Between Fashion and the Outdoors with Scott Ferguson of Everyday Mountaineering

We are very excited to host Everyday Mountaineering for a pop up on April 20th at our Brooklyn shop to give people in the city the only opportunity to try on his incredible garments that bridge daily life and outdoor pursuits. We interviewed Scott Ferguson, the designer behind the brand, about his background, influences, and how his collection bridges the luxury and outdoor spaces.

What does the name Everyday Mountaineering mean?

This question always stumps me because it feels tricky to put into words, but I will try my best!

At its core, Everyday Mountaineering is simple: we are an outfitter for Everyday Mountaineering equipment. We make products for day-to-day living with built-in reminders of our favorite things to do and places to be-wandering in the woods, snowboarding, and bouldering-while we may actually be in the office or at the studio. Everyday Mountaineering exists in the in-between of fashion and the outdoors—we’re there for days spent around the city and weekend excursions out in the mountains.

Also, I like how the name sounds!

 How did you get into fashion?

I gradually got into fashion over time through the influence of niche interests that I’ve picked up and the clothes (and gear) that go along with them. My first memories of wanting to style myself were in my early teenage years when I became obsessed with bouldering and skateboarding—I wanted to find ways to be reminded of my passions even when I wasn’t doing them. These interests helped me to define myself at a time in my life when I was trying to figure out who I was in this great big world—as we know, fashion is a form of self expression and I loved what I was able to express by wearing my climbing pants and skate shoes to school.

 How do you know when you’ve achieved the right balance of luxury and outdoor elements in a piece?

This can vary from piece to piece, but it’s about finding the right balance of quality, comfort and utility within the garment. For instance the Alpine Rugby, whose design is a call back to the vintage rugby jerseys worn by climbers in the ‘60s & ‘70s, is made from a super lightweight merino wool which helps to regulate temperature while still being really soft and comfy. This piece can function in the outdoors but is also thoughtfully designed and constructed to ensure wearers’ comfort in any activity.

What do you think technical pieces can learn from luxury garments?

I love technical gear to my core and it’s what started my love of fashion, so it’s hard for me to even critique it, but I do think there’s something to be said for considering comfort and functionality when it makes sense. I love a GORE-TEX coat for its crazy waterproofness, but I’m not opting to wear that on the day-to-day because it’s stiff.

I understand that you were born in Scotland and grew up in Texas. How does that background influence the garments you design?

The Scotland/Texas mix is definitely an interesting one! I was born in Scotland and lived there until middle school and most of my family is still there. My Dad and his brothers were all passionate mountaineers when they were younger so I grew up hearing stories of them climbing in the highlands in the ‘70s. My dad also collects vintage mountaineering equipment and books, so I learned to love the gear and style from that era while I was living in suburban Houston. I began climbing after we moved to Texas and loved the connection I felt with my dad and my Scottish history through it. The routes may have looked drastically different-me, in a climbing gym blasting AC in the suburbs of Houston and my dad, climbing the peaks of Glencoe. It was still a connection and one I cherish and still feel with me when I climb here in New York. I think this appreciation for both indoor and outdoor pursuits heavily influences my line as I’m always considering the versatility and varying climates and situations in which these pieces will be worn when I design.

We’ve talked about how you started with hemp clothing. What interests you about hemp? What does hemp bring to this collection?

I can’t talk about outdoor gear and inspiration without mentioning Patagonia at least once! Some of my favorite pieces from them that I’ve worn over the years are their hemp T-shirts. So, when I was exploring and testing different fabrics, hemp was top of mind-I love the functionality and sustainability of this fabric.

Having a personal uniform appeals to many people. There is a sense that with the right uniform, we can achieve effortless comfort with a signature look without making decisions every morning about what to put on. With your Daily Jacket and Daily Pant, how does that represent the ideal Everyday Mountaineering uniform? 

The Daily Suit is a big part of my personal uniform; prior to Everyday Mountaineering, I worked as an artist and developed an appreciation for workwear for daily use at the studio. When designing the Daily Suit, I wanted to create something I could throw on quickly in the morning that still felt “put together.” The things that represent Everyday Mountaineering in the Daily Pant and Daily Jacket are the details: the Daily Pant has a roomy fit, weird pocketing and a rope-inspired drawstring; The Daily Jacket has circular pockets, and every color has an orange zipper that pokes through just a but so there is a little touch of loudness even if you’re wearing khaki. 

Before even touching, for example, the Merino/cashmere blend of your Wormhole Cardigan, there’s a striking use of color with one mismatched button and a wild wormhole-inspired design knit into the piece. What do these playful elements say about Everyday Mountaineering?

Not to take to us too seriously! I think we can all use a bit more whimsy and weird in our everyday and I hope EM pieces can do that. I love the idea of taking a classic cut, like a cardigan, and adding an unexpected element-it makes it feel as unique as the person wearing it. Also, great conversation starters!