Artists have found a new favorite canvas for their work in Arc'teryx shell jackets, because why not?
There are a lot of products out in the world, but that hasn't stopped us from conjuring up grand ideas for pieces that somehow still don't exist. We're never quite satisfied and are always imagining what could be, or in particularly passionate cases, what we believe should be – yet for some reason isn't a thing.
These feelings are particularly resonant when it comes to sneakers. It doesn't matter who you ask; everyone has a dream colorway, which is why footwear has been such a popular canvas for artists and customizers over the years. Industry giants like Nike and New Balance have also tapped into this, offering custom builds via platforms like Nike By You (formally known as NikeiD).
Creators will always look to varied mediums to display their work, and once something sticks, others will follow. While I won't attempt to pinpoint who did it first, customized Arc'teryx jackets have become the new go-to product to remix.
Over the past couple of years, we've seen the label's performance wear undergo a radical makeover at the hands of creators armed with spray cans and paint, giving GORE-TEX the glow-up we never knew it needed.
There's plenty of debate regarding the legitimacy of such customs, with some gorpcore diehards arguing that all they do is tarnish the integrity of the base product. Sure, the work probably wouldn't last if put to the test against the elements, but would your jacket being covered in lightning bolts or Aminé's face really stop you from climbing a mountain? Probably not.
Amongst graffiti circles, Arc'teryx is a wildly popular brand, with some Redditors going as far as to call it a uniform, so translating spray art from walls onto gear feels like a natural progression. What better way to flex your artistic flair than to actually wear it?
As the brand's popularity continues to skyrocket thanks to celebrity co-signs from Drake, Virgil, Travis Scott, and more, the adoption of its jackets as canvases is only likely to increase. There are still plenty of people who refuse to adopt the aesthetic for the fear of looking like a teacher or an outdoor dad, but maybe a bold one-of-one piece could be the pull that brings them into the fold. Sometimes people are just waiting for the version of a product that speaks to them, even if it's unlikely that it'll ever come to fruition. Officially, anyway.
It's pretty unlikely that Arc'teryx will be releasing any wild graphic-print shell jackets anytime soon if at all, which is what makes these custom pieces so great – artists can turn fiction into reality, which can only ever be positive.
To pass the time until Jil Sander's Arc'teyx collab finally drops, you can find artistic reimaginings of style products, by taking a look at some of the custom sneakers that we wish were real.