Sometimes a little stretch is good for everybody. Physical stretches. Creative stretches. That’s how our OR x Arcade Collab For A Cause came to life.
It started with a hunch that using webbing with stretch might create a better fit around the wrist in a ski glove or mitt, where snow can potentially get in on the back of the hand. Dreaming about how to get that perfect flexible cinch, Arcade came to mind right away for OR designer Mitch Zapp. The leader in outdoor stretch belts, Arcade is known for their unique, aesthetic products that are durable and functional.
SHOP THE OR x ARCADE CARBIDE COLLECTION
“We needed something that we could count on being extremely durable,” says Liz Wilson, vice president of product at Outdoor Research. “Think about how many times you're pulling on that strap, in how many different temperatures and conditions. We needed to ensure that whatever used would going to withstand multiple adjustments and stay put. In wet weather, cold weather, freezing weather.”
Arcade was ready to step up to the plate. CEO Tristan Queen says it was motivating to work on an entirely new type of product—they’d never worked on a glove before. And innovation is in Arcade’s DNA. Their own specialty in durable, comfortable and multifunctional belts came from a need for a better product — one that was made for the outdoors and people who like to move.
“This is a fun opportunity, instead of just trying to be experts ourselves,” Queen says. “It’s the true sense of the word collaboration.”
A capsule collection was born:
We created the first-ever elastic webbing wrist cinch found in our new Carbide Sensor Gloves and Carbide Sensor Mitts. Mimicking the function of Arcade belts, it’s the perfect marrying of the stretch of an elasticized wrist and the adjustability of webbing.
Not wanting to stop at the wrist, we reinvented the traditional suspender on our Carbide Bib by providing Arcade Elastic webbing for durability, support and comfort with the ease of the traditional belt clasp ensuring that your suspenders stay secure.
Building entirely new designs wasn’t without its challenges. Adding stretch to parts of a design that didn’t feature it originally required acute attention to detail.
“You don't ever want the user to have to think about where the buckle is, or where the adjustment point is,” says Wilson. “And you really want to make sure that once you make an adjustment, that it stays where you want it to be. That there isn't any sliding or movement.”
The OR and Arcade teams put their heads together to smooth out all the details, making sure the gloves, mitts and bibs worked for all sizes of hands and bodies. Then, they turned to the aesthetic side.
“Once we locked into functionality, [the pattern] added another layer to it,” Queen says. For that, they turned to Roots Studio.
“Not only were we doing a great collaboration between two brands that had never worked together before, but we were doing it through two lenses,” says Wilson. “One through the lens of making a great new product that the customer is going to love, and hadn't had access to before. But two, we were doing it with Roots Studios, an organization that’s helping indigenous artists have a sustainable and lasting income.”
The partnership with Roots Studio includes both the Warli Sky Collection and the Arcade Warli Roof print. The OR team and Arcade creative director went to work to find the perfect pattern from the Warli tribe’s portfolio. It wasn’t easy to find something that would work on a narrow space such as a glove strap. The pattern chosen features a design based on the thatched roofs of the Warli tribe’s traditional homes.
All together, the OR x Arcade Collab represents two brands doing what we do best: innovating to produce a more functional product. And we’re pretty excited about how it looks, too.