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CC Filson Co. - RIP

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by TrapperReady, Oct 6, 2005.

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  1. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Member

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    It appears that CC Filson Co. has a new CEO, Doug Williams, who previously headed up the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation. Additionally, they have hired John Zannini (previously with Polo and Banana Republic) as the company's Creative Director. As a part of the corporate makeover, they've launched a new CC Filson Lodge Collection and are going to be opening some retail stores.

    I just got the new catalog yesterday. It's a bunch of Orvis-like high-priced "fashion" clothing and metro-woodsy (to coin a phrase) trinkets. For Pete's sake, there are three PAGES of wallets. The vast majority of the new catalog items are imported, unlike the "old Filson" Made-In-USA norm.

    In fact, Mr. Williams has a letter "To Our Loyal Filson Customer" at the beginning of the catalog. In it, he says:

    I'm darned-near a poster child of a "Loyal Filson Customer", as I've used their gear for bird hunting for years... and honestly found it to be "the Best". However, I find it troubling that the company is headed by someone who is invoking the name Abercrombie. It used to be that Abercrombie & Fitch was a premier outfitter, much like the Cabela's of it's time. You could purchase shotguns and fishing tackle at Abercrombie... now they sell crappy clothes to young teenagers by using soft-porn as a marketing tool.

    While Filson will continue to manufacture and sell their traditional line of outdoor clothing, I won't be surprised if that "less profitable" line of business is discontinued down the line.

    I used to look forward to getting the Filson catalog. Today, I called and had them remove me from the mailing list. :( The title of this thread may be premature, but I wager the Filson we've known is not long for this world.

    Related Links:

    Puget Sound Business Journal Story
    Seattle Times Article
     
  2. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Well heck, I don't see how they've stayed in business this long - the stuff doesn't ever wear out. :)

    Orvis just opened a 2-story store here. I checked it out Sunday morning and found no gun stuff, but nice fly fishing gear and a design your own doggy bed section. The sport shirts and slacks would be okay if they weren't $69 to $79. All in all I liked the high-dollar atmosphere, especially watching the guy rewax a Barbour coat. Then I walked next door to Dick's for some Remington ear plugs - I hated Dick's even more after seeing the Orvis store.

    John
     
  3. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    Ain't that the truth. My uncle gave me a pair of brush chaps a couple years ago. He says they are about 15 years old and I only got them because he got new ones as a gift. I only wear them about 20 times a year when hunting or clearing brush, but they take some abuse when I do use them. I'm pretty sure they will outlast me.

    Hopefully their high quality will continue.
     
  4. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    Great....I can't wait to see the Abercrombie Chaps ads :uhoh:
     
  5. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Could be worst......they could go the way of Abercrombie & Fitch.

    They USED to be THE place to buy expensive sporting guns and clothing for people who REALLY used them.

    Care to take a look at their current catalogs?

    A lady recently showed me a copy she'd taken away from her son.
    It was full of obscene photos of young men and women who looked like heroin addicts wearing A&F's version of what the counter-culture is wearing.

    Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, and Robert Ruark are doing about 2500 RPM about now.
     
  6. Diamondback

    Diamondback Member

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    ...its true.....even in two generations it would be impossible to wear out one of their mackinaws...."might as well have the best".

    -regards
     
  7. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "In the basement, an armored rifle range was set up." :)
    ______

    "By 1917, Abercrombie & Fitch moved to Madison Avenue and 45th Street, where it occupied an entire twelve story building. Outside a sign proclaimed "Where the Blazed Trail Crosses the Boulevard." Abercrombie & Fitch had become the largest sporting goods store in the world, as well as the most impressive. A log cabin was built on the roof, which Fitch used as a townhouse. Next to it he had a casting pool installed, where serious fishermen could sample the store's impressive collection of rods and flies. In the basement, an armored rifle range was set up. There was also a golf school, a floor dedicated solely to completely set-up camps, and a dog and cat kennel. In addition to the more standard types of outdoor goods, A&F had a selection of exotic sporting equipment that would make the imagination reel: hot air balloons, yachting pennants, portable trampolines, treadmills for exercising dogs, throwing knives, shirts of chainmail, leopard collars, and everything a person could possibly need for falconry.

    Abercrombie & Fitch outfitted many great hunting and exploration expeditions, like Theodore Roosevelt's trips to Africa and the Amazon and Robert Peary's expedition to the North Pole. Ernest Hemingway bought his guns there. Presidents Hoover and Einsenhower relied on A&F for the best fishing equipment. Other famous clients included Amelia Earhart, Presidents Taft, Harding and Kennedy, the Duke of Windsor, Bing Crosby, Howard Hughes, Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Clark Gable. And there was more: Cole Porter ordered his evening clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch. During Prohibition, A&F was the place to buy hip flasks."
     
  8. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    It's not a bad phrase.

    I enjoy catalogues a lot. I buy virtually all my clothes and well over half my shooting stuff through catalogues. I used to work for a couple catalogue operations.

    I haven't seen this Filson Style catalogue yet, but imagine it'll be full of high ticket stuff identified as "imported," which usually means it's second or third quality junk made in communist China. There appears to be no shortage of wimpy guys who want to pass as he-man types.
     
  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    NOOOOOOOOOOO!

    :cuss: :banghead:

    One of the great things about CC Filson has been the fact that it DOESN'T change. The tin cloth coat is the same coat my grandfather wore in the '40's. Same material, same process, same US production facility. I just pray that doesn't change.

    Danner got taken over a few years ago and so far the new parent company has introduced a cheap line of cruddy Chicom boots, but continue to make the true Danners in Portland. What I fear may be happening is the US made boots are losing out to the cheaper Chicom "Danners," so in the end the CEO will be able to cut the expensive domestic production as unprofitable. We could see the same pattern at Filson.
     
  10. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Member

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    While I fervently hope that Filson doesn't stop producing the type of gear that they have made for the past 100 years, I am less than hopeful. The company is now headed by someone who ran a company based ENTIRELY on image (Polo), and has a "creative director" (I cringe at the mere thought of those words) who comes from Banana Republic. Maybe we'll see tin-cloth chaps on the runways in New York and Milan. :rolleyes:

    These folks are interested in the image the "brand" evokes... and how much money they can make. More power to them, but it won't be my money. Not any more.

    By the way, when I called to inform them that I wanted to be removed from the mailing list and e-mail updates, the CSR wanted to know which catalog I had received most recently. He described the cover as "a picture of two guys sitting down with their dalmation". He did this while half-heartedly trying to convince me that I was wrong and that the company wasn't veering off-course. In true keeping with the "American Sportsman" theme which is pervasive in the catalog, the "dalmation" which he described is actually an English Setter. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2005
  11. tombo

    tombo Member

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    I too noticed Filson's "change" with their lodge line. Thanks for the info on the change in CEO's. That explains a lot. I'm not sure what I would do if I can't get the Merino wool fingerless gloves. For those who have never tried them they are wonderful. BTW, my latest Filson catalog had a sale section (first time I have ever seen that) and what was on sale?- the lodge collection stuff. Maybe they have noticed no one is buying it.
     
  12. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Noooo! If Filson becomes "cool", their quality will go to heck in a handbasket.:(

    El Tejon, stylishly clad in his Forest Green mackinaw jacket.
     
  13. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    I have always wondered if the Filson "tin coat" and "tin pants" so commonly worn by loggers in the NW wsn't the inspiration for the "Tin Woodman" in Wizard of Oz ...?
     
  14. birddog

    birddog Member

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    I've had the Tin Cloth coat...forever...Since both my birddogs were pups anyway. That coat, though discolored and aged, is as tough as it ever was against thorns and briars. I also have the fedora style hat and it too is as tough as nails. I hope they continue producing these products. I guess, though, even if they don't, I've got mine and won't ever need to replace them.

    :neener:
     
  15. James Brady

    James Brady Member

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    Anybody get those $100 coasters for Christmas? ;) Filson is good and expensive. I wouldn't mind seeing them expand their product line if they don't screw with what they've got going now. I swear by their double tin chaps here in pheasant country.
     
  16. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    No coasters, but I did get a wetlands camo insulated ball cap with fold-down wool earflaps. That makes 6 Filson hats for me. They make XXL hats.

    I was browsing throught the catalog and I don't think I need a 5-pound draftsman's weight for $75...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Now if they made that with a "v"-indentation they'd have a classy muzzle rest for the upper crust shotgunner. :evil:
     
  18. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    My twenty-year-old "tin cloth" hat is indestructable, a great hat for the slightly soggy Western Washington winters ... the Filson Tin Wax does seems to be getting harder to find though ... I remember the day when Filson and Woolrich representated most about all of the hunting clothing everyone in the family back in the upper midwest wore ...

    I must confess I picked up some new Danners recently at what I thought was a great price (under $200) and didn't realize until I got 'em home they were made in China (I had no idea Danner had sold out too). Still, I kept 'em as they are quite comfortable and much better made than anything in that price range (Timberland and Merrill have both sold out and gone downhill as well) ...
     
  19. Brass Balls

    Brass Balls Member

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    The new "lodge" stuff is a joke. Like this vest is something a longtime Filson customer would want. :barf:

    [​IMG]


    Looks like I'd better add those few wool and tin cloth garments I've wanted to my collection of Filson gear before it's too late. :(
     
  20. Tim Burke

    Tim Burke Member

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    A vest that doesn't scream, "GUN!." Too bad it screams, "Weenie!"
     
  21. Ares45

    Ares45 Member

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    Crap! Well, that's news to me. I think this Polo Weenie has ruined my day. Better double up on all the stuff I already own just in case it ever wears out.

    On a side note, I did manage to tear up a pair of Filson chaps over several seasons of bird hunting in Tx. Those mesquite bushes will punch a hole thru a 10 ply tire so it's no wonder they eventually got my Filsons too.
     
  22. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I'm another one with an excessively huge head, and Filsons is one of the last companies to size quality outdoor hats to my dimensions. This one is my favorite:

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    They do a good job hiding the fact. For Chicom production they're better than average, but they're still "Danners" in NAME ONLY. The original Portland-made Danners are still in production, and still excellent, but the company has now set it up so the Chinese branch is undercutting the Portland factory. I won't touch the Chinese boots with anything other than some kerosene and a match. Those people are the enemy.
     
  24. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    The Yuppies have won again.

    Does anyone remember when L.L. Bean was an outfitter instead of a department store?
     
  25. Arethusa

    Arethusa Member

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    I'm not really sure what is going on with Filson. There is no way in hell that vest is appealing to the fashion crowd, and they're at least branching out from the hard line traditional outdoorsy/outfitter market, if not necessarily abandoning it.
     
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