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Going For Gold With Goldwin

Apr 13, 2023

Whether you’re looking to scale the world's highest mountain, compete in the Olympics or just combat unpredictable weather, Japanese brand Goldwin really has set the standard when it comes to producing high quality performance apparel. A natural fit for urban Industry, Goldwin has been operating for over seventy years and remains a pioneering brand that continues to evolve and innovate whilst working with in partnership some of the biggest brands in the sports and outdoor world.  

The full Goldwin collection.

Goldwin at Urban Industry

The Goldwin story starts in post war Oyabe City, Japan where the Tsuzawa Knit Fabric Factory was set up as a way to provide incomes for war widows in a friendly and communal family atmosphere. Initially supplying other brands with products the factory soon gained a reputation for making exceptional knitwear (especially their hiking socks) and so decided to operate under their own name of Goldwin in 1958. Primarily driven by functionality, by 1960 the emerging trend for skiing holidays saw Goldwin focussed solely on ski-wear, producing premium and practical pieces such as gloves, jumpers, socks and underwear. It was during this period that Goldwin founder Tokasu Nishida also embarked on a fact-finding mission around Europe. Exploring various sporting locations and ski slopes he forged lifelong relationships with several European manufacturers whilst gaining vital insight on how Goldwin could operate on a global scale. Following this pivotal trip a new technique was soon developed back at Goldwin HQ that enabled them to shape knitwear to the contours of the body and thus providing additional comfort and a much more streamlined, elegant appearance. The technology changed the face of ski-wear and on the back of this success, in 1964 Goldwin were asked to provide the uniforms for competitors in a variety of different disciplines at the Tokyo Summer Olympic games. Their sportswear proved a huge hit with the athletes and was worn by 80% of Japan’s gold medalists. Goldwin went on to make further appearances at both the Sapporo Winter and Munich Summer Olympics in 1972 as well as becoming regular sponsors of various teams in future events around the world.

Goldwin at Urban Industry

Having already elevated the ski slopes to new levels of elegance and performance it was during the mid 1970s that Goldwin also became responsible for bringing a classic American Sportswear look to the streets of Japan. Having signed a deal with legendary sportswear producers Champion in 1975 (who catered to almost 30 different sports) Goldwin helped make Champion not just the clothing of choice for professional athletes but also for the youth of Japan. Sowing the seeds of today’s sporty streetwear aesthetic as well as creating a cultural phenomenon dedicated to Americana that's just as popular today as it was back then.

The next big move for Goldwin came in 1978 when they became Japanese distributors for The North Face. Which saw them further expand their development into pioneering new technical fabrics and manufacturing techniques as well as sponsoring a number of heroic mountaineering expeditions. These include Goldwin supporting Tsuneo Hasegawa’s world’s first solo winter ascent of the Alps Trilogy as well as the kitting out the oldest man to ever climb Mt Everest which was achieved by Yuichiro Miura at the age of 75. Whilst in 2019 they also sponsored Yuichi Miura’s ascent and skilling descent of the tallest peak in South America Mount Aconcagua at the grand old age of 86! The special relationship between The North Face and Goldwin continues to flourish and now incorporates the exclusive and highly coveted The North Face Purple Label range as well as its sister company Nanamica.

Goldwin at Urban Industry

Not content with bringing style and functionality to every corner of the globe from the streets of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Italy, Goldwin has continued to evolve and innovate throughout the 21st century. Alongside partnerships with brands such as Speedo, Helly Hansen and Woolrich the brand has also gone interplanetary by providing cabin crew clothing for various space missions in conjunction with the Japanese space program. Though perhaps most impressive to us here at Urban Industry is their Greencycle partnership with ICO Japan that allows them to manufacture products using recycled clothing using items from any brand.

Goldwin’s high performance gear is all about functionality whatever your chosen activity may be, whether you’re high up in the mountains or just jogging around the metropolis. Whilst their sleek modern designs and eye-pleasing colour palettes also makes them perfect for everyday wear too. For the Summer season Urban Industry has chosen a number of highly functional, versatile pieces from the Japanese brand to see you through the warmer months in premium style and optimum comfort. Key pieces includes the All Direction Stretch Hike Shirts, classic Pocket T-shirts, Stretch Cargo Pants constructed from super tough cordura and Hike Pants and Cargo shorts made from lightweight RipStop fabric.