Not only has Minneapolis shop Askov Finlayson (named for two towns in northern Minnesota) launched a new website, it's also just introduced its first-ever branded product with the Explorer Pants. We first chatted with co-founders and brothers Eric and Andrew Dayton in 2012, when their store in the North Loop neighborhood was just under a year old. Now, the industrious brothers are channeling the state's Land of 10,000 Lakes environs through a small range of American-made goods that are designed to last after years of trekking.
The Dayton brothers traditionally stock clothing, home goods and other design objects from like-minded labels. With a "keep it fun" mentality and laid-back style, their shop—with its Nordic-style restaurant The Bachelor Farmer and the Marvel Bar—has been a hub of commerce and community. Making their own attire is an organic next step.
"We decided to create the Explorer Pant as the first product under the Askov Finlayson brand because—as everyone told us when we first started—pants are hard. And we wanted to begin by focusing on one thing and doing it the best that we could," Eric explains. "We thought that a great pair of pants that can be worn every day had the potential to become a foundational product for Askov Finlayson, and so that's what we tried to make." In khaki, deep navy and juniper green, the pants are stylish but substantial, hinting at Minnesota’s history of exploration and culture of creativity. They also carry the same attention to detail reflected in all the products across the Askov Finlayson roster. Refined Japanese cotton canvas, woven and custom-dyed, has been tailored into a cut that allows enough room to move, without appearing baggy or sloppy. The 10.4-ounce unwashed canvas is strong, yet soft to the touch. And elements such as reinforced knees and seat offer durability, making these pants truly an everyday staple.
Askov Finlayson's eponymous projects don't stop there—the duo recently completed a collaboration duffel with Seattle's cult-followed BAD BAGS. They also designed three different knit stocking hats that are made at a factory in Cloquet, Minnesota, which also manufactures all the hats for every youth and high school hockey team in the state. Featuring playful ski hat pom poms and simply the word "North," the hats are intended to represent Minnesota, and "to proudly claim the North as our region of the country, rather than being part of the big, nebulous Midwest," Eric explains. They've even had their own hockey puck made. With continued success, their branded offerings will certainly expand and evolve.
Askov Finlayson products are available online or at their store at 200 Noth 1st Street in Minneapolis, MN.
Lead photo by Lauren Espeseth, other images courtesy of Askov Finlayson