun-loving consumer. 

“I compare our customer to the kind of person that would buy a Hummer,” explains Hoff. “You don’t need to drive a Hummer, you want to drive a Hummer. People who wear Moose Knuckles don’t need to survive in extreme conditions, they want it for the luxury of having it. It’s sleek, it’s well fitted and it looks super cool on. Do they need it? No. Do they want it? Yes. People don’t need to spend $500 on a bottle of champagne, but they do it. We’re all about that lifestyle.”

With wholesale prices starting at £94 for technical lightweight pieces and ranging to £1,300 for a full fur jacket, Moose Knuckles is firmly situated in the premium end of the market. The brand’s big, bold luxury, or, as Hoff puts it: “badass luxurious coats for modern urban lifestyle,” has captured the attention of buyers across the globe, and it is now sold in 26 countries. The European office in Milan and US office in New York both opened earlier this year and are laying the groundwork for further expansion.

Moose knuckles fw17 lookbook 5

Moose knuckles fw17 lookbook 5

Moose Knuckles autumn 17

Moose Knuckles launched men’s in the UK exclusively with Harrods for autumn 16 and is growing fast. Its subsequent accounts include Selfridges, Fenwick Bond Street and Tessuti, and it has 60 doors in total. 

”Outerwear is a growing category for us in the Denim Studio,” says Poppy Lomax, denim buyer at Selfridges, which has increased its buy of the brand for autumn 17, and is introducing the women’s collection exclusively in the UK. ”Canadian brands have a reputation for functional and durable outerwear, and Moose Knuckles’ technical yet feminine jackets will appeal to women looking for a statement piece for those colder winter months – a jacket that will keep them warm without compromising on style.”

Moose Knuckles autumn 17

Moose Knuckles autumn 17

Moose Knuckles autumn 17

The brand has expanded its range considerably since it first launched, although Hoff says the two original items, the Stirling Parka and the Ballistic Bomber are still bestsellers, as is autumn 16’s lightweight Stellar Parka. For autumn 17, the brand is launching footwear for the first time, and is further expanding its lightweight items for markets that are less prone to icy winters than Canada.  

“We’re a super-international brand, so all the requests and demands internationally are informing our design ethos,” explains Hoff. A glove leather shirt, rainwear and sweaters are key pieces in the coming spring 18 collections.

The core focus of the designs remains fit and function, Hoff continues: “Our coats are tailored to the body and have a superior silhouette – sexy and slim-fitting. I’d say we go toe-to-toe with any competitor in the world when it comes to technical features and quality, but our fit is by far the best in the market.”

Moose Knuckles has found its niche in a highly competitive market. Its playful approach to brand identity and forward-looking ethos set it apart from premium competitors.

“A lot of brands are stuck in their ways and are super-worried about looking after this history and this heritage,” says Hoff. “We’re doing everything that’s new. We’re fresh, we’re influenced by technology, not only in our product design, but also in the way that our consumer interacts with our brand. We’re very interested in newness and the future.”

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