North·Photos

Inuit designers launch new line of parkas for Canada Goose

This is the second year Canada Goose has commissioned Inuit seamstresses to design a collection of traditional style parkas. The parkas from Atigi 2.0 were shown publicly for the first time at a media launch in New York Thursday. 

18 seamstresses from Inuit Nunangat have made the collection

The collection called Atigi 2.0 has 90 parkas made by 18 seamstresses who all live in Inuit Nunangat. Each seamstress had to make five parkas in different sizes. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

Canada Goose has launched a new collection of Inuit-made parkas. 

The collection called Atigi 2.0 has 90 parkas made by 18 seamstresses who all live in Inuit Nunangat — Inuit regions of N.W.T., Nunavut, Quebec to Newfoundland and Labrador. Last year, Canada Goose launched project Atigi with 14 original parkas.

Stephanie Pitseolak's parka for Canada Goose. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

The parkas from Atigi 2.0 were shown publicly for the first time at a media launch in New York Thursday. 

"It's unbelievable," said Stephanie Pitseolak, one of the designers who lives in Iqaluit. "I can't believe my parka is there right now." 

New York isn't the only international city her parka will be on display; next week it will be making its way to France where the collection will be on display at the Canada Goose store in Paris.

Pitseolak, who lives in Iqaluit, is one of 18 seamstresses who made parkas for Canada Goose's Atigi 2.0 collection. (Travis Burke/CBC )

Pitseolak said the experience was exhausting. Canada Goose sends the seamstresses a box of materials to use for their designs. Things like fur, hollow fill insulation, zippers and Canada Goose commanders and patches with the logo. They had a month to make five identical parkas each in a different size. 

Even Pitseolak was struggling. She said she couldn't give up and felt like her late grandmother was guiding her while she sewed. 

Lisa-Louie Ittukallak parka from Puvirnituq, Que. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

"I wanted people to know it's possible, even if you're very busy, even if you have kids, even if you're working," said Pitseolak. 

"I'm glad I did it and I'm happy for myself." 

Emily Joanasie's parka from Iqaluit. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

The parkas will be on sale at the Canada Goose website for $2,500 each. The proceeds will go to Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), a national organization that advocates for the rights and interests of Inuit in Canada.  

Canada Goose donated nearly $80,000 to ITK from the sales of last year's Atigi parkas, according to ITK. Inuit land claims organizations for the four Inuit regions — Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation, and Nunatsiavut Government each received $20,000.  

Chelsey St. John's parka from Arviat, Nunavut. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

"We have big plans and a big vision from project Atigi," said Gavin Thompson, vice-president of corporate citizenship for Canada Goose. "We are literally just getting started." 

Thompson said they want to grow the project but wouldn't reveal details of what that looks like. 

"We are just so proud of this collection," said Thompson. "We are excited to put it on our platforms so we can really showcase these designers and their parkas to the world."

About the Author

Jackie McKay

Reporter

Jackie McKay is a Métis journalist working for CBC in Nunavut. She has worked as a reporter in Thunder Bay, Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Iqaluit. Jackie also worked on CBC Radio One shows including The Current, Metro Morning after graduating from Ryerson University in 2017. Follow her on Twitter @mckayjacqueline.