Why fashion insiders are buzzing about Patagonia

The classic Patagonia fleece jacket—that fuzzy ’90s-era staple—has gone from fond collegiate memory to cult obsession for fashion insiders, on the street and on the runway of brands like Louis Vuitton. Justin Stanwix doesn’t have to wear a suit to work. But, as a director at eBay, the 30-year-old Manhattanresident puts a considerable amount of thought into his daily oxford-and-jeans look, sporting Bruno Magli shoes or Opening Ceremony sneakers, shirts from Engineered Garments and denim from Acne Studios.

He tops off these decidedly “fashion” pieces off with one seemingly unglamorous Patagonia jacket or another. “I own the standard black fleece zip-up, a raincoat in neon green and the down ribbed hoodie in blue,” he said. “I started wearing the fleeces in high school. It’s a mellow brand that’s really good quality. Even the logo is not incredibly in your face.” Few labels are sticky enough to withstand decades of trends, but Patagonia devotees like Mr. Stanwix are proof of its enduring appeal. And now, the Ventura, Calif.-based outdoor apparel brand is becoming trendy itself, earning the droll nickname “Patagucci” from some of its most committed fans, and inspiring runway looks from both women’s and men’s designers.

This past fall, both women’s brand Altuzarra and Louis Vuitton men’s designer Kim Jones created outerwear that took cues from the brand’s Classic Retro-X fleece jacket with its distinctive nylon, side-zip breast pocket.


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