Made for Iceland. Loved Worldwide.
One of 66°North’s most popular garments is the Þórsmörk Arctic parka. It has been a staple of Icelandic everyday life since 2006 thanks to its warm down insulation, durable shell, and waterproofness. We asked Bergþóra Guðnadóttir, who designed Þórsmörk nearly twenty years ago and is the founder and owner of Farmers Market, to tell us about the design process.
“When I was growing up in the eighties, just about everyone wore Millet down jackets. You’d cry all year until you got one for Christmas, or maybe even for two years since they were quite expensive. Still, it wasn’t very practical for the Icelandic winter and the unstable weather up here. I remember walking home in pouring winter rain as a teenager. The jacket would get soaking wet, making the down all squashed, thereby losing its insulating properties. Then it would freeze all of a sudden and your jacket turned into a weighty bundle of ice!
Soon after the millenium I was given pretty much free rein over a concept we termed “Icelandic Living.” Those garments included Vindur, Kaldi and Bragi: clothes that had a more ethnic bent. For example, our Kaldi jacket referenced the popular ‘lopapeysa’ knitting pattern [woollen sweaters, very popular in Iceland]. The outdoor clothing market was–and still is–very competitive and this collection was meant to reflect our unique position as an Icelandic company and relate a certain playfulness in our designs.
Made for Icelandic weather
So we had this idea to make Þórsmörk: a down jacket tailor-made for Icelandic weather. It had a waterproof outside, with taped seams, but was a traditional insulating down jacket on the inside. I also sought inspiration from traditional rainwear and Arctic anoraks. If you look at Inuit costumes from Greenland and Canada, they tend to be long coats with large fur-lined hoods, just like Þórsmörk.
We were unsure that such a specific parka would make an impression, especially internationally, so it’s great that it was a hit and I still love seeing people wearing it to this day. 66°North has put an effort into making sustainable clothes that last and Þórsmörk is a good example of what such an approach can be successful.”
One of 66°North’s most popular garments is the Þórsmörk Arctic parka. It has been a staple of Icelandic everyday life since 2006.
The 66°North team sat down with three Icelanders from different walks of life who have stayed true to their Þórsmörk úlpa for years. Whether they‘re zipping around the city or traversing glaciers, Þórsmörk is always there.