Even the name “Iceland” suggests a stark place, a location light on people and heavy on— well—freezing temperatures. While parts of that perception are certainly true, there is far more to Iceland than its moniker suggests, and with the massive increase in tourism to the European country in the last several years it’s apparent people are starting to take note of all the destination has to offer.
Geographically, Iceland is defined by its absolutely stunning landscape, thick with volcanoes, glaciers, black-sand beaches, hot springs, and massive waterfalls. Many people travel to the sparsely populated country (it is home to just more than 300,000 permanent residents) to visit its largest city and capital Reykjavik, known for a happening nightlife, a plethora of shops peddling Icelandic-wool goods, and the nearby Blue Lagoon. The country is also well-known for its Viking heritage, charming fishing villages, and dramatic shifts in light and darkness—very short winter days equate to nearly 24 hours of sunshine in the summer.
But perhaps Iceland’s biggest draw is the possibility of witnessing the Northern Lights, a stunning phenomenon that creates an array of shifting colors in the sky thanks to electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with one another as they enter the earth’s atmosphere. Seeing the Northern Lights can be a matter of luck given that their visibility is dependent on weather, location (must be above the magnetic poles of the Northern and Southern hemispheres), and light, which is exactly what makes experiencing them so special.
Of Iceland’s many charms, we chose it as the site for our Fall/Winter ’16 shoot due largely to its endless picturesque expanses, imposing mountains, and breathtaking beauty. We had ventured there once before in the spring, when we toured the island by motorcycle. The only location we have ever returned to for a shoot, Iceland is 11-plus hours from Los Angeles and an ideal place to put our clothing to the test during its intense winter months. We wear-tested our latest collection against frigid temperatures and multiple-day mountain treks. There were grueling hikes up, long descents, and even an unfortunate wrong turn in the backcountry that resulted in a few tense moments and blind turns before finding our way safely down. Through it all we stayed warm, dry, and comfortable as we explored, skied, and drove more than 1,000 miles around the country, from Reykjavik to the northern towns of Siglufjordur (Siglo for short) and Akureyri.
Our adventure concluded where it began, in the nation’s capital, where we ate delicious fresh fish, walked the town’s charming brick roads, and toured the architecturally stunning performing arts center, Harpa. And yes, along the way, we did experience our very own Northern Lights show, a spectacular collage of moving colors that left us in awe.
Our Fall/Winter ’16 images capture the stark natural beauty of Iceland, at once highlighting our new pieces and the incredible location in which they were shot. Browse, enjoy, and be sure to make an Iceland passport stamp a priority. As our photos will likely prove, you won’t regret it.
The Story Continues ...
On Location / Iceland Pt.2
The packing list
A selection of clothes we brought in our suitcase.