A transcendent brand in every sense, these days Patagonia is beloved by outdoor adventurers and streetwear fans alike. To celebrate its history, the label has unveiled a secret archive that provides a look at artifacts from as far back as the '70s.
Sadly, the 10,000-square-foot California-based facility is not open to the public — Patagonia only embarked on the project as a means of chronicling its storied past. A haul of climbing gear takes pride of place, while apparel is firmly represented, too.
The standout piece is arguably a fleece that comes sporting an unexpected dragon tattoo. John Wasson, the husband of Patagonia designer Jocelyn Slack, explains how it ended up there:
In the spring of 1979, I was one of three kayakers on an American Sportsman trip in Nepal. Two films would show a group of climbers making the second ascent of Ama Dablam, and then kayakers running the Arun River in western Nepal. The kayakers were invited to come to base camp and perhaps carry some loads higher up on the mountain. The day before we flew to Lukla, I got a guy in a small, dark shop in Kathmandu to put the dragon onto my pile. He literally ‘painted’ it freehand with an embroidery machine, changing thread colors in seconds.
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