When Arc'teryx launched boundary-shattering sub-label System_A last year, it tapped a real sweet spot. System_A dropped at a key moment in Arc history, with the outdoor brand at the height of its cultural clout, and its second drop — revealed early by Highsnobiety — is poised to keep the moment going.
When System_A Drop 02 launches January 26 in Arc'teryx stores and online via stockists like HAVEN, fans will again be treated to a clever collection of perfectly understated statement gear, the kinda stuff that fits in neatly with Arc'teryx mainline but has just enough pep to stand apart.
System_A is "kind of a gateway," creative director Taka Kasuga explained to Highsnobiety last year. "We want to bring a more youthful, progressive audience to the brand. [Sort of] like introducing Arc'teryx to a new audience."
But don't think is System_A a mere "streetwear" brand: it's as hard-wearing as anything that Arc'teryx has ever made, just zhuzhed up with tweaked branding and detailing. Also, its deceivingly simple (read: extra approachable) designs are created specifically to bridge wardrobe gaps.
"When you look at your [closet], there's a section dedicated to outdoor gear and then everything else," Kasuga said.
"But when things look good, you start to [unite] the two [halves]. That was the idea for System_A. Like, one jacket can [be used for] everything because it looks cool, from the outdoors to anything else in your life."
So, System_A spices up delicious Arc'teryx classics with a pinch of youth culture, leading to some tasty new dishes. This new offering is particularly spicy, warm enough to keep wearers toasty all winter long.
The accessories — which include a balaclava, gator, and toque — are guaranteed to sell out with the quickness, though the new insulated outerwear and mid-layers are hardly lacking.
Sporting GORE-TEX lining, high-res shoulder panels, more zippered pockets than you'll ever need, and even a rare double-zip — Kasuga has long been a proponent of the single-pull zipper — System_A's new layering pieces blend familiar and fresh elements in a way that mainline Arc simply doesn't.
Nothing wrong with the classics, of course, but we heartily welcome a quarter-zip pullover jacket and neon pull-on pants fitted with articulated knees.
It's all proof that System_A is no mere diffusion label but a fully fleshed-out expression of Arc'teryx's playful side. Won't you frolic in the snow with Dead Bird?