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"Bringing a little bit of Canada to the world" - Interview w/ Dani Reiss

In conversation with Canada Goose's CEO, on occasion of the opening of the first Italian store

Bringing a little bit of Canada to the world - Interview w/ Dani Reiss In conversation with Canada Goose's CEO, on occasion of the opening of the first Italian store

A few weeks ago in the legendary via della Spiga in Milan the first Italian Canada Goose store officially opened its doors, the second space in Europe after the one in London.
The elegant location offers a glimpse of the history of the brand while highlighting the great quality of its garments thanks to a cold-room where everyone can test the quality and the warmth of its jackets up to -25°. The opening of the Milan store represents an important achievement for the brand that has made the quality and the performance of its items its benchmark. 

Behind the success of Canada Goose of the last few years sits Dani Reiss, president and CEO since 2001: he's known for his desire to spread as much of 'Canada' as possible all over the world. What started out as a small family business has quickly turned into a global giant, that nevertheless does not forget the quality and the sustainability of its collections. 

We had the chance to catch up with Dani Reiss on the occasion of the opening of the Canada Goose Milan store. Here's what he told us. 

#1 Canada Goose has just opened its first Italian store in Milan. What made you choose this city and what does Italy represent for the brand? 

We’ve been in the market for almost 20 years – this was one of the first markets to embrace us so opening a store in Milan has always been a dream. Italy and Milan specifically represent one of the world’s biggest fashion capitals, having a store here solidifies our position as a leading global luxury brand and is a perfect representation of our Canadian heritage woven together with beautiful Milanese design elements. 

#2 In what way does the Canadian DNA of the brand reflect on its image and on its products?

Traveling around the world as much as I do, I know that Canada’s brand is strong – people around the world value Canada and what it stands for. We are proud to be ambassadors for our country. Canada Goose is a quintessentially Canadian brand, and many people feel owning a Canada Goose jacket is like owning a piece of Canada.

#3 What does it take to turn a small family business into one of the most successful and beloved luxury labels in the world?

When I took over the company in 2001 we were primarily making private label products for other companies. Beyond northern Canada or Antarctica, no one had really heard of us as Canada Goose. That said, anyone who had worn our jackets knew how unbelievably warm they were, so I realized we had something special. By taking a risk, trusting my intuition and moving away from private label manufacturing, producing solely under the Canada Goose brand, we were able to create something special that resonated with people all over the world. 


#4 What does sustainability mean for you and your brand?

Our values combined with my belief that companies need to be good for the world has also led to a unique approach to doing business. We’re committed to making products that last, and we stand by that through our lifetime warranty. As Canada Goose was born in the North, we also feel we have a responsibility to support the place that has been a part of our brand since the beginning. For over 10 years we’ve been donating excess fabric and materials to communities in the North through our Resource Centre Program, and last year launched Project Atigi, a social entrepreneurship program comprised of a collection of parkas created by Inuit seamstresses with 100% of proceeds going back to communities in Canada’s North.   

#5 Canada Goose is famous for the quality, innovation, and research of its garments. What are you working on at the moment? What can we expect in the near future?

Consumers want more from Canada Goose, we know that, but we will always remain true to our heritage. We’re deliberate and strategic when considering new products and categories and the way that we develop them. We are a function first brand so it’s very important that any new category leads with function and purpose; just as we’ve done with our expansion into lightweight down, Knitwear, Rainwear, and Windwear. We also just launched our BRANTA collection, which includes elevated, versatile and adaptable pieces and incorporates Loro Piana Wool from Italy.