21 Feb ARCOA NY | The Intersection Between Architecture and Garment Design Produced exclusively for SOTA Store.
Headed up by New York native, Bryan Wilson, ARCOA is informed by the aim of combining elements of functional tailoring with a modern design language that balances both functionality and aesthetics. Inspired to create given the urban landscape around them, they construct garments that coexist within that space, understanding what features need to be included given the setting. With a degree in civil engineering, Bryan leans on an architectural approach to garment design that requires him to think outside the box. As for its breadth, ARCOA provides expertly-crafted functional garments that can provide protection and optimum movement in a manner of environments. One of the most integral components of the brand that sets them aside from other independent labels is that the majority of the design process is handled on a local scale, in New York City, from developing, constructing and sourcing of materials.
Establishing itself as one of the only stockists of ARCOA in Europe, SOTA is the recipient of the following styles: ARC-J001 Parachute Jacket, Tech Trench Coat, Detachable Pocket Trousers and ARC-B003 Parachute Pants. Produced exclusively for SOTA, the Tech Trench Coat, which Bryan details during the interview, is constructed using a water-resistant 3-Layer shell material and features two frontal ‘trench pockets’ that are easily accessible to the wearer. Each of the arrivals possesses a varying degree of functionality whether it’s an abundance of pockets or a 3-layer fabrication that shields the wearer from the wind and rain.
To coincide with the first release of ARCOA at SOTA and the re-launch of our website, we got in touch with the creative mind behind the brand to touch base.
SOTA: Hi Bryan! I’m excited to see ARCOA be physically available in SOTA! Please could you tell us a bit about your background and how you have found yourself at this point?
ARCOA: It started as a kid when I naturally gravitated towards art and design. Having grown up in New York, architecture really caught my eye early on; I was obsessed with understanding the structure of certain buildings and bridges, to the point where I pursued a degree in civil engineering.
SOTA: ARCOA sits at the intersection between functionality and architecture. Can you expand on how this manifests in the designs? How do you reference the parallels between the two?
ARCOA: I approach my design process like an architect; clothing can be designed and constructed using a similar approach that an architect would use to design a building. Standing at the forefront of innovation is always exciting, and conceptualizing these new ideas and turning them into a reality is extremely important. Sometimes it is also important to remind myself to step away from being practical and to think more abstractly as, in architecture, it can be difficult to balance function and aesthetics and I believe clothing has the same give and take. Arcoa’s design language is informed and inspired by a balance between aesthetics and functionality that exists in each piece we make.
SOTA: One of the garments that SOTA will be carrying is the Tech Trench Coat – can you talk us through the technical aspects of this, including its purpose?
ARCOA: It started with the parachute project. I designed the ARC-J001 jacket and ARC-B003 pants as a school project which developed into the creation of the brand. The trench coat was an extension of experimenting with silhouettes and fits. It’s constructed using a water-resistant 3-layer poly shell. The interior uses a polyester lining. The silhouette features an asymmetric front closure and raglan sleeve construction. The front body features two waist pockets, what we call a trench pocket, and concealed tool pocket. Fully adjustable hood, vented back, and articulated cuffs. It’s great for rainy or windy weather, but it also works for when it’s a bit cooler simply by adding some layers underneath. The dual-front opening allows for the coat to be worn casually or actively.
SOTA: As the field of technical outerwear continues to evolve, how would you define ‘innovation’ in its truest form?
ARCOA: Functionality: it is solving problems by designing products that can elevate and assist everyday life. We have to be able to communicate and connect with the wearer in a quickly evolving landscape. Technology has allowed the world to grow and explore opportunities at a rapid pace.
SOTA: Going forward, what can we expect to see from ARCOA?
ARCOA: More craftsmanship and exploration of architecture in human form. We are a small brand crafting and manufacturing all work internally and that’s something we want to be able to continue moving forward. New York is an incredible place for creatives, and we want to produce and provide something authentic from our city.
ARCOA’s first delivery, including ARC-J001 Parachute Jackets and ARC-B003 Parachute Pants, will be available online on 25/2 at 12pm CET and in-store on 7/3 at 11am CET