Release Date September 9
Editor's Notes: If you haven't heard of eye_C, you've probably been spending too much time outside. Or maybe too little. Responsible for a bi-annual magazine and flourishing digital footprint, eye_C is obsessed with outdoor gear — especially the kind cooked up by Japanese companies like CMF Outdoor Garment.
That love is mutual, as evidenced by eye_C and CMF Outdoor Garment's high-spec collaboration, the Overlay Vest. It's more than mere layering piece, though, as eye_C founder and editor-in-chief Martin Hoye told me.
"I've known Makoto from CMF for a few years now and I’ve been a huge fan of his brand since I first discovered it," Hoye said.
"Makoto gave me a vest a while ago that I really enjoy and have been wearing a lot. When he agreed to do a special project with us, I thought it would be cool to give it an upgrade."
Basically an original CMF Outdoor Garment design with an eye_C twist, the Overlay Vest is rich with the requisite technical detailing that neatly filters the eye_C ethos into a single garment.
Water-repelling twill shell? Check. Concealed and zippered pockets? Check? Three versatile colors, one of which is ultra-exclusive? Check.
"We talked about the collaboration pre-pandemic but it wasn’t until after all the borders closed that we actually began working on it. So, sketches back and forth on email and Zoom meetings are what we had to work with. Not highly recommended but there are no borders on the internet."
These kinds of publisher/producer crossovers — like those issued by OrganicLab.Zip, THE NEW ORDER, and, hey, Highsnobiety — are the fruit of any creative endeavor's laborious world-building: why cover stuff you care about if you can't make some yourself?
As such, the CMF Outdoor Garment collaboration doesn't represent a departure from eye_C's core content, merely an extension.
"eye_C will always be a magazine," Hoye reiterated. "But doing a few different projects here and there helps us to understand what we’re reporting on and the process behind it a bit better and it also allows us to have a lot of fun as well."
Don't despair if the limited edition Overlay Vests slip through your fingers: there's plenty more where that came from.
"We have a total of four collaborations coming out this season, including the CMF one," continued Hoye. "The next one is a triple pack of premium socks created together with sock label ROTOTO that are made in Nara Prefecture, Japan."
"After that, we have two more outerwear pieces with two different labels releasing that are very close to me. We're also celebrating our fifth anniversary next year, so there are a few projects in the works for that as well."