Dispatches from (capsule): Crescent Down Works

In 1974 Anne Michelson, an employee at Eddie Bauer, began making custom down jackets for her friends in Seattle, Washington and Crescent Down Works was born.  At it’s inception CDW’s outerwear wasn’t geared toward fashion, it was about functionality against the brutal northwestern weather.  Michelson was, and still is, an avid outdoors-woman and CDW’s designs were based on her extensive knowledge of the elements, not only from her personal experience, but also from her time at Eddie Bauer.

Slowly the company grew, carving out a niche within the outdoor-world thanks to their goose-down filled jackets that provided insulation against the roughest of climates. The Italians were some of the first to take note of CDW’s products during the big outdoor craze in Italy during the 70’s and 80’s.  The Japanese also took an interest in CDW during the late 80’s, as American made goods became insanely popular amongst Japanese youth.  The brand was also especially popular in America, where the culture grew exponentially everyday.  If you look back in the archives of Backpacker, and other outdoor-centric magazines, they’re peppered with advertisements for Crescent Down Works.  The company was heralded back then because their products were no-nonsense and they simply worked.  But you don’t have to scour ebay or vintage stores to find a quality Crescent Down Works jacket as the company still uses the exact same designs Michelson began with in the 1970’s, right down to hand-written production notes on the sides.

The company has understood what makes a great outerwear from day one, and they apply this to everything from a puffer jacket that could face the tundra, to a slim shirt jacket that is the quintessential layering piece.  The brand keeps their products topical by changing up their palate and patterns, and this season they offer classic colors such as olive and navy, but also capitalize on current trends by adopting orange and a Navajo print.

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  1. elias said:

    I had the chance to talk to Anne Michelson at Capsule, great person.Great article very informative, didn’t know that she worked for Eddie Bauer

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